Yared Abebe

PhD fellow


Mr Yared Abayneh Abebe graduated on 3 December 2020 with Distinction - Cum Laude. Find the link to his thesis here.

Yared Abayneh Abebe has received his Bachelor of Science degree in Soil and Water Engineering and Management from Haramaya University, Ethiopia in July 2006 and his Master of Science degree in Water Science and Engineering, specialization Hydroinformatics from IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, Delft, The Netherlands in April 2011. His graduate research work focused on "Comparison of numerical schemes for modelling supercritical and transcritical flows along urban floodplains". The graduate study was funded by the NUFFIC-NFP Fellowship programme. After earning his diploma, he worked on a project that focused on flood risk reduction in Small Island Developing States. The project was part of the Regional Risk Reduction Initiative which was funded by the European Commission and implemented by UNDP Barbados and the OECS. The Caribbean island state of Sint Maarten was used as a case study. His main achievements include developing nearshore bathymetry using satellite and sonar data, modelling coastal and inland flooding using numerical modelling software; assessing flood hazard, vulnerability and risk; and evaluating different structural and non-structural flood risk reduction measures.

Most recently, Yared was part of a European Union’s FP7 project PEARL team that went for a fact-finding and needs assessment mission to Sint Maarten after the island was struck by the deadly Hurricane Irma on 6 September 2017. In the mission, the team conducted workshops, interviews and household surveys regarding hurricane warnings, evacuations, hurricane preparedness, people’s awareness/perception of hurricane impacts and organisational responses after a hurricane. The team also collected drainage system and weather data that are used in wave modelling and flood risk assessment. After the field mission, Yared improved existing flood model and led most of the modelling works including a hurricane simulation, updating the inland and coastal flood modelling, and updating the hazard, vulnerability and risk maps. In the report the team produced and Yared led, the team gave recommendations that the people and government of Sint Maarten have to consider to increase resilience and build back better in the reconstruction works they are undertaking. A newsletter article (first authored by Yared), entitled “Strengthening Sint Maarten: Lessons Learned after Hurricane Irma”, that featured in the Natural Hazards Center's Research Counts page provides the highlights of the work conducted and relevant links (reports and publications) related to the work.


Modelling Human-Flood Interactions: A coupled flood-agent-institution modelling framework

Research Summary

Yared is a PhD research fellow of Urban Water Systems in the Environmental Engineering and Water Technology Department at IHE Delft starting November 2013. His main research objective is to understand and model drivers of urban flood hazard, exposure, vulnerability and risk by taking into consideration flood disasters as results of the complex interaction of natural systems (i.e., different sources of flooding such as precipitation and storm surge), and human systems (i.e., social, economic, political and governance components) and their urban environment. His research acknowledges a fundamental element of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 by understanding urban floods not just as natural disasters, rather as hydro-meteorological events aggravated by human actions. Instead of simply modelling policy implementations that reduce flood hazard, he also focuses on testing different rules, norms and strategies to reduce exposure and vulnerability of elements-at-risk. The main methodological approaches applied in his research include agent-based modelling, numerical flood modelling and institutional analysis. The PhD study is funded by European Union’s FP7 project PEARL (Preparing for Extreme And Rare events in coastaL regions).


