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David Fortune, Postgraduate Researcher

David Fortune - Water They Up To: CWS in the Spotlight

Next up in our 'Water they up to: CWS in the Spotlight' feature, is Postgraduate Researcher David Fortune.

What is your research about?

It’s all about operational Digital Twins for transforming water/wastewater/stormwater network management. Operational Digital Twins are virtual representations of the real world that continuously receive monitored data and weather or demand forecasts and combine them with models of the network performance to give a broad view of flow throughout the network and prediction of likely performance in the hours and days ahead. 

My research is concerned with best ways to update the models as the network infrastructure changes and to assimilate monitored data into the models, continuously in real-time. 

What is the most exciting part about your research?

Digital Twins are the future for operational water management – which is exciting in itself. I get a kick from using technology, in particular models and data, in a practical way to drive huge improvements in ordinary, everyday water management. Water service consumers – the public - will definitely benefit from digital transformation. 

When thinking about water, what place comes to mind first and why?

Appledore in North Devon because my wife and I moved here last year to be beside the sea: walking, gig rowing, kayaking, bodyboarding, swimming, and paddling with grandchildren – the whole seaside lifestyle. But the island of Halki in Greece comes a close second – I can spend hours swimming in the harbour there. 

Which movie or book character would you most associate with water?

The book is Moby Dick. It’s a thrilling, if somewhat obscure, book. Film is The Perfect Storm - a reminder of my days in storm surge modelling in India. On a lighter note, Alice in Wonderland has great references to water including the pool of tears, and the mock turtle and the gryphon dancing the lobster quadrille. 

View David's profile.

Date: 24 November 2021

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