Keynote Speech 1:

Recent developments in Flood Estimation Practice in Australia

Australia is the driest inhabited continent on this planet; however, it is also affected by major floods. For example, 2010 floods in Queensland costed $30 billion to Australian national GDP. In Australia, Australian Rainfall and Runoff (ARR), the National Guide presents state-of-the art practices on rainfall and flood estimation in Australia. ARR is the most widely used documents published by Engineers Australia. ARR is also regarded as the Bible of Flood Hydrology and widely cited by many countries for flood risk assessment. This paper presents how ARR has been evolved since 1958 to the current time in Australia. In particular, it presents how regional flood frequency estimation (RFFE) for ungauged catchments method was developed and validated in the 2016 version of the ARR. The author served as the National Project Leader of the ARR RFFE project that lasted for a decade and produced a significant body of literature consisting of over 60 refereed publications. Finally, this paper presents how Bangladesh can develop a standard like ARR, which can be called “Bangladesh Rainfall and Runoff” (BRR). The proposed BRR can document the vast expertise of the water engineers and hydrologists in Bangladesh where the author can assist based on his Australian experience.

 Prof Rahman
Professor Dr. Ataur Rahman, Western Sydney University, Australia

Professor Dr. Ataur Rahman is working in Western Sydney University, Australia. He is also serving as Co-Chair of Water Education and Research Committee of Australian Water Association, the national peak body of water research and practice. He is a Fellow of Engineers Australia and Member of American Society of Civil Engineers, American Geophysical Union and International Water Association. He is a world leader in flood modelling, water quality management, water-related sustainability and rainwater harvesting. His total publications on various aspects of water and environmental engineering are 402; including 7 books, 31 scholarly book chapters and 93 ISI listed journal articles. He received the G. N. Alexander Medal from Engineers Australia for his outstanding research paper on flood modelling. He initiated and led Australian Rainfall and Runoff (ARR) Revision Project 5 ‘Regional flood methods’ for over a decade and co-developed RFFE Model (which has become a national application tool as part of the 4th edition of ARR, the National Guideline). He is the founder Chair of Global Circle for Scientific, Technological and Management Research (GCSTMR), which has organized three successful international congresses to promote scientific and technological research and practice. He served as Expert Peer Reviewer for numerous projects including Sea Outfall Assessment Project of Qatar Government, Pilot Study on Rainfall Estimation (Australian Bureau of Meteorology), Design Loss Estimation (Australia) and Australia Wide Flood Risk Assessment (GHD, Australia).

Keynote Speech 2:

Management of South Asian International Rivers: Challenges and Opportunities

Management of water resources along international rivers is undoubtedly one of the foremost challenges to achieve regional development in South Asia. Lack of trust, unavailability of authentic data, unilateral management approach, increasing demand of food and energy, dependency on high water consuming crops et cetera are creating enormous pressure in achieving regional development based on integrated management of South Asian international rivers.
This lecture focuses on two major rivers basins in the region, namely, Ganges and Brahmaputra. The total drainage area of the basins is about 1660,000 km2 that are shared by China, Nepal, India, Bhutan, and Bangladesh. These basins are blessed with ample water resources and huge hydropower potential. However, due to temporal and spatial distribution of water resources, during the monsoon period, there is abundant water but during non-monsoon months, the countries become water stressed. The characteristics of the monsoon vary substantially from year to year, adding to the unpredictability of the hydrological conditions in South Asia and, thus, affecting the availability of water for agriculture and other sectors. Additional challenges threatening water and food security in the region include increasing food and energy needs, lack of transboundary cooperation and political constraints. Absence of multilateral cooperation to address this natural phenomenon and lack of integration between different sectors contribute to mismanagement and water conflicts between the riparian nations.
This lecture explores the interconnections between different sectorial policies related to water management and the potentials of integrated water management approach for overcoming the current water crises and achieving Sustainable Development Goals along the basins. It also looks at the role of water, energy, food policies and geopolitical ambitions to manage transboundary water resources in the region and highlights the opportunities for cooperation among the riparian countries.

 Prof MRahaman
Professor Dr. Muhammad Mizanur Rahaman, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Asia Pacific, Bangladesh

Professor Dr. Muhammad Mizanur Rahaman is currently working as a Professor at Department of Civil Engineering, University of Asia Pacific. He was a post-doctoral fellow at Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Aalto University, Finland (2009-2013) and visiting scholar at Department of Geography, the University of Cambridge (01/2011 - 12/2011). Rahaman received Doctor of Science degree from Helsinki University of Technology in June 2009. He has been an invited lecturer in nine universities including the University of Toronto, University of East Anglia (UK), University of Bergen (Norway), Fudan University (China) and OSCE Academy (Kyrgyzstan). Dr. Rahaman was interviewed by Aljazeera about the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on Nile river basin. His research interests include: (1) integrated water resources management, (2) transboundary river basin institutions, (3) water conflicts and security, (4) global water policies and laws, (5) water pricing.

