IAHR, founded in 1935, is a worldwide independent member-based organisation of engineers and water specialists working in fields related to the hydro-environmental sciences and their practical application. Activities range from river and maritime hydraulics to water resources development and eco-hydraulics, through to ice engineering, hydroinformatics, and hydraulic machinery.
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You are here : IAHR Council : 2015-2017 Council Election : Colin Rennie

For Council Member Americas

Prof. Colin Rennie

Ph.D., P.Eng., Professor, Director of the Water Resources Engineering Laboratory, University of Ottawa, Canada
curriculum vitae

Professor Rennie is currently Secretary of the IAHR Hydraulics Division and was previously Chair of the IAHR Experimental Methods and Instrumentation Committee (2009-2011). His eight years of experience and achievements in IAHR leadership roles make him a strong candidate for IAHR Council membership. He is also a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Technical Committee on Hydraulic Measurements and Experimentation. He is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Hydraulic Engineering (ASCE) and previously of the Journal of Geophysical Research – Earth Surface (AGU). He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia (2002), where he pioneered the use of an acoustic Doppler current profiler (aDcp) for measurement of bedload. He has been a professor at the University of Ottawa since 2003, where he carries out research in the areas of river engineering, environmental hydraulics, sediment transport, turbulence, and aquatic habitat. His research focuses on flow-sediment interactions, river morphodynamics, and mixing processes, utilizing high resolution field measurements with acoustic instruments, laboratory physical models, and three-dimensional numerical modelling. He has published 45 papers in high quality journals, including a recent paper in Nature.


Research and practice in hydro-environment engineering are at a cross roads. Researchers are developing increasingly sophisticated methods to examine complex flow fields. These include fully spatiotemporally distributed measurements of important quantities such as precipitation, landscape and soil properties, water velocity, sediments, constituent concentrations, temperature, and biota.  These measurements guide the development of highly resolved three-dimensional numerical models that can reproduce these distributions and predict hydro-environmental phenomena. These tools offer the possibility to design novel solutions for pressing problems facing society, such as sustainable supply of potable water, provision of sufficient renewable energy, and adaptation to climate change.  In order for this to occur, these powerful tools must be adopted by design practitioners. As these tools have matured, they have become increasingly available to practitioners, but the transition to practice is slow. IAHR has successfully established itself as the global organization that mediates hydro-environment scientific exchange. IAHR Council must continue to provide mechanisms to drive the translation of advanced research to practice.

If Professor Rennie were elected to IAHR Council, he would:
  • Foster further direct links between researchers and practitioners through open fora, specialized symposia, and training sessions. The goal would be to ensure that advanced tools are implemented in design practice for solution of fundamental problems.
  • Encourage greater IAHR participation in the Americas through development of local Chapters that provide linkages with national organizations such as ASCE and CSCE.  Ultimately, IAHR should have an active North American Division.

Photo: davidtaylorphotostudio.com