Hessel Winsemius

dr. ir.

  • Room A-544, W&N-building

  • Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM), De Boelelaan 1087

    1081 HV Amsterdam

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Hessel Winsemius is an expert in large-scale hydrology, climate change and hydrological modelling. In September 2009, he obtained his PhD degree Cum Laude on the use of large-scale satellite observations, in particular of the gravity field and evaporation processes, as complementary data for the construction and calibration of hydrological models in the Zambezi basin.

Hessel's main work at the Vrije Universiteit focusses on use of hydrological and hydraulic models in understanding of flood risk at continental scale. He works in a VIDI project on the socioeconomic impacts of compound river and coastal floods.

Hessel also works at Deltares, as senior hydrologist. He is active in projects, requiring specialist knowledge on hydrological and hydraulic modelling, global hydrology, model calibration, prediction of effects of climate change and land cover change, operational forecasting, use of large datasets, and uncertainty estimation. He is able to translate publicly available global data into information that can be readily used in hydrological, hydraulic and risk models. A recent example includes his work on "Participatory Terrain Data and Modelling", one of the GFDRR-DFID Challenge Fund projects, in which a participatory approach to establish high resolution terrain data from OpenStreetMap data was piloted. He is active in international projects in Southern Africa, Asia, United States and the Caribbean. 

Hessel’s work has a strong focus on globally applicable methods to flood risk assessment: he is one of the core developers of the Global Flood Risk with IMAGE Scenarios (GLOFRIS) model, nowadays widely used to gain understanding in flood risk globally, its variability and changes due to climate and socio-economic change, and the underlying model to the Aqueduct Global Flood Analyzer (http://www.wri.org/floods/). He is author and co-author of many peer-reviewed papers. He leads a Deltares focal subject on Multi-Resolution Modelling with BIG data.


2009: PhD - Delft, University of Technology – Hydrology – graduated “Cum Laude”

2004: MSc - Delft, University of Technology - Master of Science Civil Engineering, Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences

Other Relevant training 2017 – Software training – D-FLOW-FM hydraulic simulation software
2015: Self-management course
2013: Media training
2013: Project leadership
2011: Project management
2010: Flood Early Warning System Advanced configuration course
2009: Flood Early Warning System configuration course
2008: ‘Bayesian inference in hydrological modeling’, EGU course, EGU General Assembly 2008


2017 - current Lecturer course "Water Risk" Amsterdam, Vrije Universiteit
2017 Trainer “Critical Infrastructure impact assessment” – Dar Es Salaam – Tanzania Red Cross Society
2017 Trainer “urban flood modelling with OpenStreetMap data” – Dar Es Salaam – World Bank
2016 - current Guest lecturer “Tools for water policy analysis – BIG data in water management" Enschede, University of Twente
2016 - current Regular trainer evening course on computational python – Vrije Universiteit
2016 - current Guest lecturer course “Integrated modelling in hydrology" Amsterdam, Vrije Universiteit
2010 - current Regular trainer evening course “computational python” – Deltares
2010 Lecture "Water Resources Modelling" Delft, UNESCO-IHE
2006 Lecture "Predictions in Ungauged basins" Delft, University of Technology
2004 - 2011 Lectures "Hydrological modelling" Delft, University of Technology

Education/Academic qualification

Civil Engineering, Master, TU Delft

Hydrology, PhD, TU Delft

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

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climate change Earth & Environmental Sciences
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Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2014 2018

Assessment and Adaptation to Climate Change-Related Floods Risks

Jongman, B., Winsemius, H. C., Fraser, S., Muis, S. & Ward, P. J. 2018 Oxford Encyclopedia of Natural Hazard Science. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, p. 1-29 29 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

climate change
population growth
natural disaster
climate change

A comparison of two global datasets of extreme sea levels and resulting flood exposure

Muis, S., Verlaan, M., Nicholls, R., Brown, S., Hinkel, J., Lincke, D., Vafeidis , A., Scussolini, P., Winsemius, H. C. & Ward, P. J. Mar 2017 In : Earth's Future. 5, 4, p. 379-392

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
sea level
confidence interval
natural disaster
urban area
Open Access
storm surge
Coastal zones