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News Professor in Hydraulic Engineering – Land and Water Development

The UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education offers post-graduate courses and PhD research programmes in Delft, The Netherlands, and carries out research and capacity building projects all over the world. The mission of UNESCO-IHE is to contribute to the education and training of professionals and to build the capacity of sector organisations, knowledge centres and other institutions active in the fields of water, the environment and infrastructure in developing countries and countries in transition.

UNESCO-IHE has a permanent staff of 160, of which 90 are academic staff, while about 250 guest-lecturers from academia and industry contribute to the educational programme. Each year 750 participants (incl. about 200 new MSc students per year) from all over the world attend the various regular and short courses at UNESCO-IHE.

The functions of the Institute include serving as an international standard-setting body for postgraduate water education programmes and continuing professional training, building human and institutional capacities through education, training and research, setting up and managing networks of educational and water sector institutions and organisations worldwide, functioning as a ‘policy forum’ for UNESCO member states and other stakeholders, and providing advice on water education to partner organisations and other members of the UN water family.

About the Department of Water Engineering
The Department of Water Engineering conducts research and provides post-graduate education and training to professionals in the fields of water resources assessment and control, water supply, irrigation and drainage, navigation and hydropower, river, port and coastal engineering, and floods, droughts and pollution. The department’s history and mission are traced to the origins of UNESCO-IHE and are today organized into four scientific core groups: 1) Hydraulic Engineering – River Basin Development, 2) Land and Water Development, 3) Hydrology and Water Resources, and 4) Coastal Engineering and Port Development, each headed by a professor. More information is available at the WE Department Website (

All specialized training and research at UNESCO-IHE are organized within cores, and professors compose the academic leadership that advances the institute’s mission.

The Department of Water Engineering wishes to appoint a:
Professor in Hydraulic Engineering – Land and Water Development
m/f (1.0 FTE)


UNESCO-IHE seeks a professor to assume leadership of the Hydraulic Engineering – Land and Water Development (HELWD) Core Group of staff, which is primarily concerned with education and research related to managing land and water resources in agricultural landscapes for food security. The Core’s activities focus on the role of water in the development of rural areas and urbanizing catchments, and the topics of irrigation, drainage and flood protection, as shaped by social transformations, new technologies and debate about global change. The current staff of the HELWD core consists of lecturers and senior lecturers anchoring the teaching program and leading research in the field, and facilitating capacity-building and development projects with local partnerships around the world. Its activities fall into two main fields:

Irrigation, drainage and flood protection, including measures to install, improve, operate and maintain water management systems at the main and field system levels;
• Integrated water management and flood protection in lowland and delta areas.

The geographical remit of the field is focused on developing countries and countries in transition, but also includes understanding of European directives and development programmes and global policies influencing the field.

The professor is expected to have his or her main expertise in the field of hydraulic engineering applied to irrigation and drainage systems. Furthermore, the professor should be able to integrate hydraulic engineering into the wider technical, social, economic and environmental context of food security.

The HELWD core group has distinguished itself as a leader in development-related education and research, relevant for both developed and developing countries. In this context the professor should be part of an international network for acquisition of education, research and capacity building projects that are local and globally embedded.

The candidate will:

• provide vision and strategic leadership of the HELWD core;
• supervise PhD and MSc research;
• develop research output and profile with the National SENSE Research School;
• take overall responsibility for the quality and contents of the MSc programme specialisation in hydraulic engineering – land and water development;
• teach in the MSc programme, and in relevant short courses offered within the institute and abroad;
• develop proposals and acquire funding for education, research and capacity building activities;
• develop and establish close links with other institutions, universities and organisations working in the specified fields both worldwide and in the Netherlands;
• serve on the UNESCO-IHE Academic Board and other committees overseeing the academic mission of the institute;
• engage actively in professional and academic networks in the field.

Requirements are:

• PhD degree in hydraulic engineering or related field (e.g. civil and environmental engineering, agricultural engineering, irrigation and drainage engineering);
• extensive university experience in teaching, curriculum development and student supervision at postgraduate level;
• strong record of funded research and peer-reviewed publication in the areas of hydraulic engineering, irrigation, drainage and food security;
• professional experience in multi-disciplinary engineering projects; experience in developing or transition countries;
• excellent command of the English language and preferably one additional international language such as French or Spanish;
• willingness to frequently travel and work abroad for short and medium term assignments.

It is the intention that the successful candidate for the position at UNESCO-IHE will also acquire the position of Extraordinary Professor at Wageningen University.

Conditions of employment
This position is, in principle, a permanent one, however, according to our Personnel Manual, the first contract is temporarily, and only after this period a permanent contract can be offered. The position is based in Delft, The Netherlands. A competitive salary is offered depending on qualifications and experience in accordance with the conditions of employment for Dutch Universities. The appointment implies entry into the Netherlands’ Civil Service Pension Fund (ABP).

Information and application
Additional information about the vacancy can be obtained from Dr. Michael McClain, Head of the Water Engineering Department (+31-15-215-1852 or Candidates are asked to submit a curriculum vitae detailing their qualifications and experience, the names and addresses of two references, and a vision statement for leading the HERBD core to UNESCO-IHE, attn. Human Resource Management (, PO Box 3015, 2601 DA Delft, The Netherlands, referencing vacancy-number 11-200-01.

The deadline for applications is 15 May 2011 (closing date).

Contact information Dr. Michael McClain, Head of the Water Engineering Department , UNESCO-IHE (email: ;
Phone: +31-15-215-1852
News type Vacancies
File link
Source of information The UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education / WASH Vacancies
Geographical coverage Netherlands,
News date 28/03/2011
Working language(s) ENGLISH