27. May 2021 | Press releases:

Coastal vegetation as a natural shore protection Sanaz Hadadpour from TU Braunschweig receives De Paepe-Willems-Award

Great excitement at the Leichtweiß-Institute for Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources (LWI) of Technische Universität Braunschweig: The young scientist Dr. Sanaz Hadadpour receives the De Paepe-Willems-Award 2021. This is the second time that the international award of the PIANC (World Association for Waterborne Transport Infrastructure) goes to the LWI and the first time since 2009 to a woman. Sanaz Hadadpour receives the award for her research on coastal vegetation as a natural shore protection.

In order to protect coastal zones, there is a growing interest in nature-based solutions, such as seagrass meadows. Such natural wave attenuators are often less expensive and require less maintenance than “hard” structures with less impact on the environment and ecosystems. However, many complex physical processes are involved in the interaction of waves and currents with vegetation. Therefore, the dissertation of Dr. Sanaz Hadadpour from the Department of Hydromechanics, Coastal and Ocean Engineering at LWI, supervised under emeritus Prof. Hocine Oumeraci, aimed to improve the understanding of the physical processes and key parameters affecting wave attenuation.

In her study, the scientist successfully developed an easy-to-use numerical model system to evaluate the wave attenuating capacity of vegetation for coastal protection purposes. Moreover, for the first time, a new set of prediction formulae for wave attenuation by vegetation is developed to help coastal communities for industrial design. Professor Nils Goseberg, Executive Director of LWI, further explains: “The assessment of interactions between waves, currents and natural attenuation elements such as seagrass or salt marshes as well as mangroves and other vegetation will become increasingly important in the context of climate change, public welfare and coastal protection in the future. Dr. Hadadpour’s work makes a very important contribution in this context.”

Award goes to LWI for the second time

The De Paepe-Willems Award is an international prize awarded annually by PIANC. The World Association for Waterborne Transport Infrastructure is one of the world’s oldest technical and scientific associations for port and waterway construction and navigation in the maritime and inland sectors. Since 1985, Germany has received first place in the award three times. Already once, in 2019, the award went to LWI. Dr. Saber M. Elsayed was recognized for his development of a numerical model that can simulate the impact of storm surges on sandy coastal defenses and groundwater.

The award for Sanaz Hadadpour’s work, entitled “Numerical modelling & new prediction formulae for wave & wave-current attenuation by vegetation as a natural shore protection”, was presented virtually to her at the online annual meeting. The prize is endowed with 4,000 Euro and free membership of PIANC for a three-year period.

Vita Sanaz Hadadpour

Sanaz Hadadpour completed her B.Sc. in Civil Engineering at Bu-Ali Sina University, Hamedan. She completed her master’s degree in Hydraulic Engineering in 2012 as first ranked student among all Masters students at Iran University of Science and Technology (IUST), Tehran. In 2014, she joined the Leichtweiß-Institute for Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources (LWI),  Department of Hydromechanics, Coastal and Ocean Engineering, as a research associate and conducted research in the EU project MERMAID (Innovative Multi-purpose Off-Shore Platforms: Planning, Design and Operation). In 2020, she completed her PhD in coastal engineering on “Numerical modelling of wave attenuation performance of flexible vegetation”. The scientist was involved in various research projects on coast and sea, renewable energy, climate change and ecosystems.