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Roger Falconer  DSc(Eng), FREng, Acad.CAE, FLSW, FEurASc, CEng, CEnv, FICE, FCIWEM

Professor Roger Falconer DSc(Eng), FREng, Acad.CAE, FLSW, FEurASc, CEng, CEnv, FICE, FCIWEM

Emeritus Professor

School of Engineering

Media commentator


Career Overview

Roger graduated as a civil engineer, and has since spent over 40 years in academia, specialising in water and environmental engineering and acquiring extensive research experience in developing and applying computational hydro-environmental models for environmental impact assessment studies and engineering design. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, a Foreign Member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales. At Cardiff he founded the Hydro-environmental Research Centre and managed the Department of Civil Engineering at his previous university (Bradford).  He was a member of the 2008 UK Research Assessment Exercise (RAE2008) and Chair of the Civil and Construction Engineering Sub-Panel for the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF2014). He was elected President and Honorary Member (2017) of the International Association for Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research – IAHR (2011-15). He has published extensively in the field of computational hydro-environmental modelling and has delivered numerous keynote and external lectures world-wide. He has worked extensively on providing specialist advice, to industry and government departments, on a wide range of water environmental impact assessment (EIA) projects, both in the UK and overseas; for example, he was involved in an international high profile court case (Malaysia v. Singapore, 2003) and in the follow up EIA study.  He has also interacted extensively with consulting engineering companies and regulatory agencies, through the provision of his hydro-environmental computer models. He has also participated extensively in TV and Press interviews, on a wide range of topics, most notably: the Severn Barrage, tidal lagoons, flooding, and global water security etc.


Research theme: Energy and environment

At Cardiff, Roger's research has continued in the development, refinement and application of computer models for predicting flow, water quality and sediment transport processes in coastal, estuarine and inland waters.  He has developed three widely used computational hydro-environmental models, namely FASTER, DIVAST and TRIVAST for predicting 1D, 2D and 3D hydrodynamic, pollutant and sediment transport processes in aquatic basins. He has also developed CONTANK for predicting disinfection processes in water supply tanks.  These models have been acquired by consulting companies and government organisations, for application to over 100 hydro-environmental impact assessment studies worldwide, and by over 60 academic institutions in 18 countries for research studies. More recently he has worked with CH2M in developing ISIS-2D, a computer model used for predicting two-dimensional flood water elevations and inundation extent across floodplains. His more recent research activities have extended to marine renewable energy devices and structures and global water security. In particular, he has undertaken extensive work on the hydro-environmental impact of a barrage across the Severn Estuary.


