Field of Work
Prof. Wolfgang Nowak develops tools to simulate terrestrial hydrosystems, with a particular focus on the uncertainty of model predictions. Model predictions are uncertain because geological materials are heterogeneous and underground processes are difficult to observe. As a consequence of this uncertainty, all predictions have to incorporate error bounds so as to do justice to the demands of real-life applications. Building on this, Prof. Wolfgang Nowak develops methods of optimum monitoring in order to selectively reduce the most disruptive uncertainties, to optimize and achieve robust planning in conditions of uncertainty and to develop risk analyses as well methods for optimum risk management based on decision theory. Application areas include groundwater currents and pollutant dispersion in currents, underground storage of CO2, rules for designating drinking water protection areas and also surprising subjects such as the explosion probability of lithium-ion batteries.
Prof. Wolgang Nowak examines the dispersion and transport processes of substances in currents or underground – in the case of groundwater pollution or the discharge of CO2, for example. Born in Esslingen am Neckar in 1974, he studied environmental protection technology together with water resources engineering and management in Stuttgart from 1994 to 2000. After a period at the University of Waterloo, Canada, he gained his doctorate from 2000 to 2005 in the field of environmental protection technology at the University of Stuttgart. He then went to Stanford University, USA, in 2001. From 2006 to 2008, Nowak worked as a researcher/guest researcher at the University of Stuttgart and the University of California at Berkeley, USA .
He was then junior professor for the stochastic modeling of hydrosystems at the University of Stuttgart from 2008 to 2014. Since 2014 he has been head of the Department of Stochastic Simulation and Safety Research for Hydrosystems.