HKUST Professor Wins Global Recognition in Water Engineering

A professor at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) has earned global recognition in the field of water engineering and environmental fluid mechanics.

Prof Mohamed S Ghidaoui of the HKUST's Department of Civil Engineering has been selected the winner of 2007 Arthur Thomas Ippen Award by the International Association of Hydraulic Engineering & Research (IAHR). The award will be presented next month at the IAHR Congress in Venice, where Prof Ghidaoui will also deliver the Ippen Award Lecture. The lecture will then be published in the Journal of Hydraulic Research of IAHR.

The award is the most prestigious prize that the association bestows on a member of the water engineering and science community. This is also only the second time the award has been won by an Asia-based researcher since the prize was established in 1977.

In its citation, IAHR recognizes Prof Ghidaoui for his outstanding contribution to research in hydraulics and environmental fluid mechanics, in particular to the fields of hydraulic transients (water waves), stability of shallows flows, and of time-dependent flows (turbulence) and computational hydraulics.

The field of hydraulics and environmental fluid mechanics deals with water on earth. Researchers study all aspects relating to water and its motion. Some of the related practical applications include high-impact issues such as water supply, water quality, floods, tsunamis, surges, irrigation, navigation, drainage, land reclamation, water forces on coastal structures, red tides, hydraulic structures such as dams etc.

Prof Ghidaoui said he felt truly honored and flattered to receive this highly prestigious award which recognizes outstanding ability, originality, and accomplishment in basic hydraulic research and applied hydraulic engineering.

"This award would not have been possible without the hard work of my current and former students and collaborators, the support of my colleagues and all members of IAHR-Hong Kong chapter, and the constructive comments and suggestions of my peers. I wish to dedicate this award to the memory of Professor B Yen, of the University of Illinois, USA, from whom I learned much when he was a visiting scholar at HKUST in the mid-nineties," said Prof Ghidaoui.

Prof Ghidaoui, a native of Tunisia, joined HKUST in 1993. He received his MS and PhD degrees from the University of Toronto in 1990 and 1993 respectively. He has established a strong research program in Hong Kong, and has established himself as one of the world's leading experts on time-dependent water flows. He served as the chairman of the IAHR-Hong Kong Chapter for three years. He received a number of awards including the Erskine Fellowship in 2006 from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, in recognition of his distinguished academic achievements, and Albert Berry Memorial Award, American Water Works Association in 1991, in recognition of his outstanding research thesis on modeling of waves in pipes.

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Prof Mohamed S Ghidaoui
Prof Mohamed S Ghidaoui