About ECHN

ECHN represents those at the start of their professional careers in hydrogeology, irrespective of age.

Our objectives

  • To promote information sharing possibilities for early career hydrogeologists.
  • To provide support networks for members to discuss and develop ideas or schemes, through web-based forums, meetings, etc.
  • To preserve hydrogeological competence and experience via productive exchanges between junior and senior hydrogeologists.
  • To provide technical training via short-courses, master-classes at conferences and online sessions.
  • To enhance the social and professional networking opportunities of early career hydrogeologists, e.g. by specific events at conferences.
  • To strengthen the status of early career hydrogeologists within IAH by networking at conferences, congresses and within its National Chapters, Commissions and Networks.

Steering Committee 2020-2022

The present structure of the network consists of a Steering Committee, led by a Chairperson and two Co-chairs and Task Teams supported by a Advisory Team formed by previous chair and co-chairs of the network.

To ensure active participation of the ECHN steering committee, members are invited to join the committee for one year as part of the task teams. Following this time, members can reapply if able to continue involvement.

Membership of the steering committee should not be automatically renewed to allow for new member involvement, changing priorities of existing members and also reflect that involvement may be task specific or due to geographical location, e.g. assisting in a specific annual IAH congresses organizing committee.

Jared van Rooyen


Jared is a postdoctoral researcher from Stellenbosch University (South Africa), his research is focused on the use of isotopic geochemistry in the investigation of regional groundwater resources with a specific focus on modern groundwater distribution and groundwater vulnerability to climate change.


Jade Ward


Jade is a hydrogeologist at the British Geological Survey, working on a range of water resources and water quality research projects. Her PhD research focussed on investigating novel approaches for detecting microbial contamination in drinking water in Africa, undertaking her data collection in Malawi. During her PhD, Jade completed a Fellowship with the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST, UK Parliament), writing a briefing on water resilience and climate change for parliamentarians. Before starting her PhD, Jade worked as a consultant hydrogeologist for four years at Mott MacDonald, where she gained her chartership (MCIWEM, C.WEM, CSci). Jade holds an MSc in Hydrogeology from the University of Birmingham, UK and a BSc in Environmental Sciences (with a year in industry) from the University of East Anglia, UK.


Stefania Stevenazzi

Co-chair, ITALY

Stefania is a researcher at the University of Naples Federico II (Italy). Her research focuses on groundwater vulnerability assessments of porous aquifers, groundwater contamination related to the presence of urban areas and implementation of satellite data for evaluating human impacts on environmental matrices.


TC_1208Tirza Contreras

Task team, HONDURAS

Tirza is a hydrogeologist at National Company of Electrictiy in Honduras (ENEE), working in the area of underground constructions maintenance at the Francisco Morazán hydropower plant. She uses stable isotopes of rain water all over the reservoir to estimate the local meteoric water line. She has a MSc degree in hydrogeoloy from the University of Costa Rica (UCR) and is interested in karst hydrogeology and stable isotopes


Luis Camilo Suescún

Task team, COLOMBIA

Luis Camilo holds a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and MSc. in Water Resources from National University of Colombia where he obtained a Laureated thesis and international awards. His research was focused on analytic and numerical inverse modeling to estimate seepage flows in deep tunnels. He is currently working as Groundwater modeler in DHI Group developing groundwater flow and transport models in fractured and porous media for underground and mining projects in Latin America. He is representative of IAH-Colombian Chapter and supports the ECH’s expansion in Colombia as a volunteer in activities related to oil&gas industry, water management and transfer groundwater knowledge. His principal interests are Groundwater Modeling, Groundwater Management, Groundwater Quality, Groundwater Governance, and Socio-Hydrogeology.


Richard Hoffman

Task team, GERMANY

Richard works as a postdoctoral researcher at Forschungszentrum Jülich in Germany, focusing on sustainable groundwater management and uncertainty quantification in heterogeneous terrestrial systems. He develops integrated hydrological models to simulate land surface and subsurface processes simultaneously. His PhD thesis focused on the injection of heat, cold water and dissolved gases in heterogeneous alluvial sediments and fractured rocks.


Fatima Monji


Fatima is a graduate of Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Programme: Groundwater and Global Change – Impacts and Adaptation. She completed her master degree at TU Dresden where she did research on estimating and quantifying the dynamics of soil water flow during irrigation. Currently, she works as a hydrogeologist at NECTAERRA in the Netherlands. NECTAERRA is an independent research and consultancy firm for groundwater, surface water, hydrogeology and urban hydrology.


