Keynote Speakers
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Professor Edward McBean, University of Guelph, Canada
Professor McBean, Ph.D., P.Eng., P.E., FCAE, D.WRE., FEIC, FCSCE, FIAH, is a Professor of Water Resources Engineering, a University Research Chair in Water Security, and a former Canada Research Chair, Water Security, at the University of Guelph, Canada. Ed received his BASc from UBC, and his SM and Ph.D. from MIT, all in Civil Engineering. Ed is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering and Diplomate, American Academy of Water Resources Engineering and American Society of Civil Engineers. He has published three books and more than 370 papers in the refereed journals, and recipient of a number of awards including Canada Research Chair in Water Security, K.Y. Lo Award for significant contributions at international level, the Tom Duc Thang award, and the Julian C. Smith Award.

Title: Targeting Key Coefficients to Identify Strategies for Managing Emerging Contaminants

Abstract: The term ‘emerging contaminants’ refers to chemicals and pathogens that have been detected in drinking water at trace levels and for which the risk to human health is still unknown and/or not yet understood. Hence, the issue with emerging contaminants exists because there have been many situations where widespread acceptance of a chemical has occurred for its intended function, but that same chemical ends up causing unforeseen and unacceptable impacts to humans and the environment. Unfortunately, there are many such examples (DDT, PCBs, thalidomide, etc.).
The result is extremely challenging to assemble information as to the potential danger which may arise from some emerging contaminants. Instead, we must identify other strategies, and that will be the approach taken in this paper. More precisely, there will be two paths developed:
(i) Assess the approaches being utilized to assess source types of some emerging contaminants, including those of source characterization. Although this approach is proving difficult (e.g. for pharmaceuticals) the basis for some successes and some challenges will be described; and
(ii) A second approach is based on use of key coefficients (e.g. octanol/water partition coefficient, adsorption coefficient, rate of biodegradation, etc.).
The merit of the second methodology, in particular, is to facilitate systematic thinking to provide insights regarding the fate and transport exposure pathway assessments of individual emerging contaminants, including the degree of attenuation and the potential for transformation to another media which may occur, based on the fundamental characteristics as mechanisms to provide useful insights as to the potential impacts to humans and the environment. A number of case studies will be described.

Professor Vijay P. Singh, Texas A&M University, United States
Professor V. P. Singh is a University Distinguished Professor, a Regents Professor, and Caroline and William N. Lehrer Distinguished Chair in Water Engineering at Texas A&M University. He received his B.S., M.S., Ph.D. and D.Sc. degrees in engineering. He is a registered professional engineer, a registered professional hydrologist, and an Honorary diplomate of ASCE-AAWRE. He has published more than 1100 journal articles; 28 textbooks; 67 edited reference books; 105 book chapters; and 315 conference papers in the area of hydrology and water resources. He has received more than 90 national and international awards, including three honorary doctorates. He is a member of 10 international science/engineering academies. He has served as President of the American Institute of Hydrology (AIH), Chair of Watershed Council of American Society of Civil Engineers, and is currently President-Elect of American Academy of Water Resources Engineers. He has served as editor-in-chief of three journals and two book series and serves on editorial boards of more than 25 journals and three book series.

Title: Copula-Entropy Theory for Multivariate Stochastic Modeling in Water Engineering

Abstract:A multitude of processes in water and ecosystems engineering involve more than one random variable. For example, floods are characterized by peak, duration, volume, and inter-arrival time, which are all random in nature. Droughts are described by their severity, duration, inter-arrival time, and areal extent, which are all random. Extreme precipitation events are represented by their intensity, amount, duration, and inter-arrival time, which are all random. Inter-basin water transfer involves transfer of excess water from one basin (say, donor) to a water deficient basin (say, recipient). The transfer involves the volume of water, availability of water in both donor and recipient basins, duration of transfer, rate of transfer, and time interval between water transfers which are all random variables. Water quality entails pollutant load, duration for which the load is higher than the protection limits, and peak pollutant concentration, which are all random variables. Likewise, erosion in a basin may be characterized by sediment yield, number of erosion events, duration of events, intensity of events, and time-interval between two consecutive events, which are all random variables. Flooding in coastal watershed may be caused by the simultaneous occurrence of high precipitation and high tides where both precipitation and tide are random variables. There is a great variety of vegetation species in nature. The diversity of vegetation is important for the health of ecosystems. The areal proportion of different species, the number of species, and vegetation height are probabilistic and involve more than one dimension. Further, this space-time distribution of vegetation is impacted by climate change and the impact entails more than one dimension. If wind energy is considered then wind is characterized by its mean velocity, peak velocity, areal coverage, and duration which are random variables. Examples of processes involving more than one random variable abound in ecological engineering, hydrologic engineering, hydraulic engineering, environmental engineering, and water resources systems. There usually exists some degree of dependence among the random variables or at least among some of them. Often we are concerned with multivariate stochastic modeling and risk analysis of these processes that involve the derivation of probability distributions of the random variables considering the dependence structure among them. Nowadays, these stochastic processes can be modeled with the copula-entropy theory that has proven to be more flexible and accurate than the traditional approaches. The objective of this talk is to reflect on some recent advances made in the application of the copula-entropy theory and future challenges.

Professor Jun XIA, Wuhan University, China
Professor Xia from School of Water Resources and Hydropower Engineering, Wuhan University, China, was elected as Fellow of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) in 2015. Professor Xia pioneers in proposing the theory of hydrological nonlinear system identification which contributes to solving the problem of nonlinear response relationship of rainfall runoff. He was the first to discover the rule of time variant runoff which revealed the hydrological nonlinear mechanism. All those systematic research results have been successfully applied in the Huai River, the Yellow River and the Yangtze River valleys as well as in Tarim River and many other inland river basins in China. His research findings have reduced the probability of water pollution by 75% in the branches of Huai River, which has been highly spoken of. He has made great breakthroughs in research of nonlinearity, spatial and temporal variation and uncertainty of runoff simulation and regulation in a changing environment, promoting the fundamental research of hydrological research.

Professor Xia’s systematic research results are also well appreciated by the international academia. In 2011, he was awarded the “Outstanding Contribution Award of International Water Resource Management” by the Third World Centre for Water Management (TWCWM). In 2014, he won the highest award in the field of international hydrological science, namely the “International Hydrology Prize-Volker Medal” by International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Professor Xia is the first Chinese to win this award. He was elected as the Vice President of IAHS and the President of IWRA, and has played a pivotal role in international water organizations of global impact including the World Water Council (WWC) and think tank on water resources.

As a leader of National Program on Key Basic Research Project of China (973 Project), Prof. Xia and his team have undertaken a number of national-level and ministerial-level scientific and research projects in the field of hydrology and water resources. He has published more than 400 academic journal articles, among which 134 are indexed by SCI and 157 in EI.

Professor Jianyun ZHANG, Nanjing Hydraulic Research Institute, China
Professor Zhang is the Director of the Nanjing Hydraulic Research Institute, and the President of Research Center for Climate Change of Ministry of Water Resources. He was elected as Fellow of the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE) in 2009, and Foreign Fellow of Royal Academy of Engineering (RAE) in 2014.

Professor Zhang received his Bachelor’s degree from East China Technical University of Water Resources (now Hohai University) in 1982, Master’s degrees from Hohai University and National University of Ireland in 1987 and 1992 respectively, and PhD from National University of Ireland in 1996. Professor Zhang’s research interests include hydrology and water resources, flood control and drought relief management, climate change, and water conservancy informatization. He has significantly contributed to the development of the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Command System. He has published 6 books and more than 300 academic papers.
More to come.