Data Acquisition, Preprocessing and Modelling using HEC-RAS

Follow lectures on the theory for hydraulic modelling with HEC-RAS and acquire practical experience during computer exercises on hydraulic modelling with HEC-RAS.

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2021 Edition Online

This course will be offered in an online/remote teaching format due to Covid-19 restrictions. The course's content and learning objectives will remain unchanged, while the duration may be extended. You can contact the course coordinator for more information about the new -temporary- format of the course.

For whom?

The course is designed for professionals (engineers and scientists) active in the water sector, especially those involved in using simulation models for water management.


It is expected that participants have good computer skills.

Dates, Fee, ECTS

Start: 04 October 2021
End: 15 October 2021
Deadline IHE application: 03 September 2021 - 23.59 (CET)
Course fee: € 2000

Start: 19 September 2022
End: 30 September 2022
Deadline IHE application: 18 August 2022 - 23.59 (CET)
Course fee: € 2000

VAT is not included in the course fee

Learning objectives

Upon completion, the participant should be able to:
  1. georeference a scanned map
  2. digitize vector layers from scanned maps
  3. delineate catchments and streams from digital elevation models
  4. find and use open data from the internet
  5. apply map algebra for spatial planning
  6. design maps

For many studies models are used or developed. During modelling courses not much attention is paid to the preprocessing of input data and parameters needed for the models. A lot of open source software is available for this purpose. Besides desktop tools with graphical user interfaces, scripting is very useful for processing large datasets and timeseries. With the skills learned in the first week of this course you will be able to find open access GIS data and more efficiently process your data for your models using tools like QGIS, GDAL and Python. In the second week you will acquire practical experience during computer exercises on hydraulic modelling with HEC-RAS. HEC-RAS is a software program that models hydrodynamics of flow in a river and/or channel. It is used to determine if for a given discharge the flow exceeds the river bank levels. Flooding studies can be carried out to determine the flood extent and volume.


It is expected that participants have good computer skills and basic knowledge of hydraulics.

Course content

  1. Introduction to Open Source software for GIS and hydrological modelling;
  2. Spatial Data Infrastructures for Open Access Water Data;
  3. Using QGIS to digitize vector layers from a scanned map;
  4. Using QGIS for importing tabular data into GIS, data correction and interpolation;
  5. Using QGIS for catchment and stream delineation;
  6. File conversions using GDAL and Python;
  7. Introduction to Python;
  8. Introduction to river flow routing;
  9. Basic equations of unsteady flow in rivers;
  10. Introduction to HEC-RAS. Modelling capabilities;
  11. Modelling Floods using HEC-RAS;
  12. Structures;
  13. Modelling dam breaks.


  • Lectures;
  • Computer exercises.



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