Keynote Speech 3:

Why do we need scientific research and how to approach?

Research is the organized scientific investigation to understand the nature, solve problems, test hypotheses or develop/discover/invent new findings/products/techniques. It is an effort to obtain new knowledge in order to answer a question or to solve a problem. Why do we need scientific research? The possible answers are to provide solutions to complex problems, to investigate laws of nature, to make new discoveries, to develop new products/methods/techniques, to reduce cost, to improve the life-style, to fulfill human demands/desires, to make a novel contribution to science or any fields, to make a better world for all living beings, and to get PhD/Masters/Bachelor degrees. Research must be done within a certain philosophical framework by using procedure/method/techniques that are reliable and properly designed so that it has objective(s) and not biased/influenced. Research methodology includes i) understanding the nature of problem to be studied and identifying the related knowledge, ii) reviewing literature to understand how others have approached or dealt with the problem, iii) collecting data in an organized and controlled manner so as to arrive at valid decisions, iv) analyzing data appropriately to address the problem(s), and v) drawing conclusions & making generalizations.

 Prof Ahsan
Associate Professor Amimul Ahsan,Department of Civil Engineering, Uttara University, Dhaka, Bangladesh and Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Construction Engineering, Faculty of Science, Engineering and Technology, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia.

Associate Professor Amimul Ahsan was born in Netrokona, Bangladesh. Dr. Ahsan received a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the University of Fukui, Japan and he has about 15 years of research, teaching and industrial experiences. He is involved with a number of collaborative research projects in different countries. He specializes in Water and Environmental Engineering. He has published extensively in Water and Environmental Engineering including 9 books, 16 book chapters and over 125 journal articles (mostly ISI/Scopus indexed). He received 14 international awards, e.g. “Who's Who in the World 2015” & “Leading Engineers of the World 2013”. Sultan Selangor (Chancellor, UPM) conferred him “Vice Chancellor Fellowship Award” (Science and Technology) in 2015. He has been serving in the editorial board of a number of refereed journals for a long time as an Editor-in-Chief (4), Editor/Associate Editor (6) & Editorial Board Member (11), e.g. Membrane Water Treatment (ISI) & Cogent Engineering (Scopus). His h index in Scopus is 22. He was a former faculty in the Department of Civil Engineering and key researcher in the Institute of Advanced Technology (ITMA), University Putra Malaysia (UPM), Malaysia [2010-17]. Currently, he is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering, Uttara University, Dhaka, Bangladesh and Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Construction Engineering, Faculty of Science, Engineering and Technology, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia.

Keynote Speech 4:

SDG 6-The Driver for Reaching Other SDGs

 Prof MRahman
Prof. Dr. Md. Mujibur Rahman,Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Asia Pacific, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Prof. Dr. Md. Mujibur Rahman currently, is a Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Asia Pacific, UAP. Formerly he was Professor and Head of Civil Engineering Department at BUET. He is a Life Fellow of the Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh, IEB (F-2200). He obtained B.Sc. in Civil Engineering from BUET (1976), M.Eng.Sc from the University of Melbourne (1984) and Ph.D. (1988) from the University of Adelaide, Australia. Prof. Mujibur Rahman specializes in Environmental Engineering and has current research and work interests in Urban Environmental Challenges, Sanitation and Fecal Sludge Management, and Environmental and Social Impact Assessment. He has more than 80 publications in national and international peer reviewed journals and conference proceedings, and as research reports. Prof. Mujibur Rahman is the co-Author of the Text Book on Water Supply and Sanitation: Rural and Low Income Urban Communities and is also editor of several Books on Contemporary Environmental Challenges. He played the lead role in establishing ITN-BUET, a national capacity building center for water and waste management in the country and worked as its Director. Prof. Rahman is also the founder Director of the Centre for Environmental and Resource Management, CERM at BUET. Prof. Mujibur Rahman as an Environmental/Sanitation Expert provided leadership in formulation of national policies and strategies that include “Institutional and Regulatory Framework for FSM in Bangladesh 2017”, “National Strategy for Water Supply and Sanitation in Hard to Reach Areas of Bangladesh 2012”, and “National Sanitation Strategy 2005”. He also provided leadership in many challenging projects of national importance including the very challenging “Integrated Development of Hatirjheel including Begunbari Khal”, a project that aimed at improving urban stormwater drainage, traffic congestion and severely degraded environmental conditions of central Dhaka.