Compuational modelling of hydrodynamic processes in the nearfieldSTUBBS AlexCurrentPhD
Water quality modelling in estuariesABU BAKAR Amyrhul BinCurrentPhD
Integrated Modelling Studies Of Solute Transport In River Basin SystemsOSEI-TWUMASI AnthonyGraduatePhD
Numerical And Experimental Modelling Of Flow And Kinetic Processes In Serpentine Disinfection TanksANGELOUDIS AthanasiosGraduatePhD
Model Development for River RestorationBOCKELMANN Bettina NicoleGraduatePhD
Integrated Modelling of Hydrodynamic Processes, Faecal Indicator Organisms And Related Parameters With Improved Accuracy Using Parallel (GPU) ComputingBOYE BrianGraduatePhD
Wave-Induced Currents and Sediment Transport on Gravel and Mixed BeachesANTONIADIS ChristosGraduatePhD
A 2D Finite Volume for Groundwater Flow Simulations: Integrating Non-Orthogonal Grid Capacity into MidflowLOUDYI DalilaGraduatePhD
Development of an Integrated Hydro-environmental Model and its Application to Macro-tidal EstuaryYUAN DekuiGraduatePhD
Environmental Hydroinformatics Tools for Water Quality Management.HARRIS Emma LowriGraduatePhD
Modelling the Phosphorus Processes in Estuarine and Coastal WatersAL-ENEZI EqbalGraduatePhD
Study Of The Hydrodynamic Processes Of Rivers And Floodplains With ObstructionsTEO Fang YennGraduatePhD
Field and Laboratory Investigations of the Adsorption of Nitrogen Compounds on Estuarine Based Sediments.ABDULGAWAD FathiaGraduatePhD
Modelling the impacts of coastal defence structures on nearshore morphodynamicsALVAREZ MARTINEZ FernandoCurrentPhD
Numerical Modelling of Hydrodynamic and Sediment-Bacteria Interaction Processes in Estuarine and Coastal WatersGAO GuanghaiGraduatePhD
Development Of A Physics-based Morphodynamic Model And It's Application To Braided RiversYANG HaiyanGraduatePhD
Analysis of Gravity Dams with Drainage Systems using Finite Element MethodKAREEM Hayder HatifCurrentPhD
Physical and Numerical Modelling Study of meandering in Fluval RiversKUANG HongweiGraduatePhD
Numerical and Laboratory Model Studies of Solute Transport in Groundwater/Riverine Flow InteractionsMOHAMED BASHER HooseinGraduatePhD
Physical and Numerical Modelling of Marine Renewable Energy Technologies, with {Articular Focus on Tidal Stream And Tidal Range DevicesBRAMMER JamesGraduatePhD
Impacts of Climate Change and Human Activities on the UK Hydrological CycleSHI JieThesis SubmittedPhD
Characterisation of wave energy resourcesSHUTTLEWORTH Joseph DavidCurrentPhD
Development of an Integrated Free Surface and Groundwater Flow Model.EBRAHIMI KumarsGraduatePhD
Development of Hydroinformatics Software Tool Enteric BacteriaTransport Modelling Associated With Sediment TransportYANG LeiGraduatePhD
A Fully Three-Dimensional Non-Hydrostatic Free Surface Flow Model for Hydra-Environmental Predictions.MONTAZERI NAMIN MasoudGraduatePhD
Data Driven Modelling for Environment Water ManagementSYED Mofazzal HaiderGraduatePhD
Numerical Modelling of Wind-Induced Circulation in Lakes and ReservoirsKOCYIGIT MusteydeGraduatePhD
Modelling hydrodynamic, solute and sediment transport processes for marine renewable energy tidal range structuresCOZ NejcCurrentPhD
Modelling of Water Quality and Sediment Transport in Aquatic Basins Using an Unstructured Grid SystemKOCYIGIT OnderGraduatePhD
Floodplain Woodland HydrodynamicsXAVIER Patricia AnneGraduatePhD
Modelling The Hydrodynamic Drag Force Of Flexible Riparian WoodlandWHITTAKER PeterGraduatePhD
Three Dimensional Modelling of Flow and Disinfection in Chlorine Contact TanksAMINI RaminGraduatePhD
Modelling Hydroynamic & Baceterial Processes through Linked River, Floodplain & Coastal System: with Particular Application to Marine Turbines, BreachAHMADIAN RezaGraduatePhD
Effect of Rigid Vegetation on the Velocity, Turbulence and Wave Structure in Open Channel FlowsMORTAZAVY DORCHEH Saied AhmadGraduatePhD
Multiscale Hydro-environmental Modelling of Marine Renewable Energy Devices, with Particular Application to the Severn BarrageBRAY SamuelCurrentPhD
Modellling of Hydrodynamic and Faecal Indicator Organism Processes in Swansea BayBOMMINAYUNI Sandeep KumarGraduatePhD
Fate and Behaviour of Heavy Metals in the Humber EstuaryGUNAPALA Sasamukhi RundhiGraduatePhD
Modelling Flow, Water Quality and Sediment Transport Processes in Riverine BasinsKASHEFIPOUR DEZFULLY Seyed MahmoodGraduatePhD
Modelling of Flood Flows Through Hydraulic Structures And Interaction With SedimentFAGHIHIRAD ShervinGraduatePhD
Modelling of Flood Flows Through Hydraulic Structures And Interaction With SedimentFAGHIHIRAD ShervinGraduatePhD
Development Of A Refined Linked 1-D/3-D Computational Fluid Dynamics Model Predicting the Faecal Indicator Organism Levels in River and Coastal WaterTEDJAKUSUMA TeddyThesis SubmittedPhD
Integrated Surface Water - Groundwater Modelling Linking Surface Water and Groundwater using DivastSGSPARKS Timothy DanielGraduatePhD
Physical Testing And Numerical Modelling Of A Novel Vertical Tidal Stream TurbineHARRIES TomGraduatePhD
Integrated 2D-3D Free Surface Hydro-Environmental ModellingKAMALIAN Ulrich RezaGraduatePhD
Development of a Model for Predicting Wave-current Interactions and Sediment Transport Processes in Nearshore Coastal WaterNAVERA Umme KulsumGraduatePhD
Physical and Numerical Modelling Flow of 3D and Mixing Processes in Contact TanksRAUEN William BoninoGraduatePhD
Development and Application of an Integrated Hydro-environmental Model for Predicting the Distribution of Nutrients in Estuaries and Coastal WatersWANG XiaolinGraduatePhD
Hydro-Environmental Modelling Of The Arabian Gulf And Kuwait BayAL OSAIRI YousefGraduatePhD
Environmental Hydraulic Model Development for Sutainable River Restoration.ABD JALIL YusriCurrentPhD


