Associate Professor

Postal Address: Department of Civil and
  Environmental Engineering,
  National University of Singapore
  1 Engineering Drive 2, E1A 07-03
  Singapore 117576
Tel: (65) 6516 4929
Fax: (65) 6779 1635
Email: vladan@nus.edu.sg
Office: E1A 05-09


Vladan Babovic is a leading scientist in the field of hydroinformatics where he has been spearheading research in data-driven research and computer modeling of hydraulics and hydrological phenomena from early 1990s. In more recent years, his work on flexibility and real options pertaining to decision-making under deep uncertainties in water- and climate-related domains gaining wider recognition.

In addition to being a leading researcher and educator, Vladan is a scientist entrepreneur who was instrumental in securing funding and subsequently lead establishment and managed growth of research institutes, 65 million Singapore Delft Water Alliance (SDWA) and NUSDeltares, for both of which he served as a founding Director. Under his leadership SDWA and NUSDeltares were recognized in March 2014 by prestigious Winsemius Awards.

He is a Chartered Engineer and a Member of the Institution of Engineers (Singapore).


Positions Held

  • Associate Professor, Department of Civil Engineering (since 2005) and
    Director, NUSDeltares (since 2012)
    Director, Singapore Delft Water Alliance, NUS (2007-2013)
  • Senior Research Scientist
    WL | Delft Hydraulics, Delft, The Netherlands, 2004-2005
  • Partner and Chief Technology Officer
    Tectrasys AG, Wollerau, Switzerland, 2003-2005
  • Head of Emerging Technologies
    DHI Water & Environment, Hørsholm, Denmark, 1995-2003
  • Research Fellow in Hydroinformatics
    International Institute for Infrastructural, Hydraulic and Environmental Engineering, IHE-Delft, Delft, The Netherlands, 1991-1995
  • Research Fellow
    Danish Hydraulic Institute, Hørsholm, Denmark, 1990-1991

Consultancy Projects

  • BMT - Jeppesen Marine Advisory Service
  • BMT Feasibility and Detailed Design of Singapore River Diversion, Mott Mac Donald
  • Proposed River Crossing near proposed MRT Station, ARUP


  • Double Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree from Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands and International Institute for Infrastructural, Hydraulic and Environmental Engineering, UNESCO-IHE, Delft, The Netherlands
    Thesis: Hydroinformatics: Emergence, Evolution, Intelligence, 1991-1996
  • Programme for Executive Development
    International Institute for Management Development (IMD), Lausanne, Switzerland, 2001-2002
  • Master of Science (M.Sc., cum laude) in Hydroinformatics International Institute for Infrastructural, Hydraulic and Environmental Engineering, IHE-Delft, Delft, The Netherlands, 1990-1991
  • Diploma of Hydraulic Engineering (DipHE, cum laude) in Computational Hydraulics, International Institute for Infrastructural, Hydraulic and Environmental Engineering, IHE-Delft, Delft, The Netherlands, 1989-1990
  • Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering (Dipl. Ing, cum laude) Major in Hydraulic Engineering, University of Sarajevo, Sarajevo, (former) Yugoslavia, 1981-1986

Honours & Awards

  • 2017 – Council Member, International Association for Hydro-Environmental Research and Engineering
  • 2014 – Albert Winsemius Awards for establishment and leadership of research institutes Singapore Delft Water Alliance and NUSDeltares
  • 2012 — Fellow, International Water Association
  • 1999 — Arthur Thomas Ippen Award of the International Association for Hydraulic Research
  • 1998 — Talent Award of Danish Academy of Technical Sciences
  • 1997 — The Best Paper Award, Danish Hydraulics, 2nd International Software Conference
  • 1986 — Jaroslav Cerni Award as the best Civil Engineering graduate at the Faculty