Paulo Filipe Silva Borges


Paulo is a PhD researcher in Geology with specialization in Hydrogeology at University of Azores (Portugal). In the insular environment he is using the electric methods of geophysics and programming for modelling the groundwater in volcanic terrains. He holds a MSc in Geosciences with specialization in Environment and Ornament. Is interested in Hydrodynamics of contaminations and saltwater intrusion.




Isadora Aumond Kuhn

Task Team, BRAZIL

Isadora is a researcher at the Geological Survey of Brazil. She works as regional coordinator of the groundwater monitoring network at southern Brazil. She is a PhD student at Hydraulic Research Institute (Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil), her research is focused on groundwater time series analysis and isotopic geochemistry. She has a bachelor degree in Geology and a MSc with emphasis in geochemistry and lead isotopes.


Klara Zagar


Klara is a PhD researcher at Jožef Stefan Institute (Slovenia). Her research focuses on application of isotopic geochemistry in the field of urban hydrology (from different sources to tap) and is participating in other projects relate to water resources. She completed her master in Geoenvironment and Geochemistry from the University of Ljubljana.






Advisory team

RaquelSosuaRaquel Sousa

Past co-chair (2016-2020), PORTUGAL

Raquel has a degree in Environmental and Applied Geology taken in the Science Faculty of Lisbon University and a MSc in Geological Processes from the Évora University where she wrote her thesis on hydrology, hydrogeology and GIS. Her biggest interests are groundwater quality, sustainable development, development and cooperation and groundwater management in low income  countries and rural areas.

C_MaldanerCarlos Maldaner

Past chair (2016-2018), CANADA/BRAZIL

Carlos is a PhD candidate at the Centre for Applied Groundwater Research at University of Guelph, Canada. His research focus on flow and contaminant transport characterization in fractured bedrock aquifers. He has a bachelor degree in Geology and a MSc in hydrogeology from University of Sao Paulo, Brazil.


IMG_6203Viviana Re

Past chair (2013-2016), ITALY

Viviana is a Post-Doc at National Engineering School of Sfax (ENIS) – Laboratory of Radio-Analysis and Environment (LRAE) in Tunisia. She obtained a PhD degree from the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice (Italy) in Analysis and Governance of Sustainable Development. Her research interests are isotope hydrogeology, groundwater quality monitoring, and groundwater management in  rural areas.

fluegge_swJudith Flügge

Past chair (2011-2013), GERMANY

Judith is a researcher and project leader at the German Gesellschaft für            Anlagen-und Reaktorsicherheit (GRS) mbH. She received her doctorate degree from the Technische Universität Braunschweig (Germany) in 2009. Her research focuses on groundwater flow and transport modeling and on long-term safety assessments for nuclear waste repositories.


MADMatthys Dippenaar

Past Co-chair (2013-2015), SOUTH AFRICA

Matthys has completed his PhD in Hydrogeology on various aspects of vadose zone hydrology in urban settings at the University of Pretoria (South Africa) where he is presently employed as a lecturer. His research interests include unsaturated flow and multiphase flow through soils and fractured rock systems and the modelling and conceptualization thereof, as well as urban hydrology and  urban water history.

Past Steering Committee members

The ECHN is grateful for all past steering committee members, see all of them here.


How we started

Initial steps towards the formation of this network were taken at the 38th IAH Congress in Krakow (Poland) in September 2010, where the first young/early career hydrogeologists’ session was held. After this meeting a group of nine junior hydrogeologists teamed up to start efforts. In July 2011, the group was officially recognized as an IAH network, and from there ECHN has developed and grown rapidly. Originally intended to support the young hydrogeologists below the age of 35, the network now speaks up for those at the start of their professional careers in hydrogeology irrespective of their age.

ECHN founders (2010)

Judith Flugge (Germany), Mark Cuthbert (UK), Jay Thakur (Germany), Anna Kuczynska (Poland), Grant Ferguson (Canada), Lucy Leyland (UK), Robert Hoogeveen (The Netherlands), Sophie Vermooten (The Netherlands) and Viviana Re (Italy).

Promotional material

The following promotional materials can be used to advertise the ECHN in hydrogeology related events.

ECHN Poster Size A4 English

ECHN Poster Size A4 Spanish

ECHN Business Card