Prof. Dr. Mário Franca


Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Institute of Water and River Basin Management
- Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources Management -
Kaiserstrasse 12
76131 Karlsruhe

Phone: +49 (0)721 - 608-43164
Email: wasserbau∂iwg.kit.edu

Visiting address:

Engesserstrasse 22, Building 10.83
76131 Karlsruhe

The challenges facing water managers and engineers nowadays are manifold, complex, and require cross disciplinary approaches. These challenges include the safety of hydraulic natural and built systems, ageing infrastructures, pollution, guarantee of energy and food security, sustainable development and safety of urban environment, ecological feedbacks and an uncertain future.

Our group develops research towards engineering solutions for the design, the planning and the implementation of sustainable water infrastructures prepared for global change. We investigate the mechanics of flowing water and its interaction with key elements of a river basin such as sediments, dissolved matter, gases, living organisms and people. More specifically, the group is committed to develop research on four main topics: sustainable and secure water for supply, food and energy; adaptive and multi-functional hydraulic systems; healthy rivers; and geophysical processes in rivers and lakes.

The institute has a long portfolio in engineering and water management projects, which benefits the education of engineering, provides relevance for the scientific activities and inspires fundamental research. This was accomplished thanks to an excellent infrastructure which includes the world renown Theodor-Rehbock hydraulics laboratory and modern numerical means.

The group aims at continuing the tradition of excellence in hydraulic engineering and water resources management brought by its former directors for more than 100 years: Prof. Franz Nestmann (1994-2021), Prof. Peter Larsen (1983-1994), Prof. Emil Mosonyi (1965-1982), Prof. Heinrich Wittmann (1934-1965) and Prof. Theodor Rehbock (1899-1933).

Visit of Regierungspräsidentin Sylvia M. Felder (RP Karlsruhe)
Visit of Regierungspräsidentin Sylvia M. Felder (RP Karlsruhe)

During her visit to KIT on September 5, 2022, Regierungspräsidentin Sylvia M. Felder (RP Karlsruhe) informed herself also about ongoing institutes research projects in the field of floods events.

After an introduction of KIT by President Prof. Dr. Holger Hanselka and of Division IV - Natural and Built Environment - by the head Prof. Dr. Johannes Orphal, Dr. Andreas Kron presented the institute with current research topics.

Afterwards, M.Sc. Christin Kannen guided the group through the hydraulic lab and explained various model experiments.

Joint IWG-VAW workshop on river engineering
Joint IWG-VAW workshop on river engineering

On July 14th, 17 participants from the IWG, the IfH and colleagues from the Laboratory of Hydraulics, Hydrology and Glaciology at the ETH Zürich met for a one-day workshop on river engineering.

In 5 technical talks and a tour of the hydraulic laboratories at the KIT, current issues and methods in river engineering were discussed and possible research cooperations were explored.

Gesinus-Meeting (Photography by Michael Hils/BfG)

On July 6/7, 2022, after a two-year break from Corona, a Gesinus meeting (GErman-SINoUnsteadySediment transport group) was held again.

As always, with presentations of actual Research projects, interesting technical discussions and opportunities for personal exchange.


Photography by Michael Hils/BfG

Design of wood retention structures in rivers

Wood is an integral part of a river ecosystem and can be transported during both small and large floods. To manage wood transport in Alpine rivers, rack structures have been installed to retain wood upstream of endangered settlements or infrastructures.


The seminar video is online now.

Link to the seminar PDF file
IAHR World Congress “From Snow To Sea”
World Congress “From Snow To Sea”

From June 19th - 24th the 39th IAHR World Congress “From Snow To Sea” will take place in Granada, Spain (IAHR 2022). The International Association for Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research (IAHR), founded in 1935, is a worldwide independent organisation of engineers and water specialists working in fields related to the hydro-environmental sciences and their practical application.

Researchers from all over the world present their results to more than 1200 registered attendees.

Prof. Dr. Mário Franca, Dr. Daniel Valero (Simulation of a Transient Gravity Current – Comparison of Four RANS Eddy-Viscosity Turbulence Models), Wendy Gonzalez Otero (Numerical Modelling of the Suspended Sediment Transport in a Reservoir under the Influence of Wind and Temperature) and Tim Kerlin (Parameterization of Flow Resistance for the Hydrodynamic Numerical Simulation of Sheetflow) will represent the IWG with their contributions.

Link to the website
Tour de PhD

As part of the Tour de PhD, 18 PhD students from Wageningen University came to visit KIT. In the morning, research topics were presented and a discussion was held. Afterwards, guided tours were offered in the Theodor Rehbock Laboratory and in the hydraulic engineering laboratory of the IfH. After lunch the group took a walk across Karlsruhe Castle to the BAW. Here, the BAW laboratories were shown in a guided tour. The day was then concluded with a joint dinner at the Badisches Brauhaus.

Girls'Day 2022
Girls'Day 2022

Today M.Sc. Katrin Trautwein and M.Sc. Christin Kannen presented the profession of an hydraulic engineer in an online seminar as part of Girlsday 2022. 6 girls at the age of 9-16 years could get an insight into the profession of a researcher and hydraulic engineer. Katrin presented the project KaWaTech in Vietnam and Christin reported about a research project on hydromorphological modelling of scour processes.

Link to the newspage
Presentation “Flood risk management didn’t age well“ by Prof. Mário Franca

On 22 March, Mário Franca did a presentation with the title “Flood risk management didn’t age well“ by invitation of the Laboratory of Hydraulics, Hydrology and Glaciology of ETHZ, in Zurich. Based on an analysis of the unfortunate flood events occurred in July 2021 in Northwestern Germany, and considering the demands which post-Anthropocene will bring in terms of extreme weather events, Mario Franca reflected on which evolution is needed to better evaluate flood hazard.

Link to the presentation page