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Van-Thanh-Van Nguyen

Van T.V. Nguyen

Chair, Professor

Eng, D.A.Sc



BEng (Vietnam)
MEng (AIT)
D.A.Sc (Montreal)


Tel: 514-398-6870
Fax: 514-398-7361
van [dot] tv [dot] nguyen [at] mcgill [dot] ca (E-mail)



General information

Professor Nguyen is currently holder of the Endowed Brace Professor Chair in Civil Engineering at McGill University. He is presently Chair of Department of Civil Engineering and Applied Mechanics, Director of the Brace Centre for Water Resources Management, and Associate Director of the Global Environmental and Climate Change Centre at McGill. His scientific and professional contributions over more than 25 years have been mostly in the areas of Hydrology and Water Resources Management. He has been invited to participate in various expert committees at the provincial level (Quebec Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Science and Technology, Ontario Council of Graduate Studies, Conférence des recteurs et des principaux des universités du Québec), at the national level (NRC Canada Associate Committee on Hydrology, Natural Resources Canada, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation), and at the international level (UNESCO, and WMO). He has served as member of different scientific journal editorial boards (ASCE Journal of Hydrologic Engineering, IAHR Journal of Hydro-environment Research, IAHR Journal of Hydro informatics, etc.), and has been invited to deliver keynote and prestigious lectures at many universities, scientific conferences, and workshops in Canada and abroad. Furthermore, since several years he has been active in international co-operation activities with colleagues in North-America, Europe, and in Asia-Pacific region. He has been an invited professor at universities in Canada, Japan, Singapore, and Malaysia as well as an active member in several professional associations (President of the Hydrological Science Section of the AOGS, 2006-2008; Founding member of APHW, Members of AGU, ASCE, AWRA, IAHS, and IWA). Finally, as a professional engineer, he has been involved in a number of projects with various consulting engineering companies in Canada (Hydro-Quebec, Dessau-Soprin Inc., etc.). He is author or co-author of over 200 papers in peer-reviewed journals, monographs, and conference proceedings.


Research interests

  • Climate change impacts and adaptation in water management
  • Modeling of hydrologic processes over different spatial and temporal scales (rainfalls, streamflows, temperatures, etc.)
  • Regional estimation of extreme hydrologic variables (extreme rainfalls, floods, temperature extremes, ice storms, etc.)
  • Automatic calibration of conceptual rainfall-runoff models
  • Forecasting and simulation of hydrologic series
  • Design, planning and management of urban drainage systems
  • Management of water resources systems for sustainable development

Research funding

Over the past several years until now, Professor Nguyen has developed individual research projects as well as team research projects in collaboration with researchers from universities and industries in Canada and abroad. These projects have been funded by NSERC, Quebec FQRNT, Environment Canada, OURANOS Consortium, Hydro-Quebec, Centre d'Expertise et de Recherche en Infrastructures Urbaines in Quebec, Japan Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport, Science and Technology, etc.. In particular, he has been leading multidisciplinary research groups from various Canadian universities (INRS-ETE, McGill, U. Laval, U. Montreal, UQAM, U. Sherbrooke, and UBC) and research institutions (Environment Canada, and Hydro-Quebec) for preparing research proposals to establish research centres and networks in the areas of Climate Change and Water Resources Management (Projects currently funded by NSERC-Special Research Opportunity program, and Quebec FQRNT Regroupements stratégiques program).

Courses offered

  • CIVE 208 Civil Engineering Sys Analysis 3 Credits
      Offered in the:
    • Fall
    • Winter
    • Summer

  • CIVE 323 Hydrology and Water Resources 3 Credits
      Offered in the:
    • Fall
    • Winter
    • Summer

  • CIVE 550 Water Resources Management 3 Credits
      Offered in the:
    • Fall
    • Winter
    • Summer

  • CIVE 555 Environmental Data Analysis 3 Credits
      Offered in the:
    • Fall
    • Winter
    • Summer


Professor Nguyen has served as expert consultant to various non-governmental and public (national and international) organizations. In addition, he has been invited to give keynote lectures and seminars at many universities, scientific conferences, and training workshops in Canada and abroad. Examples include:

