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Curriculum Vitae

Michael Abbott

> General


  • Michael Barry ABBOTT, Prof. Dr., Dr. h.c.


  • Acton Technical College (later called Brunel College, subsequently becoming Brunel University and moving to Uxbridge): University of London, B.Sc. (Eng).
  • Southampton University: studies in advanced fluid dynamics, classical mechanics, numerical analysis, computer programming (machine coding), aerodynamics.
  • University of London: advanced mathematics endorsement to B.Sc. (Eng).
  • IHE Delft: Dip. H.E., later re-titled MSc (Delft).
  • Southampton University: research on computer applications, as especially directed to the analysis of concrete shell structures and the hydraulics of stratified rivers and seas as part of Ph.D. studies.
  • University of London, Ph.D.
  • NATO Research Fellow, Mathematical Centre, University of Amsterdam: studies of Cantorian set theory, functional analysis and the theory of distributions.

Main disciplines

  • Computational Hydraulics and later Hydroinformatics:
  • Founder of Computational Hydraulics in 1969.
  • Founder of Hydroinformatics in 1989.
  • Activating creative stakeholder participation, 2007.  

Present positions

  • Director, Knowledge Engineering BVBA, Belgium; Director Soft International BV, The Netherlands; Emeritus Professor in Hydroinformatics, UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, The Netherlands; Co-Director European Institute for Industrial Leadership (E.I.I.L.), Belgium.


  • English (mother tongue); Danish (fluent); Dutch (good); French (good); German (fair).


  • Fellow, Institution of Civil Engineers, UK.
  • 1981, Harold Jan Schoemaker Award, presented by the President of India at the XIX Congress IAHR, New Delhi.
  • 1986, Karl Emil Hilgard Prize, ASCE.
  • 1999, Honorary Member of IAHR, XXVIII Congress IAHR, Graz.
  • 2002, Doctor Honoris Causa, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece.
  • 2008, Telford Gold Medal, Institution of Civil Engineers.

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> Employment record

2005 - to date

  • Founding-Director and now Co-Director of the European Institute for Industrial Leadership (EIIL): Seminars and Schools on European Leadership.

2001 - 2004

  • Consultant to (WL) Delft Hydraulics, The Netherlands. Now Deltares

1999 - to date

  • Founder and first editor, together with Professor Roger Falconer, of the Journal of Hydroinformatics.

1996 - to date   

  • Director of Knowledge Engineering BVBA, Brussels, Belgium. Studies on future of Dutch research organisations and theory and praxis of European SMEs.

1973 - to date

  • Director of Soft International BV, The Netherlands. Until 1996: led design and construction of software for dynamic structural analysis of submerged pipelines, for city traffic modelling, for optimised ship navigation and for a range of early-warning systems for nuclear power plants.
  • Project management of European Hydrologic System / Système Hydrologique Européen (SHE) Consortium.

1970 - 2000   

  • Part-time consultant to Danish Hydraulic Institute (DHI), Hørsholm: designed and led the first third-generation simulation software for hydraulic and environmental applications, used on many major projects worldwide.
  • Consultant on design, development and marketing of DHI’s fourth-generation modelling systems: Mouse, MIKE 11, MIKE 21, MIKE SHE etc, this accolade of 'MIKE' being bestowed by the then Director of DHI, Civ.Ing. Torben Sørensen. Ir. I. Ross Warren was however instrumental in bringing several of these systems into commercial operation.

1965 - 2001

  • International Institute for Infrastructural, Hydraulic and Environmental Engineering (IHE), Delft, the Netherlands: Professor of Computational Hydraulics, subsequently Hydroinformatics, subsequently Emeritus Professor, Hydroinformatics.

1964 - 1965     

  • Department of Applied Mathematics, Technical University of Denmark: Senior Lecturer in Applied Mathematics.

1963 - 1964    

  • Mathematical Centre, Amsterdam: Research Fellow in Foundations of Numerical Analysis, as referenced above

1961 - 1963

  • Harbour Construction Laboratory, Technical University of Denmark: research engineer.

1959 - 1960

  • Participant in Second International Course in Hydraulic Engineering at Delft, the Netherlands, with the excellent Ir. L. Mostertman as director, subsequently proceeding to the Geotechnical Institute in Delft, with the also very competent Professor Geuze, working and publishing primarily on soil-consolidation problems.

1957 - 1958

  • Teaching at Southampton while following courses there; programming (in machine code) of concrete cylindrical shells subject to static and dynamic forces; research on stratified flows using method of characteristics and physical flume experiments, providing a Royal Society paper with Dr Isaac Torbe as an invaluable co-author.

1955 - 1957

  • Two years of Compulsory Military Service.

1953 - 1955   

  • Assistant-under-Agreement: Participating in cooling water surveying for Newcastle Electricity Generating Station, Supervised-Design and subsequently supervision of a semi-submerged pumping station for the Fawley oil refinery; Independent surveying of a fresh-water pipeline across the New Forest to Fawley; Supervised-Design of reinforced-concrete coal bunkers for Newcastle power station.

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