School of Engineering


Robert Bertsch

Urban Flood Risk Management

Following the successful completion of a degree in Geography at the University of Vienna, my aim was to enhance and improve my knowledge in the field of hydrodynamic modelling and flood risk management.

For this reason, I took the MSc course in Hydroinformatics at Newcastle University. After graduation in 2013, the choice whether to stay in academia or to enter into the industrial sector was a rather difficult one.

The Engineering Doctorate degree within the STREAM program is a great opportunity to undertake research while working within a water utility company.

In my EngD project, I worked in the field of Urban Flood Risk Management. The focus was on the establishment of a holistic approach which incorporated the many components affecting and affected by flooding in urban areas.

The project contained two major parts.

The first one, a more theoretical one, emphasised the establishment of a new strategy to approach urban flood risks. The second part contained the application of a newly developed 2D hydrodynamic model – CityCAT (Newcastle University).

The outcome of my project allows water utility companies and other stakeholders involved to move towards a pro-active management strategy when it comes to urban flood risk management.

The involvement of five leading UK Universities in the water sector within the STREAM program allowed me to attend Master-level taught courses in various fields relevant for my degree.

Being a Research Engineer at Scottish Water and Newcastle University also provided the great benefit of making new contacts in the Water Industry and Academia.

Having both an academic and industrial supervisor, the STREAM program provided a unique guidance through four years of my career.

I am absolutely sure that these circumstances and the character of the STREAM program will allow me to establish new skills and new ways of thinking within a challenging environment.

'We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.'
Albert Einstein

Robert Bertsch, STREAM EngD