Mohanasundar Radhakrishnan

PhD fellow

Biography

Mohanasundar Radhakrishnan is a Civil Engineer from India. He obtained his Bachelors degree in Civil Engineering from University of Madras in 2002 and Msc. degree in Municipal Water and Infrastructure  from IHE Delft in 2009. He worked as a design engineer and was involved in the hydraulic design of drinking water distribution networks and bulk water transmission main in various water supply schemes in India from June 2002 to Oct 2007. After his masters from IHE Delft he worked with Arghyam, an NGO as a Project officer in an integrated urban water management project in Karnataka, India till 2010. He was then a Project Advisor for German International cooperation (GIZ) and contributed towards the preparation of City sanitation Plans and planning  of a waste to energy project in Nashik,  India. He is a registered volunteer with Mediciens Sans Frontier (MSF) and served as a Water and sanitation specialist in Loas towards improving the water, sanitation and waste disposal facilities of five hospitals in rural areas between Dec 2012 and May 2013. He is now associated with Flood resilience chair group of Water Science and Engineering Department as a full time PhD student, researching on embedding flexibility in Urban Flood Risk Management systems. His research is funded by Govt. Of Australia through CRC for Water sensitive cities , and  brings together the inter-disciplinary research expertise and thought-leadership to undertake research that will revolutionise water management in Australia and overseas http://watersensitivecities.org.au/about-the-crc/.   His research interest falls under the category B4.2 of CRC project titled “Socio-Technical Flood Resilience in Water Sensitive Cities − Adaptation across spatial and temporal scales”. This project is lead by Prof. Richard M Ashley and Dr. Berry Gersonius from IHE Delft

Topic

Development of flexibility based adaptive measures for urban flood risk management systems under uncertainty

Publications

Radhakrishnan, M., Pathira, A., Ghebremichael,K., and Amy, G.: Modelling formation of disinfection by-products in water distribution: optimisation using a multi-objective evolutionary algorithm, Journal of Water Supply: Research and Technology- AQUA Vol 61, No 3, 176-188

Pathirana, A., Gersonius, B., and Radhakrishnan, M.: Web 2.0 collaboration tools to support student research in hydrology – an opinion, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., 9, 2541-2567

Other information

Inherent uncertainties are the main matter of constrain and concern for any fool proof urban flood management programme. This calls for an integrated and scientific urban flood risk management approach that is adaptive to changing circumstances in the future. Emerging approaches in urban flood risk management such as Water Sensitive Urban Design, Living with Water and Room for the River try to address the flood issues through adaptation, protection and prevention. Adaptation to changes and uncertainties could benefit from solutions that are flexible and are not dependent upon accurate or precise predictions of change. Underground and above ground drainage systems have been catering to the needs of design and extreme events; whereas the flexibility of such systems to uncertainties when used together have not been well understood.  The drainage systems, measures and interventions could be better valued by taking their inherent flexibility into consideration, so as to help the decisions makers to decide upon interventions.  However, there is not a comprehensive or generally accepted flexibility assessment framework for urban flood management systems. This presents a challenge to the practitioners and the lack of knowledge is also due to significant research gap. Reviewing  traditional, contemporary and future water management practices; management and valuation options in a range of  domains such as finance and business it is apparent  that there is scope for improvement of existing system; how best to decide on interventions in urban flood risk management systems through the inclusion of flexibility evaluation tools such as Real in Options. Traditional valuation methods based on net Present value that are  widely used to evaluate the investment value of  infrastructure do not consider the flexibility and consider uncertainty as a threat to the investment to be dealt with by applying a high discount rate in the analysis.  Valuation techniques such as Real in Options that are based on options theory consider uncertainty as an opportunity and explicitly value the flexibility in creating and deciding upon an infrastructure intervention. These techniques encourage the exploration of cognitive interventions in an uncertain decision environment and value the interventions based on flexibility as well as net present value. By considering decision makers as long term active learners, Real in Options analysis alters the approach from one time intervention based on current decisions to one in which more flexible multiple interventions in the future are made founded on increasing and better information as it becomes available in future. The objective of this research is to develop knowledge and understanding as to how best to incorporate flexibility in to the design and management of urban flood management systems in order to better tackle uncertainties. The knowledge of understanding will be tested through the development of a comprehensive framework for flexibility evaluation. This research will help to embed real in options techniques for cognitive urban flood management perspectives extending current asset management, leading to the development of comprehensive Real in Options accounting tools for storm water management and safety.