Journal Publications

  • Abebe, Y.A., Ghorbani, A., Nikolic, I., Manojlovic, N., Gruhn, A. and Vojinovic, Z. (2020). The role of household adaptation measures in reducing vulnerability to flooding: a coupled agent-based and flood modelling approachHydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. 24: 5329-5354. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-24-5329-2020
  • Medina, N., Abebe, Y.A., Sanchez, A. and Vojinovic, Z. (2020). Assessing Socioeconomic Vulnerability after a Hurricane: A Combined Use of an Index-Based approach and Principal Components Analysis. Sustainability. 12 (04): 1452. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/su12041452
  • Medina, N., Abebe, Y.A., Sanchez, A., Vojinovic, Z. and Nikolic, I. (2019). Surveying after a disaster. Capturing Elements of Vulnerability, Risk and Lessons Learned from a Household Survey in the Case Study of Hurricane Irma in Sint Maarten. Journal of Extreme Events. 06 (02): 1950001. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1142/S2345737619500015
  • Abebe, Y.A., Ghorbani, A., Nikolic, I., Vojinovic, Z. and Sanchez, A. (2019). Flood risk management in Sint Maarten: A coupled agent-based and flood modelling method. Journal of Environmental Management. 248: 109317.  DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2019.109317
  • Pyatkova, K., Chen, A.S., Djordjevic, S., Butler, D., Vojinovic, Z., Abebe, Y.A. and Hammond, M. (2019). Flood Impacts on Road Transportation Using Microscopic Traffic Modelling Techniques. In: Behrisch M., Weber M. (eds) Simulating Urban Traffic Scenarios. Lecture Notes in Mobility. Springer, Cham, Switzerland. pp 115-126. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-33616-9
  • Abebe, Y.A., Ghorbani, A., Nikolic, I., Vojinovic, Z. and Sanchez, A. (2019). A coupled flood-agent-institution modelling (CLAIM) framework for urban flood risk management. Environmental Modelling & Software. 111: 483-492. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envsoft.2018.10.015
  • Abebe, Y.A., Seyoum, S.D., Vojinovic, Z. and Price, R.K. (2016).  Effects of reducing convective acceleration terms in modelling supercritical and transcritical flow conditions. Water. 8 (12): 562. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/w8120562
  • Vojinovic, Z., Abebe, Y.A., Ranasinghe, R., Vacher, A., Martens, P., Mandl, D.J., Frye, S.W., van Ettinger, E. and de Zeeuw, R. (2013). A machine learning approach for estimation of shallow water depths from optical satellite images and sonar measurements. Journal of Hydroinformatics. 15 (4): 1408-1424. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2166/hydro.2013.234
  • Vojinovic, Z., Seyoum, S., Salum, M.H., Price, R.K., Fikri, A.F. and Abebe, Y. (2013). Modelling floods in urban areas and representation of buildings with a method based on adjusted conveyance and storage characteristics. Journal of Hydroinformatics, 15 (4): 1150-1168. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2166/hydro.2012.181

Conference Proceedings

  • Abebe, Y.A., Ghorbani, A., Vojinovic, Z., Nikolic, I. and Sanchez, A. (2016). Agent-based simulation for flood risk assessment. 12th International Conference on Hydroinformatics (HIC 2016), 21-26 August, Incheon, Korea.
  • Abebe, Y.A., Ghorbani, A., Vojinovic, Z., Nikolic, I. and Sanchez, A. (2016). Institutional analysis for flood risk reduction: A coupled agent-based-flood models method. 8th International Congress on Environmental Modelling and Software (iEMSs2016), 10-14 July, Toulouse, France.
  • Abebe, Y.A., Vojinovic, Z., Nikolic, I., Hammond, M., Sanchez, A. and Pelling, M. (2015). Holistic flood risk assessment using agent-based modelling: the case of Sint Maarten Island. EGU General Assembly 2015 (EGU2015); 12-17 April; Vienna, Austria.
  • Abebe Y.A., Seyoum S.D., Vojinovic Z., and Price R.K. (2014). Comparison of 2D numerical schemes for modelling supercritical and transcritical flows along urban floodplains. 11th International Conference on Hydroinformatics (HIC 2014), 17-21 August, New York City, USA
  • Abebe, Y.A., Vojinovic, Z., Seyoum, S.D. and Price, R.K. (2013). Comparison of numerical schemes for modelling supercritical flows along urban floodplains. International Conference on Flood Resilience: Experiences in Asia and Europe, 5-7 September, Exeter, UK.

Other information

Research interest

  • Urban flood modelling (coastal and inland)
  • Disaster risk management (related to floods and hurricanes)
  • Socio-hydrology
  • Agent-based modelling and simulation
  • Institutional analysis and modelling


External Supervisors: Dr Igor Nikolic (TU Delft) Link and Dr Amineh Ghorbani (TU Delft) Link

Funding source: EU FP7 PEARL Project - http://www.pearl-fp7.eu/


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