The effects of floods, storm surges and other inundation hazards are greatly amplified by undesired morphological changes in rivers, estuaries and coastal areas. Also, morphological changes in reservoirs and in the vicinity of man-made structures, inland and offshore, may hinder their functions, disrupt water supply and energy production and considerably increase the risk of failure of structures. Substantial economic losses, human fatalities, disruption of the social fabric and destruction of ecosystems may thus occur as a result of unmitigated morphological changes. To understand and predict the evolution of river, estuarine or coastal morphology, a deep knowledge of sediment transport mechanisms and its relation with flow hydrodynamics is of paramount importance. Furthermore, the frequency and magnitude of disasters associated or caused by excessive morphological dynamism are likely to increase due to climate changes. Hence, the sensible research investment is on fundamental sediment transport processes. Phenomenological insights must then be included into morphology predicting tools that, then, can be applied in the engineering realm by well-trained practitioners.

In this project, a European network is formed for the coordination of the research and training activities on sediment transport with emphasis on coastal and river flows and reservoir sedimentation and interaction with man-made structures. The primary objectives of this network are:

  • To provide a well-planned training-through-research program to the trainees so that they conduct high-calibre scientific research, make important contributions to the field, and become the connecting link between academia and industry.
  • To offer high-quality training to talented researchers through a structured educational program so that they acquire in-depth knowledge and understanding of the state-of-the-art on the field. The proposed training program includes advanced-level courses and network-wide training activities such as introductory winter school, workshops and summer schools among others.
  • To help researchers acquire all necessary scientific, technical and management skills for a successful career in industry or in academia. This will be achieved through special courses, attendance and presentation at international conferences, secondments at the industrial partners, etc.
  • To establish strong ties between the participating academic and industrial partners, initiate a lasting collaboration between them and accelerate the transfer between academia and industry.
  • To establish and maintain a truly inter-university and multi-disciplinary Doctoral degree program (academic partners will award joint doctoral degrees under bilateral agreements) in close connection to industry, through close collaboration and synergies between partners and the involvement of scientists of different and complementary backgrounds in the composition of the participating teams.
  • To disseminate the results and increase the number of articles authored by European scientists in international peer-reviewed journals in the field and proceedings of international conferences.