1) Set of pedagogic resources. WaterEurope will create the first set of project oriented pedagogic resources dedicated to water resources and water related hazards management strategies. The resources will be integrated within an innovative pedagogic approach (problem oriented and collaborative engineering) that ensure competences acquisition for participants and fully integrated at the Master level by the different partner institutions. In recent years, through the collaboration within FP7 and H2020 projects such as CORFU, PEARL and WIDEST and numerous bilateral projects, members of the consortium have developed a original methodology for water resources management with the support of hydroinformatic tools (modelling tools) which aids the decision support process and uses coordination. This methodology is currently already applied in megalopolis like Beijing, Taipei, Dhaka, Mumbai as well as European cities like Hamburg, Barcelona and Nice. Through the WaterEurope project, the consortium will develop a unique set of pedagogic resources and an innovative training method based on the concepts of project oriented pedagogic approach and of collaborative engineering (ICT tools).
2) Innovative project oriented pedagogic approach based on the collaborative engineering concept. The WaterEurope project is based and developed on the close partnership between the academia and the professional sector (businesses and public services). Differently from other theory-based Masters programmes, WaterEurope proposes a collaborative and innovative educational approach equipping participants with a combination of the necessary in-depth academic theoretical concepts and with an intensive practice approach and operational analysis of concrete case studies of various European catchments located in the project partner countries. The project oriented pedagogic approach is based on the teamwork with an international distribution of the teammates within the different participating institutions.
3) Development and use of a Collaborative Engineering Platform. This tool is a unique web-based platform that will be developed and benefit from the knowledge and experience of the consortium members already applied in similar approaches during the last ten years. This unique environment will benefit from the most advanced technologies and the most advanced modelling tools provided by research and industrial partners. The objective is to set up a unique numerical environment that gathers the most advanced modelling tools and allows all participants to be exposed to such technologies. The support provided by industrial partners in this tool represents a very significant financial investment exceeding € 620,000. The platform is dedicated to serve as main work tool for all course participants throughout the three-month duration of the training module: during the first 3,5 months participants are based at their host university and work remotely collaborating with their peers through the platform. A final and intensive two-week phase reunites all participants at one location where they finally conclude their work project. This unique collaborative working platform groups all modelling tools developed by world leading enterprises and research institutes allowing participants to put their skills and competences into practice. The Collaborative Engineering education methodology was invented by the consortium and obtained numerous international rewards and nowadays is used by more than 3000 engineers worldwide as part of their education programme as well as within the framework of intensive programmes in Asia and in South America.
4) Validation of study credits. The new pedagogic resources and the collaborative platform will be used and implemented as a compulsory part within the master curricula of each participating institution and the relevant ECTS study credits will be validated by partner institutions.
5) United Nations strategic plan. The Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) developed by the members of the consortium is now adopted by the United Nations within the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and is currently a priority. In a similar way, the Integrated Flood Management Programme managed by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in charge of all flood related issues worldwide and in which consortium members are contributing is inline with the proposed project.
6) Composition of the consortium. This is also an innovative aspect as the consortium partnership is based on master courses where the new pedagogic approach is integrated as a compulsory module. All partners have long and deep experience in water engineering and in pedagogic innovation.
7) Emphasis towards employability. WaterEurope aims to strengthen the capacities of young and skilful engineers equipping them with hands-on modelling competences of real case-studies
The WaterEurope project is a Strategic Partnership under Erasmus+
The partners of the WaterEurope Project are:
- UNS, University of Nice Sophia-Antipolis, France (as coordinating partner)
- BTU, Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus Senftenberg, Germany
- UPC, Technical University of Catalonia, Spain
- NU, Newcastle University, United Kingdom
- WUT, Warsaw University of Technology, Poland
- VUB, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium
Each partner has a pivotal role in the project as each contributes with its experience and competence to develop the pedagogic resources and the collaborative platform:
UNS will ensure the general coordination of the project and contribute to the technical support. In partnership with City of Nice and various stockholders, UNS will provide the data set dedicated on the Vésubie and Var catchments and produce pedagogic resources for this specific study case. The expertise of UNS will be mobilized on drought and flooding processes simulation and on the methodology for hydrological deterministic modelling. These competences have been mobilized within the FP7 CORFU and PEARL projects.
BTU will develop pedagogic resources on the numerical modelling methods and tools that may apply for water resources management mainly for surface waters. These resources will be integrated within the collaborative platform and will be used by the course participants.
UPC will develop pedagogic resources (course material, exercises and data sets) dedicated to drought management and assessment of water uses in a specific catchment. These resources will be integrated within the collaborative platform and will be used by the course participants.
NU will contribute to the project by developing pedagogic resources focused on deterministic hydrological modelling (Modelling systems like SHETRAN). This aspect represents a new approach that could offer alternatives for decision support system and real time systems dedicated to risk management. These resources will be integrated within the collaborative platform and will be used by the course participants.
WUT will focus their development on pedagogic resources for groundwater modelling methods and tools. The ground water issue is becoming nowadays a major problem in many European locations and is frequently associated to a high vulnerability. The use of groundwater resources for water supply represents a major issue for numerous European municipalities. The produced resources will be integrated within the collaborative platform and will be used by the course participants.
VUB will develop resources hydrological modelling for surface waters. These resources will be integrated within the collaborative platform and will be used by the course participants.
The six partners constitute a unique consortium with complementary experience and knowledge which has been already demonstrated within the EuroAquae Joint Master Degree since 2004 and in various research projects . The innovative approach of the consortium is made by the uniqueness of the experience of each participant and its combination in one unified vision. The approach has been highly welcome by industrial partners who are recognizing this innovative method as a major way to improve skills and competences of young engineers.
In addition to the HEIs, industrial partners are also associated to the Project. As already mentioned they provide technical support through the collaborative engineering environment but also during the online collaboration and through return of experience (ROE) with the various approaches and modelling methods.