Professor Cunha at the launch meeting of Exeter's HOWS project

Visiting Royal Academy Fellow arrives at CWS

Maria Cunha, Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Coimbra in Portugal has received a Distinguished Fellowship from the Royal Academy of Engineering to strengthen the relationship between Coimbra and CWS.

With the help of Professor Raziyeh Farmani from Exeter, she also aims to extend those links to other UK universities. As part of the fellowship, she has recently completed a month-long visit to the Centre, working closely with Professors Farmani and Savic.

Professor Cunha has delivered research seminars on decision-making for water infrastructure planning and management at the University of Exeter, the University of Bristol and Imperial College. The goal of her visits is to create a much better research relationships, which in turn will increase impact and visibility of the collaborative research both nationally and internationally.

Professor Cunha explained her area of interest: optimisation tools to aid decision making “To develop flexible approaches for water system planning and management that takes into account uncertainty and allows decision adjustments to be made as new information, new funds or new opportunities become available. This will have an impact on water utilities around the world which are faced with the complex challenges of meeting the population’s needs by improving efficiency and dealing with future uncertainty.”

 “The construction and operation of water networks is a costly enterprise that can have the unintended consequences of large carbon footprints and other negative environmental impacts.  The design of infrastructure systems is conditioned by physical, financial, environmental and technical constraints. This makes the use of optimisation tools particularly important” said Professor Cunha. 

Date: 1 June 2017

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