Wayne and Diana Murdy Endowed Professor of Engineering and Geosciences, University of notre dame

Keynote Title-  Sensing Hydrometeorological Processes from Global to Microphysical Scales

Harindra Joseph Fernando is currently the Wayne and Diana Murdy Endowed Professor of Engineering and Geosciences at University of Notre Dame. He received his education at the University of Sri Lanka (BS), the Johns Hopkins University (MA, PhD) and was a post-doctoral fellow at California Institute of Technology. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, American Physical Society, American Meteorological Society, American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Geophysical Union and International Association for Hydro-Environmental Engineering and Research. He was elected to the European Academy in 2009. He received docteur honoris causa form University of Grenoble, France, in 2014 and Doctor of Laws Honoris Causa from University of Dundee, Scotland in 2016.  He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Environmental Fluid Dynamics and an Editor of the journals Theoretical and Computational Fluid Dynamics and Journal of Non-Linear Processes in Geophysics and an Associate Editor of the Proceedings of the Royal Society (London). He has published more than 360 archival journal papers spanning some sixty international archival Journals, covering basic fluid dynamics, experimental methods, oceanography, atmospheric sciences, environmental sciences and engineering, urban fluid mechanics, air pollution, alternative energy sources, acoustics, heat transfer and hydraulics and fluids engineering.  He was a Principal Investigator of many international field experiments, including MATERHORN, PERDIGAO, CASPER, ASIRI, ASIRI-RAWI, MISO-BOB, IFFExO, C-FOG and Fatima. ( 

DR Ellis Penning

Expert Nature-based Solutions and Aquatic Ecology, program lead for the Deltares strategic research topic on Nature-based Solutions

Keynote Title - The role of ecosystem understanding in quantifying solutions for water management

Dr. Ellis Penning is an expert in the field of Nature based Solutions and ecohydraulic research with over 20 years of experience. She leads the Deltares strategic research program on Nature Based Solutions and carries out a variety of projects related to this subject, both in the national and international context. An aquatic ecologist by training, Ellis Penning is specifically focusing on the role of vegetation in aquatic systems, both from a flood risk and environmental quality point of view and how knowledge related to the natural dynamics of this vegetation helps in the assessment and design of Nature based Solutions (NbS) within a catchment scale perspective.

Part of her work focusses on providing new evidence on the functioning of NbS via measured data using remote sensing, field monitoring and flume experiments. Specifically, a sound understanding of the interaction between vegetation and its surrounding environment helps to create a better understanding of the overall system functioning and provides the basis for better management of these systems. Next to this the linkage between technical functioning and the socio-economic and governance aspects of the design, implementation and management of NbS is part of her research.

 Ellis Penning is the Deltares project lead for various NbS projects that specifically provide this linkage. She currently leads the Dutch research project on sponge functioning of landscapes – evaluating NBS on their merits for floods AND droughts AND biodiversity and has been involved in various Ecoshape projects, such as the Ecoshape Pilot on Vegetated Sandy Foreshores along the Houtribdijk in the large shallow Lake Markermeer and the project ‘Working with Uncertainties of Nature-based Solutions. She has also worked on projects assessing of the role of woody floodplain vegetation in reducing wave impact on the dikes along parts of the Rhine river, and developed new techniques for spatial mapping of vegetation in streams and rivers using new remote monitoring techniques to provide water managers with more accurate insight in the amount and location of vegetation in their area to improve the management of this vegetation for both flood risk management and ecological values.

Ellis Penning is the coordinator of the EU project SpongeScapes and active in various other EU projects related to the implementation of the EU Green Deal and the Water Framework Directive (a.o. Danube4all, REXUS and MERLIN) and has extensive experience in international cooperation in Europe, North America and Asia. At present she chairs the International Steering Committee of the River Experiment Centre of the Korean Institute of Civil Engineering and Building Technology and leads the Deltares contribution to the joint project on vegetated flows in this unique large outdoor flume facility. She also leads the IAHR Working Group on Nature-based Solutions.



Keynote Title - Flow through and over living roughness

Stephen Monismith, the Obayashi Professor in the School of Engineering at Stanford, received all his degrees from UC Berkeley Civil Engineering, completing his PhD thesis with the late Prof. H.B. Fischer. Following the completion of his thesis, he did a postdoc in Western Australia working with Jorg Imberger focusing on the fluid mechanics of stratified flows in lakes. He has been at Stanford University in the Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering since 1987, and served as the department chair between 2009 and 2016.

His work in environmental fluid mechanics includes studies of estuarine and lake physics as well as near-shore flows with waves, turbulence and stratification, focusing on mixing and transport processes that are central to ecology, biogeochemistry and environmental management. Through his work on estuarine dynamics, he has been active in San Francisco Bay-Delta issues, including helping to develop the scientific underpinnings of freshwater flow regulations.  In recent years, much of his efforts (and travel) have focused on the physics of coral reef flows, with fieldwork and modelling carried out on reefs in the Red Sea, and in nearshore waters of Hawaii, Moorea, Palmyra Atoll, American Samoa, and Palau. He has parallel interests studying the inner shelf flows found near and inside the kelp forests of California

Professor Monismith has published more than 200 peer-reviewed technical papers and is currently an associate editor for the journal Limnology and Oceanography Letters. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2022 for his outstanding contributions to the development of physically-based understanding of freshwater and coastal fluid environments for ecosystem health and sustainable management.