Education and Qualifications

1994  DSc(Eng)  Computational Hydraulics and Environmental Modelling, University of London

1992  DEng  Numerical Modelling of Hydrodynamic, Water Quality and Sediment Transport Processes in Rivers, Estuaries and Coastal Basins, University of Birmingham

1976  PhD, DIC Mathematical Modelling of Jet-Forced Circulation in Reservoirs and Harbours, Imperial College, London

1974  MSCE in Hydraulic Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle, USA

1973  BSc(Eng) in Civil Engineering, King's College, University of London

Career Overview

  • 1997-date: Professor of Water Management to September 2018, Emeritus Professor of Water Engineering (since October 2018) - sponsored by Hyder (1997-00) and Halcrow and CH2M (2000-15), School of Engineering, Cardiff University; Founding Director, Hydro-environmental Research Centre HRC (1997-15) - Responsible for strategic planning, leading research projects and co-ordinating research activities of centre, typically including 30 research associates and research students; Leader, Institute of Environment and Sustainability (2003-12).
  • 2011-15: President, International Association for Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research (IAHR)
  • 1987-97: Professor of Water Engineering, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Bradford; Deputy (1987-93) and Head of Department (1993-97), and Director of Environmental Hydraulics Research Centre (1987-97)
  • 1977-86: Lecturer in Hydraulics, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Birmingham.
  • 1976-77: Assistant Engineer, Mott MacDonald, Consulting Engineers, Cambridge

Honours and awards

  • Honorary Member of the International Association for Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research, 2017 (Awarded for " outstanding contriution in promoting the development of computational modelling in hydro-environmental engineering and research and for his devoted service to IAHR, including as president 2011-15")
  • Royal Academy of Engineering Silver Medal, 1997 (Awarded for “Outstanding and demonstrated personal contributions to British engineering leading to market exploitation”)
  • International Association for Hydraulic Research Ippen Award, 1991 (Awarded for `Outstanding contributions in area of computational flow modelling of coastal and estuarine waters and environmental problems`)
  • Tianjin Municipal People’s Government (China) Hai He Award of Honour, 2007 (Awarded in “Support for Development of Tianjin Municipality”)
  • Institution of Civil Engineers Robert Alfred Carr Prize, 2002 and 2006
  • Institution of Civil Engineers Telford Premium, 1993
  • Cardiff School of Engineering Teacher of the Year Awards (Large Class Teaching),2005-06, 2007-08 and 2014-15

