IHA Young Researcher of the Year 2017
Rafael Schmitt is currently Post-Doc at the College of Environmental Design (CED), University of California, Berkeley. His research is driven by the vision to develop sustainable hydropower and to minimize conflicts between hydropower economic benefits and environmental impacts. Currently, he works on basin-scale optimization of dam portfolios and on the modeling sediment dynamics in the greater Mekong Region. He also researches on other topics related to geomorphology and water management, for example on the nexus between sediment and human livelihoods in the Mekong Delta.
Rafael received his Ph.D. in Information Technology from Politecnico di Milan for developing the numerical CASCADE model for sediment connectivity and dam sediment trapping in large river basins. Trained as an Environmental Scientist (B.Sc.) and Environmental Engineer (M.Sc.) at ETH Zurich he worked at various research institutes and with various international and national development agencies to facilitate the transfer of his academic work to applications by practitioners and decision makers.