Professor Vladimir Nikora

Professor Vladimir Nikora
Professor Vladimir Nikora
Professor Vladimir Nikora


Sixth Century Chair in Environmental Fluid Mechanics



2006 - Present

Professor, Sixth Century Chair in Environmental Fluid Mechanics, Leader of the Fluid Mechanics 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 

2021  EWRI/ASCE Best Technical Note Award

2019  Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering

2019  7th M. Selim Yalin Lifetime Achievement Award of IAHR

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

2010  EWRI/ASCE Best Technical Note Award


  • PhD in Engineering Hydraulics and Hydrology 
    1984 - State Hydrological Institute, St. Petersburg, Russia 
  • MEng (Hons) in Engineering Hydrology 
    1978 - Odessa Hydrometeorological Institute, Ukraine 

Memberships and Affiliations

Internal Memberships

Academic Line Manager of the Fluid Mechanics Research Group

Coordinator of the Fluid Mechanics Laboratory

External Memberships
  • Chair of the IAHR Technical Committee on Fluid Mechanics, since 2021
  • Member of the Council of the International Association of Hydro-Environment Engineering and  Research (IAHR), since 2017
  • Editor, IAHR Journal of Hydraulic Research, 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 EPSRC Peer Review College
  • PhD and Habilitation Committees: UWA/Perth (Australia); Paris-Saclay, INRAE-Lyon (France), Karlsruhe/KIT, Dresden/TUD (Germany); IIT-Kharagpur (India); Torino, Trento (Italy);  TU/Delft, Twente (the Netherlands); Auckland, Canterbury (New Zealand), NTNU/Trondheim (Norway); ETH/Zurich (Switzerland);  Bradford, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Herriot-Watt, Sheffield, Southampton, Warwick (UK)
  • 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.


Research Overview

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.


  • INRAE (Lyon, France):  Hydrodynamics of Shallow Flows
  • CNRS and University Claude Bernard (Lyon, France):  flow-biota interactions
  • University of Braunschweig (Germany):  rough-bed flow hydrodynamics, eco-hydraulics,  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, turbulence
  • University of Auckland (New Zealand):  sediment transport and turbulence
  • University of Canterbury (New Zealand):  large-scale turbulence in shallow flows

Funding and Grants

2021-2024: "Secondary currents in turbulent flows over rough walls”, EPSRC, UK (V. Nikora, S. Cameron,  £735K), a part of a collaborative research program with the University of Southampton, University College London, and University of Glasgow.

2020-2023: “RIver flow regulation, fish BEhaviour and Status” (RIBES), EC, Marie SkÅ‚odowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks H2020-MSCA-ITN-2019 (V. Nikora, S. Cameron, B. Scott, S. Martin, €305K), a part of a collaborative international research program led by the Politecnico Di Torino.

2019-2020: “Field stereoscopic particle image velocimetry (FSPIV) system for high-resolution in-situ studies of freshwater and marine ecosystems”, NERC, UK (S. Cameron, V. Nikora, B. Scott, C. Soulsby, £289K).

2014-2018: "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 collaborative research project with the Cardiff University.

2013-2016: "Hydrodynamic transport in ecologically critical heterogeneous interfaces" (HYTECH), EC, Marie Curie Initial Training Networks FP7-PEOPLE-2012-ITN (V. Nikora, S. Cameron, C. Gibbins, €597K), a part of a collaborative international research program led by the University of Padova.

2010-2014: "High-resolution numerical and experimental studies of turbulence-induced sediment erosion and near-bed transport", EPSRC, UK (V. Nikora, S. Cameron, £438.5K) and DFG, Germany  (G. Jirka, M. Uhlmann, J. Fröhlich, W. Rodi).

2008-2011: "Biophysics of flow-plants interactions in aquatic systems", The Leverhulme Trust, UK (V. Nikora, M. O'Hare, S. Cameron, £216.4K).

2002-2006: "Waves in Submerged Particulate Beds", Marsden Research Grant (New Zealand), S. Coleman, V. Nikora, B. Melville, D. Goring, NZ$560K.

2002-2006: "Stochastic Mechanics of Soil Erosion", Marsden Research Grant (New Zealand), A. Sidorchuk, V. Nikora, NZ$585K.

2000-2004: "Granular surfaces: structure, organization, memory", Marsden Research Grant (New Zealand), V. Nikora, D. Goring, NZ$405K.

1997-2001: "Eddy cascade, burst phenomena, and intermittency in fully developed turbulent flows with irregular rough beds", Marsden Research Grant (New Zealand), V. Nikora, D. Goring, NZ$435K.

1983-Present: Leader of more than thirty long-term research and consultancy projects in river hydrodynamics, eco-hydraulics, sediment transport, fluvial geomorphology, and hydrology. 


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