‘Towards better cities: with water, nature, and YOU: My learning moments during ten years of rubbing shoulders with stakeholders.’

Alumni Online Seminar

  • 12 Mar 2019
  • 11:45 - 12:45

The domain of water is complex. It is the territory of many wicked problems where often there is no clarity of a simple solutions or consensus on the definitions of the problem for that matter. In such a context that involves multiple stakeholders with often conflicting agendas, it is crucial for the water experts to learn the art of effectively engaging with diverse stakeholders. This is no longer the challenge of social-scientists, but that of all of us so-called water experts. Engineers, modellers, ecologists, economists, whoever is engaged in addressing water problems need to deal with an increasingly complex and multifaceted groups of stakeholders to be effective.

One of the unique opportunities of working at IHE is the near impossibility of avoiding working with different type of stakeholders! During our missions to different countries in the world, we encounter experts of different fields, bureaucrats, community members, business people, the list goes on. My adventures of stakeholder engagement are just that – what I learned, I learned not from formal learning, but on the job. While these encounters challenged me to move off from my comfort zone – that mainly consisted of the things we do with computers like modelling – they ultimately helped me to learn. In this short talk I would share some of the informative and hopefully interesting encounters was fortunate enough to participate in.   

About the Speaker:


Dr. Assela Pathirana, Associate Professor of Integrated Urban Water Cycle Management, at IHE Delft





Assela Pathirana (1969) is a Civil Engineer and hydrologist originating from Sri Lanka. He holds Bachelor degree in Civil Engineering, B.Sc.Eng. (First Class Honours) (1995) from University of Peradeniya Sri Lanka and Masters (1998) and Doctoral (2001) degrees in Civil Engineering, specializing in hydrology and water resources engineering, from Tokyo University. Next he worked as a senior research fellow of the Environment and Sustainable Development programme of United Nations University and later as a research scientist of the International Centre for Water Hazard Risk Management (UNESCO-ICHARM), before joining IHE Delft in year 2006. Currently he works as Associate Professor of Integrated Urban Water Cycle Management in the department of Water Science and Engineering in the core group of Flood Resilience.

Currently, Assela leads the research programme on Water Sensitive Cities of the Flood Resilience Core Group (FRG). In this context, he is engaged in multi-disciplinary research programme that involves water quantity and quality aspects, sanitation issues as well as societal and economic aspects of urban and peri-urban development.   He has published some 50 indexed journal publications that has been collectively cited more than thousand times. In addition he has co-authored a book on “Impacts of Climate Change on Rainfall Extremes and Urban Drainage Systems” in 2012 (IWA publishing) and co-edited two books.

Assela has 17 years of experience in teaching at post-doctoral-level and currently teaches subjects of urban drainage, water-sensitive cities, asset management of urban water systems, climate change, urban flood management, modelling water transport and distribution systems, numerical modelling and computer programming. During the last few years he has developed an interest in the didactics and student-centred learning. In 2010 he completed the University Teaching Qualification programme for Dutch Universities.  He has experience organizing and conducting didactic training programmes for university professors and has authored several articles including two peer-reviewed journal articles on the subject.  

During the last twelve years he has been engaged in more than thirty research and capacity development projects ranging from Developing countries to European context with funding from different Dutch, European and International outlets.

Register here

The events are free of charge. Please register to participate using the following link, that will help us to send you information after the course if necessary.


How to attend?


First check the time difference with your country at:http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/

Go to https://metameta.adobeconnect.com/ihe/

Click on ‘Enter as Guest’

Enter a user name

Click on ‘Enter Room’


How to actively participate in this seminar

You can send your questions to the speaker using the question box at the conference room!

The questions will be selected by the moderator of the event.


Connect with us

Never miss a thing!