School of Engineering


Sven Berendsen

Sven is one of our current STREAM researchers

Whole city modelling of water usage

I obtained two undergraduate degrees from the University of Edinburgh, one in Mathematics and one in Environmental Geoscience. Since then, I've worked in the private sector in Germany doing surface water simulation, both hydraulic and hydrological, for several years. This included the whole range of tasks ranging from work flow development to support of operational water level and discharge as well as flood forecasting and management in the German states of Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palantine.

Having read about the STREAM IDC PhD program, I felt that this is the natural next step in my career.

My project is part of the drive to bring the advantages of Digital Twins to the water sector in conjunction with Northumbrian Water. As this is a big undertaking, I'm working together on this with the two other new STREAM postgraduates, Colin Nicholson and Trevor Pearman.

My role involves modelling the water usage at a single property level and then integrating the results into the city wide supply and waste water network simulation.

As I'm still at the start of the PhD, it is hard to say exactly what techniques and technologies I'll be using. Common tools for dealing with usage modelling are agent-based modelling and neural networks. Coupling models together in one system is most often done via an explicit external interface like OpenMI/FMI or combining those models directly programmatically.

The main challenge I face is the availability of data. Due to a scarcity of installed smart meters, not only is there relatively little high-resolution household level water usage data, but also some household data might be restricted due to data protection laws.


Sven Berendsen: STREAM Researcher at Newcastle University