Professional Activities

  • Member of National Panel of Experts, Coastal Climate Adaptation Study (Singapore)
  • Member of Board of Directors and Chairman Water Committee, Dutch Chamber of Commerce, Singapore
  • Adjunct Professor, Centre for EcoHydraulics Research, University of Idaho1
  • Adjunct Professor, IIHR-Hydroscience and Engineering, University of Iowa
  • Visiting Lecturer, Hydroinformatics Programme, UNESCO-IHE, Delft, The Netherlands
  • Member of Council of Authors of the International Society for Genetic and Evolutionary Computation (ISGEC)
  • Standing Member of Core Programme Policy Committee for Genetic Programming of the International Society for Genetic and Evolutionary Computation (ISGEC)

Editorial Boards

  • International Association for Hydraulic Research (IAHR)
  • American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
  • American Association for Artificial Intelligence (AAAI)
  • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
  • International Society for Genetic and Evolutionary Computation (ISGEC)

Teaching Areas

  • Hydroinformatics
  • Water Resources Management
  • Systems Architecting
  • Real Options

Research Interests

  • artificial intelligence
  • machine learning
  • data mining and knowledge discovery
  • data-driven modelling
  • data assimilation
  • computational hydraulics
  • hydroinformatics

Selected Publications

  1. Manocha, N., & Babovic, V. (2017). Development and valuation of adaptation pathways for storm water management infrastructure. Environmental Science and Policy, 77, 86-97. doi:10.1016/j.envsci.2017.08.001
  2. Babovic, F., Babovic, V., & Mijic, A. (2017). Antifragility and the development of urban water infrastructure. International Journal of Water Resources Development, 1-11. doi:10.1080/07900627.2017.1369866
  3. Wang, X., Babovic, V., & Li, X. (2017). Application of spatial-temporal error correction in updating hydrodynamic model. Journal of Hydro-Environment Research, 16, 45-57. doi:10.1016/j.jher.2017.07.001
  4. Chadalawada, J., Havlicek, V., & Babovic, V. (2017). A Genetic Programming Approach to System Identification of Rainfall-Runoff Models. Water Resources Management, 31(12), 3975-3992. doi:10.1007/s11269-017-1719-1
  5. Karri, R. R., & Babovic, V. (2017). Enhanced predictions of tides and surges through data assimilation. International Journal of Engineering, Transactions A: Basics, 30(1), 23-29. doi:10.5829/idosi.ije.2017.30.01a.04
  6. Li, X., Wang, X., & Babovic, V. (2017). Analysis of variability and trends of precipitation extremes in Singapore during 1980-2013. International Journal of Climatology. doi:10.1002/joc.5165
  7. Goh, S. G., Bayen, S., Burger, D., Kelly, B. C., Han, P., Babovic, V., & Gin, K. Y. H. (2017). Occurrence and distribution of bacteria indicators, chemical tracers and pathogenic vibrios in Singapore coastal waters. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 114(1), 627-634. doi:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2016.09.036
  8. Wang, X., & Babovic, V. (2016). Application of hybrid Kalman filter for improving water level forecast. JOURNAL OF HYDROINFORMATICS, 18(5), 773-790. doi:10.2166/hydro.2016.085
  9. Schmitter, P., Goedbloed, A., Galelli, S., & Babovic, V. (2016). Effect of Catchment-Scale Green Roof Deployment on Stormwater Generation and Reuse in a Tropical City. JOURNAL OF WATER RESOURCES PLANNING AND MANAGEMENT, 142(7), 13 pages. doi:10.1061/(ASCE)WR.1943-5452.0000643
  10. Wang, X., Zhang, J., & Babovic, V. (2016). Improving real-time forecasting of water quality indicators with combination of process-based models and data assimilation technique. Ecological Indicators, 66, 428- 439. doi:10.1016/j.ecolind.2016.02.016
