Research Based Education for Development of Hydropower Professionals, Hydro Himalaya

Research Based Education for Development of Hydropower Professionals, Hydro Himalaya

Hydropower plant. Photo: Pexels


The Himalaya, Hindu-Kush, and Karakoram Mountain range form the greatest band of mountains on the planet binging huge prospects of hydropower development opportunities. The entire Himalaya Region suffers from weak geology and floods causing the sediment induced challenges for hydropower plants. This is especially true in Nepal, one of the poorer nations of the world, where more than 20000 MW of hydropower projects are under some stage of development.

Nepal lacks a strong tertiary level of research-based engineering education systems. Kathmandu University has been backed by NTNU to develop capacity and competence for initiating research activities by supporting PhD and Master by Research studies. There is no well-established research facilities in the Asian region for study of sediment related problems. There is still a strong need at present to reinforce the past efforts to make the contributions so far sustainable, bringing visibility and impact.

This is a project under NORAD’s NORHED-II program and it is developed by a team from Nepal, China and Norway. The project duration is of six years starting from 2021. The objective of this project is to strengthen the research based education at Kathmandu University in the field of hydropower engineering. The holistic approach for the research is to have ‘Effective Production of Hydro Energy’, ‘Effective Transmission of Hydro Energy’, and ‘Effective End-use of Hydro Energy’ in the Himalayan region.

Logo Hydro Himalaya

Hydro Himalaya logo


Partners: Kathmandu University, Himalaya University Consortium, Wuhan University, University of South-Eastern Norway and NTNU

Project start: 01.08. 2021
Project end: 31.07.2027

Financed by: NORAD, NTNU, Kathmandu University and Wuhan University

Objectives and activities


  1. Strengthen the research based education within hydropower engineering at Kathmandu University by producing a better qualified workforce in the Himalayan region.

  2. Transfer of academic and research competence from Kathmandu University to the Nepalese and Himalayan region universities in the field of hydropower engineering.

  3. Bridging academia and industry for the sustainable solutions and practices.


The project is divided in 3 work packages where the activities will be the following:


WP-1 will establish a regional center of excellence for a high-quality research based education contributing to innovations and solutions to the regional challenge of hydropower industry. The activities in WP-1 are the following:

  1. Develop laboratory and infrastructure relevant to the research and experimental works for the associated research and academic activities.

  2. Develop administrative procedures for Academic Research activities (Post Doc, PhD and other research-based education system at Kathmandu University)

  3. Develop research methods and expertise for conducting independent research at Kathmandu University with international standards.

  4. Development of joint courses and digital content tools with the possibility of credit transfer at international universities.

  5. Capacity development of teaching and research personnel at Kathmandu University with higher degree research based education.

WP-2 utilizes resources, infrastructure and experiences of Kathmandu University to initiate research based education at Nepalese and Himalayan region universities by capacity development programs. The activities in WP-2 are the following:

  1. Build a network among the Himalayan universities offering academic programs in hydropower engineering.

  2. Develop a common understanding and motivation to conduct joint research for developing high quality graduates for the region.

  3. Offering for PhD and MS by research at Kathmandu University for the faculties and researchers through joint supervision.

WP-3 will bridge the industry and academia within hydropower technology contributing to commercial application of the knowledge developed from the research at university.

The activities in WP-3 are the following:

  1. Co-supervision of Research Degree Program from Industry and participation of evaluation of Research Degree Program

  2. Offering short-term courses and training at Kathmandu University for industry personnel

  3. Enroll PhD candidate from hydropower industry for a better cooperation in knowledge transfer

  4. Validation of research outcomes at the industrial scale through the field measurements

  5. Development of application and utilization of research output in industry

  6. Build regional cooperation between hydropower industry, manufacturing companies and university research units for increased knowledge sharing


Participants from NTNU and contacts