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Abba Eban

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Buckminster Fuller, philosopher, futurist and global thinker (1895 - 1983)


Invited lectures

River Engineering In South East Europe – Benefits And Faults

Urban, economic and infrastructure systems have been developed in the river valleys of SEE, just like in other parts of the world. Local river engineering activities began very early, as people needed to use water resources, protect themselves from floods, and move along or across rivers. River engineering and flood protection became more and more complex over time, as increasingly stringent criteria were set for the protection of a growing number of people and continually increasing value of assets in flood-prone areas.

Today, the expression “river engineering” means the process of undertaking planned activities to alter a river course, riverbed characteristics or the flow regime, in order to systematically reduce damages caused by floods and riverbank erosion; create conditions for  use of rivers for navigation, water supply, hydropower generation, irrigation, recreation and other needs; and protect and promote river and riparian environments. Planning of river engineering measures now tends to be integrated, sustainable and multidisciplinary, taking into account the physical characteristics of the river (like its morphology, hydrology, hydraulics, and sediment transport), and considering also environmental and social issues.

The particularity of river engineering, as a hydrotechnical discipline, is that the completion of works is generally followed by nature’s response, which is difficult and often impossible to fully predict. A disturbance of the natural river regime, either by works in the riverbed or alteration of the water and sediment regime, results in subsequent short- or long-term morphological processes that lead to a new equilibrium state.

This lecture will include a number of examples of past river engineering projects in Serbia, and reveal their benefits and faults. Hopefully, these experiences will help new generations of engineers when they deal with new “development schemes” that might interfere with the remaining natural rivers in SEE.

Dr. Marina Babić Mladenović
Jaroslav Cerni Water Institute
Belgrade, Serbia

Marina Babić Mladenović, PhD, Civ. Eng. was born in 1957 in Belgrade, Serbia. She graduated on the University of Belgrade, Faculty of Civil Engineering – specialization in Hydraulic Engineering in 1981. In 1991 she finalized her MSc entitled “Development of the mathematical modelling method of transport of pollution in natural watercourses with examples of its application in solving some practical problems”. In 2006 she was awarded the PhD degree after defending dissertation titled “The effect of reservoirs on sediment regime of alluvial rivers – Case study of the Iron Gate reservoir”. Her career progressed in the Jaroslav Černi Water Institute from an assistant (1981), over senior researcher (1989) to a head of the Section for Hydraulics and Transport Processes of the Department for River Engineering (1994). Between 2002 and 2017 she was the director of the same Department. She was the Executive Director of the Institute till December 2019. Between 2008 and 2017 was assistant professor at the Faculty of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina, topic: River Engineering. Dr Mladenović has participated or led expert teams in many national and international projects and research campaigns. She took part in international forums, multilateral and bilateral commissions as an expert – representative of Serbia. She was appointed member of the flood protection expert groups within the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River and the International Sava River Basin Commission. She has published about 130 papers related to hydrology, operation of water management systems, river hydraulics, transport of pollution, sediment and ice in natural watercourses, hydro-morphology, water management and flood risk management. Recently she published the book River Engineering (only in Serbian).


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related metrics presents an opportunity to trigger policy learning, action, and cooperation to bring cities closer to sustainable development.