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Hydraulics and Environment Department Hydraulics and Environment Department

Maria Helena Alegre

Maria Helena Alegre
Head of Department
Phone: 218 443 420

Professional Situation

Senior Researcher with Habilitation, Head of the LNEC 's Hydraulics and Environment Department

Academic and Scientific Degrees

  • Specialist on Urban Water Engineering by the Portuguese Corp of Engineers
  • Senior Research Officer of National Research Career (with "R&D coordinator” degree)
  • PhD: Civil Engineering, 1992, Instituto Superior Técnico, Lisbon. Thesis Title: Decision Support Tools for Technical Management of Water Distribution Systems.
  • University Degree: Civil Engineering, Hydraulics, from 1975/1976 to 1979/80, Instituto Superior Técnico, Lisbon.

Functions and Relevant Public Offices

  • Head of the LNEC 's Hydraulics and Environment Department, (2016-)
  • Member of the International Water Association Strategic Council (IWA) (2012 -)
  • Senior Research Officer (with "R&D coordinator” degree) in Urban Water Division (Dep. of Hydraulics and Environment) of LNEC, the National Civil Engineering Laboratory of Portugal (2002-2010).
  • Senior Vice-President of IWA (2010-2012)
  • President of the Portuguese Standardisation Committee for Water Supply and Sanitation (2002-), and represents Portugal at the European Standardization Committee CEN/TC164 - Water Supply and at the International Standardization Committees ISO/TC224 – Service activities relating to drinking water supply and sewerage (2002- )
  • Chair of the IWA Specialist Group on Strategic Asset Management (2007-)
  • Head of the Urban Water Division (Dep. of Hydraulics and Environment) of LNEC, the National Civil Engineering Laboratory of Portugal (2002-2010)

Areas of Research / Interest

  • Specialization according UNESCO nomenclature in science and technology domain: 3305.38; 3305.15; 3308.09; 3305.28; 220403; 220404; (3305. 30).
  • Civil Engineering (hydraulics) and Urban Water Engineering
  • Technical Management of Water Distribution Systems
  • Urban water systems, particularly in the fields of performance assessment and strategic asset management
  • Urban water services and infrastructure asset management: applied research and consultancy projects in the field of analysis, diagnosis, design and decision support for water distribution systems, including strategic planning, system rehabilitation water losses control

Research and Professional Activity

  • Lead the team who developed the IWA PI system, as well as the team who developed the National regulatory system for quality of services assessment (1st generation: 2004-2011; 2nd generation 2012-); she has high level responsibilities in the coordination of some major projects on planning and management of urban water systems: AWARE-P (1,2 M Euro, www.aware-p.org, 2008-2012), iGPI (19 partners, ~350 m Euro,  http://iniciativaGPI.org, 2012-2013), TRUST (7FP of the EU, 31 partners, 7 M Euro from the EU, www.trust-i.net, 2011-2015) and iPERDAS (19 partners, 316 m EU, www.iperdas.org, 2013-2014), iGPI 2015 (starting in Nov. 2015). AWARE-P/iGPI were awarded with the 2014 Project Innovation Award  /  Planning (Europe and West Asia region) and the Mulheim Water Award 2014.
  • Member of the Advisory Board of ERSAR, Portugal’s Regulator for Water and Solid Waste Services (2004-).
  • Member of the editorial board of "Journal of Water Supply: Research & Technology – AQUA, IWA (2004- ) e "Águas & Resíduos”, APESB.
  • Nominated by Beijing Capital Co. to become "senior international consultant” of the Chinese National Project "Study and demonstration of performance assessment of water utilities” (2011-)

Scientific Orientation

She co-supervised 5 PhD and several MSc theses already concluded, and currently co-supervises 2 PhD thesis and 1 MSc. In total, she (co)-organised more than 60 international and 50 national technical and scientific meetings.

Relevant Publications

Author or co-author of about 400 publications, including 11 books.
  • Alegre, H.; Baptista, J.M.; Cabrera JR., E., Cubillo, F.; Duarte, P.; Hirner, W.; Merkel, W.; Parena, R. (2016). Performance indicators for water supply services, third edition, Manual of Best Practice Series, IWA Publishing, London, ISBN: 9781780406329 (372 p.).
  • Alegre, H., Covas, D. (2015). Integrated planning of urban water services: a global approach; TRUST Manuals of best practice on integrated management of urban water services. Vol. I. TRUST e-book.
  • Dominik Nottarp-Heim, D.; Merkel, W.; Alegre, H.; Hein, A,; Gormley, A. (2015). Transition to Sustainable Urban Water Services of Tomorrow. A handbook for policy makers. TRUST Manual of best Practice integrated management of urban water services Vol. II. E-book. OpenAIRE - Open Access Infrastructure for Research in Europe, (108 p.).
  • Alegre, H., Covas, D. (2015). Strategic planning of urban water services at utility level. TRUST Manual of Best Practice on integrated management of urban water services Vol. III. TRUST e-book.
  • Alegre, H., Covas, D., Brito, R. (2015). Tactical planning of urban water services at utility level;  TRUST Manual of Best Practice on integrated management of urban water services Vol. IV. TRUST e-book.

Other scientific and technical Activities

  • Participacion in admission in jury or selection bord jury.
  • Member of the  Scientific Council of LNEC.
  • Member of the Departmental Scientific Commission of the Hydraulics and Environment Department
  • Member of the  Conselho Estratégico da Parceria Portuguesa para a Água (2013- ).

Other Information

  • 1st prize of the 1992-1993 Award of the Portuguese Water Resources Association (for thesis or other research publications);
  • Maarten Schalekamp Award 1995 of the International Water Supply Association with the paper "Paving the way to excellence in water supply systems - a national framework for levels-of-service assessment based on consumer satisfaction”.

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