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Winter Semester 2019/20

Advanced Modelling of Urban Water Systems

Module Advanced modeling of urban water systems information
Advanced modeling of urban water systems
Tuesdays, 10:15 - 11:45
EW 217
Advanced modeling of urban water systems
Wednesdays, 14:15 - 15.45
MAR 0.010

Learning Outcomes

During this course, the students will acquire knowledge about the latest advances in modelling of urban water systems, with theory, methods, and applications. They will learn what the current research challenges in the field of urban water systems management are. They will approach the practical implementation of solutions to currently relevant problems in the fields of digitalisation of urban water and energy systems, with a scientific and start-up mind set. They will acquire basic knowledge of project management. They will learn how to critically read and present the content of scientific papers.


The digital transition of urban water networks towards more data-driven and intelligent systems represents a primary opportunity to tackle the challenges posed by increasing population, urbanisation, and changing climate conditions. As the data-driven transformation reaches into the economy and society, ever-increasing amounts of data are generated by machines or processes based on emerging technologies, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), connected systems, and advanced modelling. While digital disruption has already transformed a number of other industries globally, the water sector has only recently embraced the digital transformation. This is the key to developing suitable adaption strategies that, relying on better information than in the past, support management and decision-making actions to plan adaptation strategies that enhance the resilience of urban water systems under uncertain future climate and social scenarios. In this course, the phenomenon of digitalization of urban water system will be analysed, with particular focus on the theory and application of advanced data-driven models in this realm. The course will be structured with 5 sub-topics, which will enable the students to get an overview of the different elements of modern urban water systems, acquire knowledge about best modelling practices, get insights on the interactions of water and energy systems in urban areas, and understand the role of human behaviour and cyber-physical security in such systems. The following 5 topics will be covered: 

  1. Introduction to urban water networks and digitalization
  2. Advanced modelling and management of urban water networks
  3. Smart metering and behavioural modelling
  4. Water-energy nexus in urban systems
  5. Cybersecurity of urban water networks

During the project activity, the students will be actively fostered to develop own solutions to relevant water-related problems, with a focus on data-driven modelling and sensor technologies. Assessment includes a final written exam, a project (with a presentation and report) and a mid-term presentation of scientific papers. The lecture will be given in English.

Description of Teaching and Learning Methods

The lectures will be mainly in a frontal presentations format. Slides will be made available to students. The project includes the selection of a topic of interest, among suggested options, in the realm of digital technologies for water and energy systems. Weekly tutoring sessions to follow the progress of the project and give feedback will be organised. A final report and presentation with discussion will be delivered in the last sessions of the course. In a mid-term presentation, the students will have to present two assigned scientific articles.

Requirements for participation and examination

Desirable prerequisites for participation in the  courses are: basic concepts of mathematical modelling, basic programming knowledge, and basic knowledge of water systems.

Other info:

More info on the course, including the exam and test elements, can be found here [1] (Moses).


Prof. Dr. Andrea Cominola [2] - Course coordinator

Ivo Daniel [3] - Teaching Assistant

Marie-Philine Becker [4] - Teaching Assistant

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