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Best Graduate Student Paper at EWRI 2023: Ivo Daniel wins 2nd place

HEIBRiDS-PhD candidate Ivo Daniel has won the second place award in the Graduate Student Paper Competition at the 2023 World Environmental and Water Resources Congress of the Environmental and Water Resources Institute (American Society of Civil Engineers). In his awarded paper titled "A Machine Learning-Based Surrogate Model for Coupled Hydraulic and Water Quality Simulation in Water Distribution Networks", Daniel proposes the use of a lightweight surrogate model for efficient  water quality simulation. This model could reduce simulation times and make the optimization of control parameters more manageable. 

Ensuring consistent and high quality water is of key importance for water utilities to meet public health requirements and ensure customer satisfaction. To do this, all relevant water quality parameters, such as the concentrations of disinfectants and byproducts, must be continuously monitored and adjusted. Water quality simulations  for drinking water distribution systems (DWDS) are already well established and extremely accurate. However, they can be computationally expensive, so that optimization of control parameters is only possible to a limited extent. 

“In this work,  we developed a system-specific approach to predict the steady-state of hydraulic and water quality conditions of a DWDS based on common input data, such as reservoir pressure, water demand, and disinfectant dosage rates. In this first development step, we managed to consider all relevant water quality parameters of the multi-species reactive transport (MSRT) model in a single predictive model. Further development will then focus on extending this model’s capabilities to transient predictions and to be system-independent. ”, Daniel explains. The steady-state surrogate model shows very good predictive ability with R2 values greater than 0.98 and error values less than 0.01% for hydraulic parameters and less than 1% for water quality parameters. 

“The work by Ivo Daniel represents an important contribution to improving the joint modeling of hydraulic and water quality in drinking water distribution systems. The paper and this award are the first outcomes of an ongoing collaboration with Prof. Ostfeld at Technion, where Ivo was a visiting researcher last fall, supported by the Helmholtz Israel Data Science Exchange program. As we look forward to further expanding this work, this award is a motivating recognition on the value of Ivo's research and the interest it is receiving in the water management community ”, explains Andrea Cominola, ECDF-Professor and head of the Chair of Smart Water Networks at TU Berlin, where Daniel is a Research Assistant.