  • Member of an international expert committee set up by the World Meteorological Organization to revise the Guide to Hydrological Practices (responsible for revising and re-writing two chapters dealing with Frequency Analysis of Extreme Rainfalls and Design Storm Estimation).
  • Member of a Working Group set up by the Canadian Standards Association to prepare the guideline for engineering practice: “Development, Interpretation and Use of Rainfall IDF Information: Guideline for Canadian Water Resources Practitioners”.
  • Member of the UNESCO Regional Steering Committee for Asia-Pacific Region since 2001. He was the only Canadian member in this committee which consists of national representatives from countries in the Asia-Pacific region (Australia, Cambodia, China, Japan, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam).
  • Expert Consultant for the Conférence des recteurs et des principaux des universités du Québec (CREPUQ) (2005): to provide an appraisal of the proposal for establishing the B.Eng. program in Water Engineering at Laval University in Quebec.
  • Expert Consultant for the Ontario Council on Graduate Studies (2004): to provide an appraisal of the proposal for establishing the PhD program in Civil Engineering at Ryerson University in Ontario.
  • Member of an expert committee set up by the Fondation Quebecoise en Environment to prepare a memorandum regarding energy development in Quebec (the memorandum was submitted to Quebec Parliamentary Commission on Economy in 1990).
  • Keynote speakers at the International Urban Water Conference, Heverlee, Belgium (2008); United Nations Typhoon Committee Workshop, Beijing, China (2008); Int. Conf. on Env. Management and Tech., Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (2008). 24th Eastern Canadian Symp. of the CAWQ, Montreal, Quebec, Canada (2008); Expert Symposium on Climate Change: Modelling, Impacts, and Adaptation, Singapore (2007).
  • Prestigious lecturer: Advanced Training Workshop on Stormwater Modelling organized by UNESCO in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, July 27-31, 1998; Advanced Training Workshop on Urban Hydrology organized by UNESCO in Hanoi, Vietnam, August 23-27, 1999; Special Scientific Lecture delivered at the 12th Session of the WMO Commission for Hydrology, Geneva, Switzerland, October 20-29, 2004; Distinguished Lecture delivered at the 3rd AOGS Annual Meeting, Singapore, July 10-14, 2006.
  • Member of the Scientific Program Committees for organizing various international conferences in China, Korea, France, Denmark, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Switzerland, etc.

Representative publications

  • Nguyen, V-T-V., Desramaut, N. and Nguyen, T-D. (2010)  "Optimal rainfall temporal patterns for urban drainage design in the context of climate change", Water Science and Technology, Vol. 62, No. 5, pp. 1170-1176.
  • Nguyen, V-T-V. (2009)  "Recent Advances in Statistical Modeling of Extreme Rainfalls and Floods", International Journal on Hydropower and Dams, Vol. 16, No. 2, pp. 65-70.
  • Nguyen, V-T-V. and Nguyen, T-D. (2008)  "Statistical downscaling of daily precipitation process for climate-related impact studies", Chapter 16 in Hydrology and Hydraulics, V.P. Singh (Ed.), Water Resources Publications, pp. 587-604.
  • Nguyen, V-T-V., Desramaut, N. and Nguyen, T-D. (2008)  "Estimation of Urban Design Storms in Consideration of GCM-Based Climate Change Scenarios", Water and Urban Development Paradigms, J. Feyen, K. Shannon, and M. Neville (Eds.), Taylor and Francis Group, London, UK, pp. 347-356. (Keynote Paper)
  • Cooper, V.A., Nguyen, V-T-V. and Nicell, J.A. (2007)  "Calibration of conceptual rainfall-runoff models using global optimization methods with hydrologic process-based parameter constraints", Journal of Hydrology, 334:3-4, pp. 455-466.
  • Nguyen, V-T-V., Nguyen, T-D. and Cung, A. (2007) "A statistical approach to downscaling of sub-daily extreme rainfall processes for climate-related impacts studies in urban areas", Water Science and Technology: Water Supply, 7:2, pp. 183-192.
  • Peyron, N. and Nguyen, V-T-V. (2005)  "An optimal temporal storm pattern for the design of urban drainage systems (in French)", Annales du batiment et des travaux publics, Vol. 3, pp. 35-42.
  • Nguyen, V-T-V., Nguyen, T.D. and Ashkar, F. (2002)  "Regional frequency analysis of extreme rainfalls", Water Science and Technology, 45:2, pp. 75-81.
  • Pandey, G.R. and Nguyen, V-T-V. (1999)  "A comparative study of regression based methods in regional flood frequency analysis", Journal of Hydrology, Vol. 225, pp. 92-101.
  • Pandey, G.R. and Nguyen, V-T-V. (1998)  "Estimation of regional floods using covariance structural model", Canadian Water Resources Journal, 23:2, pp. 181-190.
  • Chouinard, L., Elfashny, K., Nguyen, V-T-V. and Laflamme, J. (1998)  "Modelling of icing events based on passive ice meter observations in Quebec", Atmospheric Research, Vol. 46, pp. 169-179.
  • Nguyen, V-T-V., Nguyen, T-D. and Wang, H. (1998) "Regional estimation of short duration rainfall extremes", Water Science and Technology, 37:11, pp. 15-19.
  • Ouldali, S., Leduc, R. and Nguyen, V-T-V. (1989)  "Uncertainty modelling of facultative aerated lagoon systems", Water Research, Vol. 23, No. 4, pp. 451 459.
  • Nguyen, V-T-V., In-Na, N. and Bobee, B. (1989)  "A new plotting position formula for Pearson type III distribution", ASCE Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, Vol. 115, No. 6, pp. 709 730.
  • In-Na, N. and Nguyen, V-T-V. (1989)  "An unbiased plotting position formula for the General Extreme Value distribution", Journal of Hydrology, Vol. 106, No. 3/4, pp. 193 209.
  • Nguyen, V-T-V. (1984)  "On stochastic characterization of temporal storm patterns", Water Science and Technology, Vol. 16, No. 8/9, pp. 147 153.
  • Nguyen, V-T-V. (1984)  "A stochastic description of temporal daily rainfall pattern", Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering, Vol. 11, No. 2, pp. 234 238.
  • Nguyen, V-T-V. and Rousselle, J. (1981) "A stochastic model for the time distribution of hourly rainfall depth", Water Resources Research, Vol.17, No. 2, pp. 399 409.