Prof. Mohamed S. GHIDAOUI Elected Inaugural Fellow and Vice-President of International Association for Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research

Prof. Mohamed S. GHIDAOUI, Chinese Estates Professor of Engineering and Chair Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, was elected as one of the 17 inaugural Fellows and the Vice-President for Asia and the Pacific of the International Association for Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research (IAHR).

Founded in 1935 in the Netherlands, IAHR is a global, independent member-based organization of engineers and water specialists working in fields related to the hydro-environmental sciences and engineering including river and maritime hydraulics, water resources development and eco-hydraulics, ice engineering, hydro-informatics, water supply and drainage, and hydraulic machinery. With secretariat offices in Madrid, Spain and Beijing, China, IAHR is among the world’s oldest of such associations and has significant worldwide reach and impact with its members hailing from 195 countries and regions.

The Fellow grade is a newly introduced membership category of IAHR that recognizes long-standing members for their outstanding contributions to hydro-environment engineering and research and to the development of IAHR. Currently, less than 0.3% of members hold the Fellow status and the IAHR bylaws stipulate that no more than 3% of its members can hold the status of Fellow. Among the 17 inaugural Fellows, Prof. Ghidaoui is the only one from Hong Kong and one of the only two from Greater China. He was presented the honor at the 40th IAHR World Congress on August 24, 2023 in Vienna, Austria.

“I’m truly humbled to be one of the inaugural distinguished Fellows of this prestigious global association. The fellowship recognizes the impact of an IAHR member on the hydro-environmental engineering profession and sector. Such impact would not be possible without the tremendous contributions from my students, research associates and collaborators over the past three decades,” said Prof. Ghidaoui.

Adding to this recognition, Prof. Ghidaoui was also elected as IAHR’s Vice-President. He serves for the 2023-2025 term and already assumed office on September 1.

“I’m honored by the confidence that the IAHR members invested in me. In my position as Vice-President, I will work with the IAHR council, the Beijing and Madrid offices, and all IAHR members to leverage the intellectual strengths and engineering knowledge base of the IAHR global network to address the overwhelming water challenges facing humanity,” Prof. Ghidaoui added.

Prof. Ghidaoui is a world-renowned scholar in the fields of hydraulics, water resources and environmental fluid mechanics. He joined HKUST in 1993 as one of the founding faculty members of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, after receiving his PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of Toronto in the same year. Over his three decades of high-powered career, Prof. Ghidaoui has gained multiple prestigious international awards, served in various leadership positions in the University and the academic community, and received a number of substantial research grants, among other achievements.

He led a large-scale multidisciplinary research project on smart urban water supply systems, which was awarded more than HK$33 million under the Research Grants Council’s (RGC) Theme-based Research Scheme for the period from 2015 to 2020. The project pioneered the use of classical time-reversal (TR) for high-resolution diagnosis of fully-fledged defects, and the research was rated “exemplary” and the achievements “exceptional” by RGC’s Monitoring and Assessment Panel. Since project completion, the TR technology resulted in five US patents and one funded start-up project, and generated HK$12 million in funds to enhance its technology readiness level. The TR technology has been implemented in over 15 locations in Hong Kong, including the airport, Disneyland, Stanley, Ngau Tau Kok, the New Territories, Deep Water Bay, and Penny’s Bay. One of these implementations was awarded a silver medal at the International Exhibition of Inventions Geneva 2023 in Switzerland.

He is the recipient of the Arthur Thomas Ippen Award in the 2007 IAHR Congress in Venice, Italy. This is the highest prize that IAHR can bestow on a member of the water engineering and science community. He is also a Fellow of the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers.

He has been the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Hydraulic Research since 2016, which is the flagship journal of IAHR, and served as its associate editor for 15 years. This is the first time that this long-time journal – founded in 1963 – is headed by an academic not based in North America or Europe. He has also been a council member of IAHR over the past five years. From 2013 to 2018, he was the chair of IAHR’s Committee on Fluid Mechanics. He is a founding member of the IAHR Hong Kong Chapter and served two terms as the chairperson.

At HKUST, Prof. Ghidaoui was recognized with the prestigious honor of a named professorship when he was appointed Chinese Estates Professor of Engineering in 2017. He led a number of key administrative posts at the departmental, school and university levels, including serving as the chair of the Senate Research Committee and Senate Undergraduate Studies Committee during the 334 transition. He received a HKUST Outstanding Faculty Award in 2017 and the School of Engineering’s Teaching Excellence Appreciation Award twice.

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Prof. Mohamed S. Ghidaoui (second right) and other members of the outgoing and incoming IAHR leadership teams at the 40th IAHR World Congress
Prof. Mohamed S. Ghidaoui (second right) and other members of the outgoing and incoming IAHR leadership teams at the 40th IAHR World Congress

About The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) ( is a world-class research intensive university that focuses on science, technology and business as well as humanities and social science.  HKUST offers an international campus, and a holistic and interdisciplinary pedagogy to nurture well-rounded graduates with global vision, a strong entrepreneurial spirit and innovative thinking.  Over 80% of our research work were rated “Internationally excellent” or “world leading” in the Research Assessment Exercise 2020 of Hong Kong’s University Grants Committee. We were ranked 3rd in Times Higher Education’s Young University Rankings 2022, and our graduates were ranked 23rd worldwide and among the best from universities from Asia in Global Employability University Ranking and Survey 2021.

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