Zoran Kapelan

Prof. Kapelan is a Chair and Professor of Urban Water Infrastructure within the Department of Water Management. Prior to joining TU Delft he was Head of the Water and Environment Group at the University of Exeter in the UK. He is an IWA Fellow and a Fellow of CIWEM with over 29 years of research and consulting experience in water engineering.


Prof. Kapelan’s research interests and expertise are centred on the development of novel engineering methods and technologies addressing a wide range of issues across the urban water cycle, particularly related to water and wastewater infrastructure systems. Research topics include smart water and wastewater systems that make use of sensors and data-driven methods, integrated water management based on the nexus, urban metabolism and circular economy thinking, adaptation of urban water infrastructure to climate change using flexible design and Real Options concepts, early warning systems for blockages/collapses, bursts/leaks and discolouration events, asset management, flood risk management, nature based solutions and various decision support methods including methods for decision making under uncertainty. Prof. Kapelan is/was an investigator on over 40 EU, UK and industry funded research grants since 2005. He has given many keynotes and invited talks at major water engineering conferences around the world. He has (co)authored over 350 technical publications with over 120 peer-reviewed journal papers and an H-index of 40. He is currently serving as an Associate Editor for the Water Resources Research and Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management (ASCE).


Prof. Kapelan’s research is already delivering major impact in the engineering practice. Working closely with the water industry he has pioneered the award winning technology for automated detection of pipe bursts/leaks and other events in drinking water systems. The technology is using Artificial Intelligence and big data analytics to process pressure and flow sensor data in near real-time. This technology is now used companywide in United Utilities reducing the risk of supply interruptions to its 7 million customers and resulting in major operational cost savings. On the wastewater side, Prof. Kapelan has developed a methodology for the prediction of future blockage rates that is assisting Welsh Water in creating related operational and maintenance plans. He has recently developed a new technology for automated sewer condition assessment from CCTV data by using image processing and artificial intelligence type techniques. This technology is being transferred into a UK water company.


Prof. Kapelan is currently teaching on the CIE4491 Urban Drainage and Water Management module. He has led a number of other courses at under and postgraduate levels covering both urban drainage and drinking water related topics. He has also developed new taught programmes (PhD programme for the WISE Centre for Doctoral Training), coordinated the MSc level programmes (PGT Programme Director for Civil and Environmental Engineering 2010-13) and has assessed taught UG/PG programmes at other universities (external examiner at University of Southampton 2013-17). He has guest lectured at the MSc and industrial courses in Italy, Estonia, Brazil, Colombia, Hong Kong, Netherlands and the UK. Prof. Kapelan has supervised successfully over 20 postdocs and 30 PhD students so far.

For further information please visit Prof. Kapelan’s personal website

Zoran Kapelan

Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences
Building 23
Stevinweg 1
2628 CN Delft

Room number: 4.66