WILLEMS, Patrick

Burgerlijk bouwkundig ingenieur, doctor in de ingenieurswetenschappen, hoogleraar stedelijke hydrologie en rivierkunde KU Leuven.
Water engineering, hydraulica (rivieren en rioleringen); Africa (rivier-bekken van de Nijl), Latijns-Amerika (Ecuador, Bolivië, Suriname), Azië (NW China)

Patrick Willems is full professor of water engineering at the Hydraulics and Geotechnics Section of the Department of Civil Engineering of KU Leuven in Belgium, head of the Hydraulics and Geotechnics Section and Director of the KU Leuven Doctoral School for Science, Engineering and Technology. His main research interests are the hydrology and hydraulics of surface waters, the study of hydrological extremes (floods and droughts, water availability) by combined use of hydrological-hydraulic modelling and statistical techniques, climate change impact analysis, climate adaptations solutions. He teaches courses on river mechanics, hydrodynamic river modelling, urban drainage, systems approach to water management, statistics for water engineering and sustainable-environmental methods.

He obtained his PhD degree at the Department of Civil Engineering, KU Leuven in 2000 and became full professor in 2016. He has more than 300 peer-reviewed publications in international journals or books, more than 300 full publications in proceedings of international conferences, more than 300 presentations at international conferences and workshops, including about 20 keynote or invited presentations at international conferences or events and about 50 invited presentations at national workshops. He was promotor of more than 40 PhD researchers and was leading researcher or coordinator of more than 70 research projects since 1995. His active involvement in projects for water authorities and stakeholders resulted in more than 15 guidelines on river flood modelling, water scarcity management, climate change impact estimation on hydrological extremes, and climate adaptation solutions, for which he is the main author.

Patrick Willems is also actively involved in interuniversity development cooperation projects. He was/is project leader in four VLIR IUC programmes, at University of Suriname, Moi University, Kenya, Quy Nhon University, Vietnam, and Ardhi University, Tanzania. He moreover was promoter or involved in research projects in cooperation with Universidad San Andres, La Paz, Bolivia, and Vietnam National University, Hanoi, Vietnam, and several universities and water authorities in the Nile basin (FRIEND-Nile project). He was also guest lecturer at Universidad da Cuenca, Moi University and Indian Institute for Engineering Science and Technology, Shibpur, India.

Key publications

Willems, P., Arnbjerg-Nielsen, K., Olsson, J., Nguyen, V.T.V. (2012). Climate change impact assessment on urban rainfall extremes and urban drainage: methods and shortcomings. Atmospheric Research, 103, 106-118

Willems, P., & Vrac M. (2011). Statistical precipitation downscaling for small-scale hydrological impact investigations of climate change. Journal of Hydrology, 402, 193–205

Willems, P. (2009). A time series tool to support the multi-criteria performance evaluation of rainfall-runoff models. Environmental Modelling & Software, 24(3), 311-321

Ntegeka, V., & Willems, P. (2008). Trends and multidecadal oscillations in rainfall extremes, based on a more than 100 years time series of 10 minutes rainfall intensities at Uccle, Belgium. Water Resources Research, 44, W07402

Willems P. (2000). Compound intensity/duration/frequency-relationships of extreme precipitation for two seasons and two storm types. Journal of Hydrology, 233, 189 – 205


Complete list of publications

Academic Profile (KULeuven)