ir. Petra Hulsman


In the Zambezi River Basin, the operation of the Kariba and Cahora Bassa dams rely on the ability of accurately forecasting the floods that enter the reservoir. In both cases, this is a major challenge due to lack of information from ungauged tributaries. Therefore, increased insight in the hydrology of the ungauged tributaries in the Zambezi between Kariba and Cahora Bassa is necessary for more reliable flow predictions, better operation of the dams, reducing flood hazard and community flood risk, energy and agricultural production.

During Petra’s PhD, she will develop a landscape and ecology-based hydrological model using ground observations and remote sensed data for the forcing, calibration and/or constraints to obtain the correct spatial heterogeneity. The focus will be on the Luangwa, the largest most unregulated tributary, but also other tributaries between both reservoirs will be modelled.

Petra obtained in 2015 her MSc degree in Civil Engineering, MSc program ‘Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources Management’ which was a double degree program at Delft University of Technology and National University of Singapore. During her MSc thesis, she developed a semi-distributed conceptual model based on the modelling concept of FLEX-Topo for the poorly gauged Mara River Basin in Kenya and used it to estimate the catchment erosion. Her MSc thesis is titled: “Sediment transport modelling: Determination of the main areas contributing to the suspended sediment load in the Mara River, Kenya”.

Petra Hulsman