  11. Duerinck, H. M., van der Ent, R. J., van de Giesen, N. C., Schoups, G., Babovic, V., & Yeh, P. J. -F. (2016). Observed Soil Moisture-Precipitation Feedback in Illinois: A Systematic Analysis over Different Scales. JOURNAL OF HYDROMETEOROLOGY, 17(6), 1645-1660. doi:10.1175/JHM-D-15-0032.1
  12. Tay, S. H. X., Kurniawan, A., Ooi, S. K., & Baboyic, V. (2016). Sea level anomalies in straits of Malacca and Singapore. APPLIED OCEAN RESEARCH, 58, 104-117. doi:10.1016/j.apor.2016.04.003
  13. Buurman, J., & Babovic, V. (2016). Adaptation Pathways and Real Options Analysis: An approach to deep uncertainty in climate change adaptation policies. POLICY AND SOCIETY, 35(2), 137-150. doi:10.1016/j.polsoc.2016.05.002
  14. Li, X., Meshgi, A., & Babovic, V. (2016). Spatio-temporal variation of wet and dry spell characteristics of tropical precipitation in Singapore and its association with ENSO. International Journal of Climatology, 36(15), 4831-4846. doi:10.1002/joc.4672
  15. Meshgi, A., Schmitter, P., Chui, T. F. M., & Babovic, V. (2015). Development of a modular streamflow model to quantify runoff contributions from different land uses in tropical urban environments using Genetic Programming. JOURNAL OF HYDROLOGY, 525, 711-723. doi:10.1016/j.jhydrol.2015.04.032
  16. Kurniawan, A., Tay, S. H. X., Ooi, S. K., Babovic, V., & Gerritsen, H. (2015). Analyzing the physics of non-tidal barotropic sea level anomaly events using multi-scale numerical modelling in Singapore regional waters. In JOURNAL OF HYDRO-ENVIRONMENT RESEARCH Vol. 9 (pp. 404-419). ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV. doi:10.1016/j.jher.2014.10.005
  17. Meshgi, A., P. Schmitter, V. Babovic, and T. F. M. Chui (2014), An empirical method for approximating stream baseflow time series using groundwater table fluctuations, Journal of Hydrology, 519, Part A, 1031-1041.
  18. Wang, X., & Babovic, V. (2014). Enhancing water level prediction through model residual correction based on Chaos theory and Kriging. International Journal for Numerical Methods in Fluids, 75(1), 42-62.
  19. Kurniawan, A., Ooi, S. K., & Babovic, V. (2014). Improved sea level anomaly prediction through combination of data relationship analysis and genetic programming in Singapore Regional Waters. Computers & Geosciences, 72, 94-104. doi: 10.1016/j.cageo.2014.07.007
  20. Karri, R. R., Badwe, A., Wang, X., El Serafy, G., Sumihar, J., Babovic, V., & Gerritsen, H. (2013). Application of data assimilation for improving forecast of water levels and residual currents in Singapore regional waters. Ocean Dynamics, 63(1), 43-61. doi: 10.1007/s10236-012-0584-y
  21. Deng Y, Cardin M.-A., Babovic V., Santhanakrishnan, D., Schmitter, P., Meshgi, A. (2013). Valuing flexibilities in the design of urban water management systems. Water research, 47(20), 13.
  22. Chan, L. G., & Babovic, V. (2013). Real options and CO 2 reduction policies for climate change. International Journal of System of Systems Engineering, 4(2), 140-161.
  23. Basnayake, L. A., & Babovic, V. (2013). Rainfall-runoff modelling with data driven techniques: constraints and proper implementation. In A. Chavoshian & K. Takeuchi (Eds.), Floods: from Risk to Opportunity (pp. 273-282).
  24. Zhang, S. X., & Babovic, V. (2012). A real options approach to the design and architecture of water supply systems using innovative water technologies under uncertainty. Journal of Hydroinformatics, 14(1), 13-29. doi: 10.2166/hydro.2011.078
  25. Sun, Y., Babovic, V., & Chan, E. S. (2012). Artificial neural networks as routine for error correction with an application in Singapore regional model. Ocean Dynamics, 62(5), 661-669. doi: 10.1007/s10236-012-0524-x
