Dr Laura Ramsamy

Job: Senior Flood Scientist

Employer: Climate X

PhD Thesis: Flood forecasting in a large catchment with limited data

PhD Supervisors: Professor Slobodan Djordjevic and Professor Albert Chen

Laura was a PhD student on the WISE CDT programme between 2016-22 and was based at the University of Exeter.  She passed her PhD viva in June 2022 and her thesis was entitled “Flood forecasting in a large catchment with limited data”.  Laura works as a Flood Hydrologist for Climate X in London.

Prior to joining WISE Laura graduated from the University of Reading with a BSc (Hons) in Human and Physical and Geography, and went on to complete an MSc in Water and Environmental Management at Brighton University. Her Master’s dissertation was entitled ‘A critical evaluation of household level drinking water treatments promoted for use in emergency settings by the Red Cross.’

Laura’s PhD research aimed to develop flood modelling methodologies that can be used for forecasting floods in catchments that frequently experience flooding but have limited data, using the Gandak River in India as a case study. The Gandak River in Northern India was identified as an initial case study to contribute to an existing research project: ‘Coupled Human and Natural Systems Environment (CHANSE) for water management under uncertainty in the Indo-Gangetic Plain (IGP).  The first part of the project examined the use of satellite data products such as Digital Elevation Models and Landsat imagery. These were evaluated and compared when utilised for hydrodynamic modelling of a river, using DHI MIKE modelling software.  Data driven techniques were also explored- focusing on the application of Artificial Neural Networks for flood forecasting, which whilst widely researched are yet to be used operationally. This includes establishing optimum model architecture, the use of hybrid neural network modelling methods such as Genetic Algorithms, and input variable selection methodologies including statistical and model based.