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Research Student Spotlight February - Jose Miguel Fragozo Arevalo

Our monthly spotlight on the work and lives of the next generation of water@leeds researchers.
This month: Jose Miguel Fragozo Arevalo, who is a visiting postgraduate researcher from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana and Universidad de La Guiajira, Riohacha, Colombia
PhD Title: Flood modelling and flood risk management, in flood plain areas with scarcity of data
School of Civil Engineering
Supervisors: Prof. Mark Trigg and Prof. Andy Sleigh

Tell us a bit about yourself

I was born in Colombia, in a department called La Guajira, in the city of Maicao, there I grew up, I studied Environmental Engineering at the University of La Guajira in Riohacha, the capital of the department, I graduated in 2016, since then and until 2019 I worked in the private sector and collaborated in some research projects.

In 2019, I applied to a scholarship program of the Ministry of Science and Technology of Colombia, and I won the scholarship for my Ph.D. studies, starting in 2020, at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogota, DC, Colombia. Since then, I have dedicated myself to my doctoral studies and work as a teacher at the University of La Guajira in Riohacha. Besides studying, in my free time I like going to the movies, reading, playing soccer, and watching soccer games on TV. I like listening to music and traveling.

Why did you choose University of Leeds?

I have only been in Leeds for a short internship, my stay here has been very constructive. I chose to come to Leeds because the water@leeds research group has a great deal of experience in my research topic. The first contact I made was through Professor Mark Trigg, whose work has served as a reference for my project, which was basically the reason for choosing the University of Leeds.

About University of Leeds,  I have liked the infrastructure and the great experience of the research groups and professors. The outcomes about different field research are very well referenced at the University. And my stay here has represented an important improvement of my knowledge and skills.

What is your research about

My research topic is about flood modelling and flood hazard estimation as a fundamental step in risk assessment. Focusing mainly on floodplains where there is not enough quality information needed as input for the models, such as the digital elevation model, therefore the main objective of my project is to develop a methodology that allows the improvement of free elevation models of global coverage and make them optimal for flood simulation models.

I have published a scientific paper from my bachelor’s degree project: 2D Hydraulic Modeling of Floods in Data-Scarce Regions. The Case of the Rancheria River Delta, Riohacha-Colombia.

man standing in front of a large screen to present his research.

Jose presenting at Javeriana University Colombia, at a Doctoral Research Seminar, August 2023.