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Dr Valentin Heller, Dr sc ETH Zurich, Dipl Bau-Ing ETH (MSc/BSc) (Civil Engineering)


Dr Valentin Heller is currently an Assistant Professor in Hydraulics in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Nottingham and a member of the Geohazards and Earth Processes Research Group. Before moving to the University of Nottingham, he held one of the prestigious Imperial College London Research Fellowships, a Research Fellowship at the University of Southampton and a postdoctoral position at ETH Zurich. He received his PhD and MSc in Civil Engineering from ETH Zurich. His research mainly concerns experimental fluid dynamics into landslide-tsunamis (impulse waves), marine renewables and scale effects in fluids and granular slides. Dr Heller and his research team further apply a wide range of computational fluid dynamics CFD, and other, codes such as DualSPHysics, OpenFOAM, SWASH and LIGGGHTS-DEM.

Dr Valentin Heller

Assistant Professor

Geohazards and Earth Processes Research Group

Department of Civil Engineering

Faculty of Engineering

The University of Nottingham

Nottingham, NG7 2RD, UK

Email: Valentin.heller (@)







Overview research topics

Personal research website

Other research profiles and websites

· Staff profile at University of Nottingham

· Research profile on ResearchGate


· Profile on Google Scholar

· Profile on LinkedIn

· Profile on XING

· Swiss Geo Web

· Twitter

· International Association for Hydro-Environment Eng. and Research IAHR (member)

· European Geosciences Union EGU (member)

· Fluid Mechanics Section, Imperial College London (previous employer)

· Energy and Climate Change group, University of Southampton (previous employer)

· VAW, ETH Zurich (previous employer)

Previous research positions



Imperial College London Research Fellowship

Research Fellow at the University of Southampton

Postdoctoral Researcher at Laboratory of Hydraulics, Hydrology and Glacio-

logy VAW, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich)

PhD student at VAW, ETH Zurich

MSc project at VAW, ETH Zurich

Current address

Editor and Technical Reviewer of peer-review journals

Wave energy conversion

Landslide-tsunamis (impulse waves)

Scale effects

Ski jump hydraulics

Wave energy converters WECs are used to transform wave power in electrical power. Dr Heller is particularly interested in the verification of the concept and theory of distensible WECs.



Landslide-tsunamis are generated by mass movements such as landslides, rock falls or  glacier calving. Dr Heller is interested in physical and numerical modelling of such extreme waves.



Scale effects arise due to forces which are too dominant in a physical scale model compared to its prototype and they may result in significant deviations between the up-scaled model and prototype observations. Several on-going and past projects of Dr Heller address scale effects in fluids and granular slides.

Ski jumps are employed downstream of dams to deflect large discharges from floods into the tail water. Dr Heller conducted generic physical model tests involving different types of flip buckets, the main element of ski jumps.

Dr Heller is interested in many further research areas including shallow-water vortices, viscoelastic material behaviour, development of measurement systems and beach reflection analysis.

Further research

Last modified: 15.01.2018


· January 2018: The special issue Tsunami Science and Engineering II is now open for submission (the articles of Vol. I are available here) 

· September 2015: A new landslide-tsunamis benchmark test case (case 11) is published on the SPHERIC website

· September 2013: A short course about landslide generated impulse waves was held at the IAHR World Congress in Chengdu, China, 08.09.2013

· April 2017: The forum paper Self-similarity and Reynolds number invariance in Froude modelling is now published in the JHR (free eprints for the 50 fastest)

· February 2017: Click here for the latest PhD student funding opportunities

· April 2017: Dr Heller joins the editorial board of the Journal of Marine Science and Engineering

· September 2017: The HYDRALAB+ test campaign Tsunamis due to ice masses was successfully concluded in August 2017 at Deltares, Delft, The Netherlands

· August 2017: The two volume set Experimental Hydraulics: Methods, Instrumentation, Data Processing and Management has now been published