Professional memberships

Main Academic and Learned Society Appointments

  • Vice-President, International Association for Coastal Reservoir Research (2017-)
  • Member, Editorial Board, Journal of Water (2017-)
  • Member, Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering, Search Committee (2015-17)
  • Member, Inst. of Civil Engineers, State of the Nation Water Panel (2011-12)
  • President, Inter. Assoc. Hydro-Environment Engin. & Research (2011-15)
  • Chair, Research Excellence Framework, Civil Engineer. Sub-Panel (2010-14)
  • Chair, IAHR Task Force on Contribution to Global Water Security (2010-15)
  • External Examiner, University of Malayia, Malaysia (2009-12)
  • Member, Royal Society Brian Mercer Awards Panel (2008-13)
  • External Assessor, Promotions Com., Univ. of Malayia, Malaysia (2008-13)
  • Member, Royal Academy of Engineering Eng. Policy Committee (2008-12)
  • Chair, Marine Renewable Energy Task Group for Wales (2008-10)
  • Member, Royal Academy of Engin. Pro-Active Nomination Com. (2008-09)
  • Editorial Board Member, Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science (2007-12)
  • Editorial Board Member, Journal of Hydro-environmental Research (2007-)
  • British Council, Specialist Advisor Delphi–EAP Partnership (2006-12)
  • External Examiner, Heriot Watt and Glasgow Universities (2006-10)
  • External Examiner, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong (2005-08)
  • Guest Professor, Dept. of Mechanics, Tianjin University, China (2005-)
  • External Examiner, Open University, Milton Keynes (2003-08)
  • Member, RAEng Committee for Research and Secondment (2003-07)
  • Lead Assessor, RAEng Research in Civil Engineering (2002-05)
  • Member, RAEng Engineering Committee (2002-03)
  • Founding Editor, Journal of River Basin Management, IAHR (2002-)
  • Founding Editor, Journal of Water Management, ICE Proceedings (2003-06)
  • Editor, Water and Maritime Engineering, ICE Proceedings (2001-03)
  • Elected Member, ICE Council (2000-04)
  • Member, Royal Academy of Engineering, Membership Panel (2000-03)
  • External Examiner, National University of Ireland, Galway (1999-02)
  • Advisor, Association of Commonwealth Universities Fellowships (1998-03)
  • Founding Editor, Journal of Hydroinformatics, IWA (1998-04)
  • Elected Member, CIWEM Council (1997-03)
  • External Examiner, University of Liverpool (1996-00)
  • External Examiner, Queen`s University, Belfast (1995-99)
  • Chair, ICE Yorkshire Association (1995-96)
  • Member, EPSRC Peer Review College (1994-)
  • Associate Editor, Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, ASCE (1994-01)
  • External Examiner, University of Ulster (1992-96)
  • Chair, CIWEM Tyne and Humber Branch (1991-92)
  • Advisory Professor, Dept. of Env. Eng., Tongji Uni., Shanghai, China (1987-)

Main Advisory and Professional Appointments

  • Director, Dragon River & Tidal Energy Ltd (2017-)
  • Professional Consultant, Natural Energy Wyre, Wyre Tidal Gateway Project (2017-)
  • Consultant, ITPEnergised for Hendry Review of Tidal Lagoons, UK Government (2016-17)
  • Member, Trustee Board, Chartered Institution of Water & Environmental Management (2016-)
  • Member, Regional Board & Expert Panel, Hafren Power (2012-14)
  • Member, Mersey Tidal Power - Design Advisory Group (2010-11)
  • Member, Global Water Security Pan, Report Govt. Chief Scientist (2009-10)
  • Member, Govt. Expert Panel for Severn Tidal Power Studies (2008-10)
  • Expert Witness, Public Inquiry on Preston Sewage Works, Southport (2007)
  • Member, National Resources Wales Flood Risk Management Com. (2006-)
  • Member, Grp. of Experts Singapore Land Reclamation Study (ITLOS) (2004)
  • Expert Witness, Inter. Tribunal Law of Sea, Malaysia v. Singapore (2003-05)
  • Consultant, Tianjin Municipal Government, China (1999-)
  • Member, Environment Agency Estuaries Advisory Committee (1998-08)
  • Advisor, Environment Agency Anglian Flow Forecast Model Sys. (1997-98)
  • Advisor, US Navy (Environment), Hydro-ecology of Mugu Lagoon (1995-96)
  • Expert Evaluator of Danish Hydraulic Institute, Danish Government (1995)
  • Advisor, BP Chemicals Ltd., Humber Estuary EIA Study (1993-94)
  • Advisor, Brit. Nuclear Fuels, Sellafield & Chapelcross EIA Studies (1993-94)
  • UN Expert on Mission, Central Water & Power Research Station, India (1993)
  • Advisor, Southern California Edison, Wetland Management Proj. (1992-93)
  • Advisor, China Nat. Env. Protection Agency, Shanghai Sewer Proj. (1987-92)
  • Expert Witness, Public Inquiry, Integrated Treatment Centre, Hull (1992)

Academic positions

  • 2018 - date: Emeritus Professor of Water Engineering, School of Engineering, Cardiff University, UK
  • 1997 - 2018: Professor of Water Management (Sponsored by Hyder - 1997 - 2000, and Halcrow/CH2M - 2000- 2015) and Founding Director of the Hydro-environmental Research Centre (1997 - 2015), School of Engineering, Cardiff University, UK
  • 1987 - 1997: Professor of Water Engineering and Director of the Environmental Hydraulics Research Centre, Head of Department (1993 - 97), Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Bradford, UK
  • 1977 - 1986: Lecturer in Hydraulic Engineering, University of Birmingham, UK