Professor Dragan Savic

Professor Dragan Savic is the first Professor of Hydroinformatics in the UK and a co-director of the Centre for Water Systems in the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences.

What have been your major academic achievements?

There are many achievements I am proud of. The most recent was being elected as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in July 2013.

This honour, the highest an engineer can receive in the UK, is not only a recognition of my own work, but also recognises the achievements of the Centre for Water Systems’ researchers, engineers, scientists and students that I had a privilege of working with at the University of Exeter over the years.

Our work is inspired by that fundamental human desire to make a difference in the lives of others. My work, which involves both engineering and scientific skills, allows me to make that difference in other people’s lives.

I feel privileged to have contributed to engineering practice worldwide, for example the optimisation work that saved $50 million on a water network design in the Region of York (Canada).

Another example is the high-speed sewer network simulator, which was developed with the Ewan Group (now part of Mouchel), that won the Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) Ken Roberts award for technical innovation in the water industry and the top prize in the business intelligence category of the Information Management Awards in 2006.

What has been the most rewarding moment of your career so far?

Helping to establish the Centre for Water Systems in 1998 with Prof Godfrey Walters was probably the most rewarding moment. Nowadays, under the shared leadership of Prof David Butler and myself, the Centre has nine academics and more than 40 researchers who are studying challenging topics on urban water and hydroinformatics.

I have also enjoyed working with colleagues to build up the reputation of Exeter as a major player in the urban water engineering field. What I enjoy most is helping young and upcoming researchers to develop their research and pursue their chosen career in academia and industry.

What more do you hope to achieve at Exeter?

I’d like to keep my own research going and enable the Centre to continue to flourish both in the UK and on the international scene. This also involves helping others in the Centre to achieve their full potential.