CEE Professor John Schwartz recently traveled to Prague to attend the dissertation defense of PhD candidate Ms. Karina Bynumová at the Department of Drainage, Irrigation, and Landscape Engineering at the Czech Technical University (CTU) and give lectures on his research.
Schwartz was asked by Professor Tomáš Dostál within the Faculty of Civil Engineering at CTU to serve on Bynumová’s doctoral committee because his research shares a common area of expertise with hers. Bynumová’s dissertation, entitled “Ecological and Landscape Engineering Principles Incorporated into Evaluation of Rainfall-runoff Relationship Changes,” overlaps with Schwartz’s work on developing new watershed assessment tools for ecological design of stream restoration and green infrastructure.
Bynumová successfully defended her dissertation on March 22, 2016. The committee consisted of ten faculty, one committee chair, Professor Tomáš Dostál as the advisor, two referees in which Professor Schwartz was one, and six faculty from the CTU, Charles University, and other universities in the Czech Republic.
The Faculty of Civil Engineering within the Czech Technical University has more than 200 professors, researchers and lecturers and is similar in size to an American college of Engineering. The Faculty of Civil Engineering is further subdivided into individual departments in hydraulics, structures, transportation, etc.
The day before the dissertation defense, Professor Schwartz gave two lectures at the Czech Technical University to faculty and students. One was an introduction of the University of Tennessee and its Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering because many of the faculty and staff had little background on American institutions. The second lecture was on his previous research, entitled “An Ecohydraulic Modeling Approach to Restore Pool-Riffle Structure in a Straightened Incised Urban Stream Channel.”
After the lectures, faculty within the CTU department gave several 20-minute lectures on their research, including Professor Josef Krása, Professor Václav David and Professor Michal Bečička, which included watershed modeling of fine sediment transport, stream restoration, and soil erosion experiments both per overland flow and in-channel processes.
Professor Schwartz also toured two stream restoration sites and a hydrological research station as a prelude to potential future collaborations. The stream restoration sites were on the outskirts of Prague at the urban-rural interface. The hydrological research station is a fully sensored site for rainfall, climate variables, streamflow, groundwater levels, interflow devices, and water quality samplers.