Early Career Research Spotlight April: Andy Carr

Our monthly spotlight on the work and lives of the next generation of water@leeds researchers.
This month: Dr. Andy Carr
PhD title: Multi-threaded Congo River Channel Hydraulics: Field-based Characterisation and Representation in Hydrodynamic Models
School/ Faculty: School of Civil Engineering
Supervisors: Dr Mark Trigg (primary), Dr Mark W. Smith, Dr Duncan Borman
Photograph shows Andy setting up a GNSS receiver on a hired barge, to take regular measurements of water surface elevation whilst travelling from Kisangani to Mbandaka on the Congo River.

Tell us a bit about yourself:

I grew up in North Yorkshire, on the coast near Scarborough. I did my first degree (MEng Civil Engineering) at Leeds, then worked for a consultancy firm for several years on flood risk and river engineering projects.

Why did you choose Leeds University?

As a prospective postgrad, for me the main reason was the uniqueness of the PhD project being offered by Leeds. The Congo River has (until recently) received very little attention in research, and I was really attracted by the opportunity to study it, especially through fieldwork. The project was also a great fit with my technical background.

What is your research about?

My PhD research focussed on the hydraulics of the Congo River, and methods of modelling the hydrodynamics of what is a huge multichannel system. I collected and analysed primary data obtained during multiple field campaigns in DR Congo, and also drew on satellite observations, exploring their utility for monitoring the hydrodynamics of large rivers.  Building research capacity in DR Congo was an important feature of my PhD; I was able to do this by forging close links with researchers at the University of Kinshasa.  This work was part of CRuHM a Royal Society-DFID funded project.

What did you wish you knew before starting a PhD?

How to speak French and Lingala fluently…they’d have been very handy for my fieldwork!

What are your plans for the future?

I’ve recently started a new role at Leeds as a research fellow working on the GCRF Water Security Hub project. The project brings together an international team from over 12 different countries to address threats to water security. My role is to investigate the potential for new and emerging global water datasets to fill data gaps and aid decision making. These datasets are derived from global model frameworks or satellite remote sensing instruments. They can be very different to traditional in-situ water parameter datasets, and their coarser resolution introduces new challenges in their implementation and use in decision making frameworks.

Andy’s publications can be found here.

follow Andy on twitter @AndyBCarr