  26. Clarke, S. R., Markovic, E., Nguyen, K., Babovic, V., Swarup, S., Wijdeveld, A., Hyde, K. (2012). Sol-gel materials for WSUD water treatment applications. Papers of American Chemical Society, 243.
  27. Zhang, S. X., & Babovic, V. (2011). An evolutionary real options framework for the design and management of projects and systems with complex real options and exercising conditions. Decision Support Systems, 51(1), 119-129. doi: 10.1016/j.dss.2010.12.001
  28. 2011, A real options approach to design and architech water supply systems using alternative water resources under uncertainty, Journal of Hydroinformatics, Vol. 14, Issue 1 (with S Zhang)
  29. 2011, An evolutionary real options framework for design and management large-scale projects and systems with multiple real options, Decision Support System, Vol. 51 (with S Zhang)
  30. 2010, Architecting a maritime domain protection system:, Journal of Hydraulic Engineering-ASCE (with Buurman J and Z Xu)
  31. 2010, Multi-step-ahead model error prediction using time-delay neural networks combined with chaos theory, Journal of Hydrology, Vol. 395, Issue 2010, pp. 109-116 (with Sun Y and E S Chan)
  32. 2009, Reducing risk through real options in system design: The case of architecting a maritime domain protection system, Risk Analysis, Vol 29, Issue 3, pp 366-379
  33. 2009, Introducing knowledge into learning based on genetic programming, Journal of Hydroinformatics, Vol. 11, Issue 3-4, pp 181-193
  34. 2009, Applying local model approach for tidal prediction in a deterministic model, International Journal for Numerical Method in Fluids, Vol. 60, Issue 6, pp 651-667 (with Sun Y, Piyamarn Sisomphon and ES Chan)
  35. 2009, Reducing risk through real options in systems design: The case of architecting a maritime domain protection system, Risk Analysis, Vol. 29, Issue 3, pp 366-379 (with Buurman, JJ G and X Zhang)
  36. 2009, Efficient data assimilation method based on chaos theory and kalman filter with an application in Singapore regional model, Journal of Hydro-environment research, Vol. 3, Issue 2, pp 85-95 (with Sun Y, Piyamarn Sisomphon and ES Chan)
  37. 2007, On inducing equations for vegetation resistance, Journal of Hydraulic Research, Vol. 44, Issue 5, (with J Rodrigues, M Baptist, M Keijzer, R Uittenbogaard, A Verwey and A Mynett)
  38. 2000, Genetic programming as a model induction engine, Journal of Hydroinformatics, Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 35-60 (with Keijzer, M.)
  39. 2001, Neural networks as a routine for error correction of numerical models, ASCE Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, Vol. 127, No. 3, pp. 181-193 (with Jensen, H.R., Klinting, A.K. and Canizares, R.T.)
  40. 1997, The evolution of equation from hydraulic data, Part I: Theory, Journal of Hydraulic Research, Vol. 35, No. 3, pp. 397 – 410 (with M.B. Abbott)
  41. 2001, Genetic programming and its application in real-time runoff forcasting, Journal of the American Water Resources Association, Vol. 37, Issue 2, pp. 439-451 (with Soon Thiam Khu, Shie-Yui Liong, Nitin Muttil and Henrik Madsen)
  42. 2004, EC-SVM approach for real-time hydrologic forecasting, Journal of Hydroinformatics, Vol. 6, pp. 209-223 (with Xinying Yu, and Shie-Yui Liong)
  43. 1999, Dimensionally Aware Genetic Programming, Proceedings of the Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference, Vol. 2, (with M. Keijzer)
  44. 1996, Emergence, Evolution, Intelligence: Hydroinformatics, Balkema Publishers, Book
  45. 2002, A data mining approach to modelling of water supply assets, Urban Water, Vol. 4, Issue 4, pp 401-414 (with Jean-Philippe Drecourt, M. Keijzer and Peter Friss Hansen)

Last Updated on 16 October 2017 by Department of Civil and Environmental Enginering