Professor Vladimir Nikora

Professor Vladimir Nikora

Chair in Environmental Fluid Mechanics

Professor Vladimir Nikora
Professor Vladimir Nikora

Contact Details

work +44 (0)1224 273830


2006 - Present

Professor, Sixth Century Chair in Environmental Fluid Mechanics, Leader of the Mechanics of Fluids, Soils and Structures Research Group, University of Aberdeen

1995 - 2006

Principal Scientist and Manager of the Hydrodynamics Group (2001-2006), Senior Scientist (1995-2001), National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), Christchurch, New Zealand

1985 - 1995

Deputy Director (Research, 1988-1995), Head of the Department of Channel Processes (1987-1995), Senior Scientist (1985-1987), Institute of Geophysics and Geology, Academy of Sciences, Republic of Moldova

1980 - 1985

Senior Scientist (1984-1985), Scientist (1983-1984), Research Assistant (1980-1983), Odessa Hydrometeorological Institute, Ukraine

Recent Awards and Distinctions


2017 Hans Albert Einstein Award of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)

2013 Guest Professor, Sichuan University, China (2013-2019)

2011 Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh

2010 Hunter Rouse Hydraulic Engineering Award of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)

2010 EWRI/ASCE Best Technical Note Award


Research Interests

My recent and current research interests comprise various topics of Environmental Fluid Mechanics with particular focus on:

  • Turbulence in open-channels, rivers, estuaries, and coastal areas
  • Benthic boundary layers, water-sediment interfaces, and sediment transport (cohesive/non-cohesive), including sand wave dynamics, turbulence-sediment interactions, erosion, re-suspension, flocculation, and bed particle dispersion
  • Flow-biota interactions and transport processes (periphyton, moss, mussels, macrophytes, invertebrates, fish)
  • Hydraulic resistance and channel stability in gravel-bed and sand-bed rivers
  • Overland flow hydrodynamics and soil erosion
  • Hydraulic instrumentation and measurement techniques
  • Channel networks, meandering and braided channels, granular surfaces, and Mars topography

Current Research

Currently I am working on development of a broad multidisciplinary research programme focusing on fluvial hydraulics (sediment transport, turbulence, flow resistance, mixing), eco-hydraulics (flow-biota interactions at multiple scales, ecologically relevant transport processes, vegetated channels, surface-subsurface flow interactions, benthic boundary layers), and fundamental issues of rough-bed flow hydrodynamics.

Students and professionals interested in pursuing postgraduate research in one of these directions are welcome to contact me.


  • Cemagref (Lyon, France):  flow-biota interactions
  • CNRS and University Claude Bernard (Lyon, France):  flow-biota interactions
  • University of Braunschweig (Germany):  rough-bed flow hydrodynamics and sediment transport
  • University of Karlsruhe (Germany):  rough-bed flow hydrodynamics, turbulence, and sediment transport
  • University of Dresden (Germany): rough-bed flow hydrodynamics, turbulence, and sediment transport
  • Leibnitz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology (Germany): open-channel turbulence and flow-biota interactions
  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Norway): open-channel turbulence, sediment transport, flow-biota interactions
  • Technical University of Milano (Italy):  sediment transport and turbulence
  • University of Padova (Italy): sediment transport and turbulence
  • Institute of Geophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences (Warsaw, Poland):  sediment transport, river turbulence, and dispersion
  • National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA, New Zealand):  flow-biota interactions, sediment transport
  • University of Auckland (New Zealand):  sediment transport and turbulence
  • University of Canterbury (New Zealand):  large-scale turbulence in shallow flows

Research Grants

  • "Bed friction in rough-bed free-surface flows: a theoretical framework, roughness regimes, and quantification", EPSRC, UK (V. Nikora, S. Cameron, £526.5K), a part of a joint project with the Cardiff University (T. Stoesser, R.A. Falconer), 2014-2017.
  • "Hydrodynamic transport in ecologically critical heterogeneous interfaces" (HYTECH), EC, Marie Curie Initial Training Networks FP7-PEOPLE-2012-ITN (€597K=£505K – Aberdeen’s part of a collaborative international program led by the University of Padova, 2013-2016.
  • "High-resolution numerical and experimental studies of turbulence-induced sediment erosion and near-bed transport", EPSRC, UK (V. Nikora, £438.5K) and DFG, Germany  (G. Jirka, M. Uhlmann, J. Fröhlich, W. Rodi), 2010-2014.
  • "Biophysics of flow-plants interactions in aquatic systems", The Leverhulme Trust, 2008-2011, £216.4K; V. Nikora, M. O'Hare
  • "Waves in Submerged Particulate Beds", Marsden Research Grant (New Zealand), 2002-2006, NZ$560K; S. Coleman, V. Nikora, B. Melville, D. Goring
  •  "Stochastic Mechanics of Soil Erosion", Marsden Research Grant (New Zealand), 2002-2006, NZ$585K; A. Sidorchuk, V. Nikora
  • "Granular surfaces: structure, organization, memory", Marsden Research Grant (New Zealand), 2000-2004, NZ$405K; V. Nikora, D. Goring
  • "Eddy cascade, burst phenomena, and intermittency in fully developed turbulent flows with irregular rough beds", Marsden Research Grant (New Zealand), 1997-2001, NZ$435K; V. Nikora, D. Goring
  • Leader of more than twenty five long-term research and consultancy projects in river hydrodynamics, eco-hydraulics, sediment transport, fluvial geomorphology, and hydrology (since 1983)
Further Info

External Responsibilities

  • Editor, Journal of Hydraulic Research (IAHR), 2011-1016
  • Associate Editor, Water Resources Research (AGU), 2006-2011
  • Associate Editor, Journal of Hydraulic Engineering (ASCE), 2007-2011
  • Member of Editorial Board, Acta Geophysica (Springer)
  • Guest Editor, Acta Geophysica (Springer), 2006-2008
  • Member of the Leadership Team (Past Chair) of the Experimental Methods and Instrumentation Committee of the International Association of Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research (IAHR)
  • Member of EPSRC Peer Review College
  • PhD committees: Universities of Karlsruhe (Germany), Auckland (New Zealand), Delft, Twente (Holland), Trento (Italy)
  • Member of International and Organising Committees for a number of International Conferences and Workshops
  • Reviewer for:

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), the Leverhulme Trust, and the Royal Society London, UK; NSF, USA; Marie Curie programmes; DFG, Germany; NSERC and Canada Research Chairs Programme, Canada; National Agency for the Evaluation of Universities and Research Organisations, Italy; Israel Science Foundation; National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research, Chile; Hong Kong Research Grants Council; and for 18 major international journals in Hydraulics, Fluid Mechanics, Hydrology, Physics, Earth Sciences, and Ecology.