Mário Franca PhD

Professor of Hydraulic Engineering for River Basin Development


Mario graduated as Civil Engineer in 1998 and as MSc on Hydraulics and Water Resources in 2002, both from the Technical University of Lisbon. With a doctoral degree in sciences obtained at the Ecole polytechnique federale de Lausanne (EPFL, Switzerland) in 2005, his domain of activity includes hydraulic processes within the river basin. Before joining IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, Mario held academic positions as Research and Teaching Associate at the EPFL, as Assistant Professor at the New University of Lisbon and at the University of Coimbra (Portugal), and as Senior Member of the Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre (Portugal). He served in many instances as consultant in hydraulic engineering and he was head of the hydraulics department in an engineering company, having participated and directed applied projects on dams, hydropower, water supply, river engineering, drainage, mining sites, emergency planning and safety of hydraulic infrastructures. He has served and serves in several faculty commissions, in Lisbon and Lausanne, and was involved in a MOOC on Fluvial Hydraulics. 

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Research Summary

Mário's research focus on river hydraulics; turbulent processes in open channel flows; fluvial geomorphology and morphodynamics; density currents; and non-conventional hydropower production in supply networks. Recently he is interested also on socio-hydrology and on the global impact of hydraulic natural and built structures. He is author of several scientific publications and regularly gives invited research seminars in these fields of research.



2019:    Navas-Montilla A., Juez C., Franca M.J. & Murillo J. Depth-averaged unsteady RANS simulation of resonant shallow flows in lateral cavities using augmented WENO-ADER schemes. Journal of Computational Physics, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcp.2019.06.037

2019:    Jafarnejad S., Franca M.J., Pfister M. & Schleiss A.J. Design of riverbank riprap using large, individually placed blocks. Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, accepted for publication

2019:    Zordan J., Schleiss A.J. & Franca M.J. Potential erosion capacity of gravity currents created by changing initial conditionsEarth Surface Dynamics, https://doi.org/10.5194/esurf-7-377-2019

2019:    Stahly S., Franca M.J., Robinson C.T. & Schleiss A.J. Sediment replenishment combined with an artificial flood improves river habitats downstream of a dam. Scientific Reports 9, 5176

2019:    Stahly S., Gostner W., Franca M.J., Robinson C.T. & Schleiss A.J. Sampling sufficiency for determining hydraulic habitat diversity. Journal of Ecohydraulics, doi: 10.1080/24705357.2019.1576021

2019:     Schwindt S., Franca M.J. & Schleiss A.J. Bottom slope influence on flow and bedload transfer through contractions, Journal of Hydraulic Research, DOI: 10.1080/00221686.2018.1454519

2018:     Juez C., Hassan M. & Franca M.J. The origin of fine sediment determines the observations of suspended sediment fluxes under unsteady flow conditions. Water Resources Research, 54, 5654–5669. https://doi.org/10.1029/2018WR022982

2018:    Dzubakova K., Peter H., Bertuzzo E., Juez C., Franca M.J., Rinaldo A., Battin T.J. Environmental heterogeneity promotes spatial resilience of phototrophic biofilms in streambeds. Biology Letters, DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2018.0432

2018:     Jafarnejad M., Franca M.J., Pfister M. & Schleiss A.J. Effect of a Second Layer on the Time to Failure of Compressed Riprap as Riverbank Protection. Journal of Hydraulic Research, DOI: 10.1080/00221686.2018.1494048

2018:     Matos J.P., Hassan M., Liu X.X. & Franca M.J. Probabilistic prediction and forecast of daily suspended sediment concentration on the Upper Yangtze River. Journal of Geophysical Research - Earth Surface, 122, doi: 10.1029/2017JF004240

2018:     Zordan J., Juez C., Schleiss A.J. & Franca M.J. Image processing and laser measurements for the determination of erosion and deposition of fine sediments by gravity current. Measurement Science and Technology, 29(6), 065905

2018:     Juez, C., Thalmann, M., Schleiss A.J. & Franca M.J. Morphological resilience to flow fluctuations of fine sediment deposits in bank lateral cavities. Advances in Water Resources 115 (2018): 44-59. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.advwatres.2018.03.004

2018:     Zordan J., Schleiss A.J. & Franca M.J. Structure of a dense release produced by varying initial conditions. Environmental Fluid Mechanics, doi: 10.1007/s10652-018-9586-8

2018:     Zordan J., Juez, C., Schleiss A.J. & Franca M.J. Entrainment, transport and deposition of sediment by saline gravity currents. Advances in Water Resources, 115, pp.17-32. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.advwatres.2018.02.017

2018:     Schwindt S., Franca M.J., Reffo A. & Schleiss A.J. Sediment traps with guiding channel and hybrid check dams improve controlled sediment retention, Natural Hazards and Earth Systems Sciences, 18(2), 647. https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-18-647-2018

2018:     Adduce C. & Franca M.J. Preface to the Special Issue on Environmental Buoyancy-driven Flows, Environmental Fluid Mechanics, 18: 1. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10652-017-9539-7

2018:     Juez C., Buhlmann I., Maechler G., Schleiss A.J. & Franca M.J. Transport of suspended sediments under the influence of bank macro-roughness, Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, doi: 10.1002/esp.4243.



Other information

Mario is an active memeber of IAHR, EGU and AGU. He was part of the local organizing committees of the River Flow conferences in 2006 and 2014 and now of River Flow 2020, in Lisbon, Lausanne and Delft respectively. He is part of the leading teams of the IAHR sections on Fluvial Hydraulics and Experimental Methods and Instrumentation, he is convener of sessions at EGU General Assembly and he is associate editor of Water Resources Research (AGU).


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