Alumnus Dr. Álvaro José da Fátima de Carmo Vaz from Mozambique is the winner of the IHE Delft Alumni Award 2019. The award is given annually to an alumna/us who is at the height of her or his career and has proven to be a role model for other water professionals, by demonstrating the impact of her/his work in a water related field, to improve people's quality of life.
Dr. Alvaro Jose da Fatima de Carmo Vaz from Mozambique is Director of Consultec, Professor at the Faculty of Engineering at Eduardo Mondlane University and former Dean. He completed his post-graduate Diploma in Hydraulic Engineering at IHE Delft in 1981 supported by an NFP fellowship.
Three alumni made up a very strong shortlist. They were: Dr. Rose Kaggwa, from Uganda; Mr. Masoomullah Hamdard from Afghanistan and Mr. Wondimu Tekle Sigo from Ethiopia.
Prof. Carmo Vaz will receive his award during the Opening Academic Year & Alumni Award Ceremony on 17 October at IHE Delft and will give a presentation about his work in a Lunchtime Seminar on Friday 18 October 13.00hrs at IHE Delft.
The Opening Academic Year & Alumni Award Ceremony will be live-streamed starting at 16.00hrs (CET Netherlands) in the following link.
About the winner
Prof. Carmo Vaz studied Hydraulic Engineering (specialization: River Hydraulics) at IHE Delft in 1980/81, where he received his degree with distinction. Later in his career, he achieved the highest academic level that is available under the Mozambican university system: Professor Catedratico at the Universidade Eduardo Mondlane (UEM). After graduating from IHE Delft, he focussed on Water Resources as his main field of work. He did his PhD in Portugal on the optimal management of Mozambican reservoirs and then he continued to work at the UEM, where he established the first Master degree in Water Resources Engineering, based on his experiences at IHE Delft. In parallel, he established the most prestigious Mozambican consultancy firm Consultec, of which he is the Managing Director. During his career, he continued to work intensively with IHE Delft/TU Delft professors, H.H.G. Savenije and Pieter van der Zaag, developing projects in his country and region.
In the summary below, we would like to present the exceptional achievements of Prof. Carmo Vaz, who is recognized as among the most prominent Mozambican scientist and engineer in Mozambique.
1. Professional impact of the work of Prof. Carmo Vaz
a) As Professor
• His work was essential in enhancing the scope of water education and the academic credits dedicated to the water field. • He created the Master’s degree in Hydraulic and Water Resources at Eduardo Mondlane University that is functioning since 2010 and graduated more than 100 students.
• His research on floods and droughts has been translated into practical measures and policy changes in critical areas of Mozambique, with the direct impact of improving the situation.
• His book “Hidrologia e Recursos Hidricos”, based on the course work of IHE Delft, has been adopted as a textbook at Eduardo Mondlane University and also at other higher education institutions.
b) As a consultant
• He is a founding partner of Consultec, which is the leading national consulting companies in engineering of Mozambique, with 110 staff.
• His many projects and training activities in water engineering have had an immediate impact on improving the living conditions of people.
c) As advisor to the government
• He played a leading role in the preparation of the Water Law and Water Policy of Mozambique.
• He is an active lobbyist for the promotion of research in the water sector.
2. Being a Role Model for other water professionals
• Both at the university and at Consultec he worked and stimulated young graduates to become better professionals and to continue for post-graduate studies.
• He is a founding member of AQUASHARE, the Mozambican Association of Water Professionals, which is very active working with young water professionals and promoting their international contacts and experience.
• His students, and other people working with him, are now working all over Mozambique and some in positions of high responsibility. They all refer to him with great respect and affection.
3. Being ambassador of IHE Delft
• As Head of the Civil Engineering Department, Head of the International Relations Office and Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, he sent his best junior staff to Delft for the Master’s degree at IHE Delft. Among them: Joao Salomao (who later became Minister of Public Works), Fatima Mussa, Omar Khan, Luis Aparicio Fernandes, Jose Chembeze, Antonio Chamuco, Nelson Matsinhe and Dinis Juizo. The latter two are now Associate and Assistant Professors at the university responsible for water education, while others are working in the water sector in both public and private sector.
• He did the same with bright young graduates of DNA (the National Water Directorate): Nuno Melo Egidio (who later joined the United Nations), Susana Saranga (who later became Director of Water Affairs), Bernardino Novela, Tomas Mangue and Jose Matola, who after graduation obtained key positions in the water sector.
• As Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, he established a cooperation programme with IHE Delft with the support of NUFFIC.
• He worked with Prof. Pieter van der Zaag on the Incomati case study, as part of the UNESCO-PCCP programme.
• As a Director of Consultec, he worked with IHE Delft in a training programme on flood protection and recently acquired a joint World Bank study with IHE Delft on flood management in the Limpopo river.
4. Being an innovator in water resources research
• In the 1980s, he introduced the integrated approach to water resources management in Mozambique. These innovations were included in the Water Law of 1991.
• He developed a new framework for studies on international water resources, and on how to implement this in practice.