Our Guest: Bruno Mazzorana

Bruno Mazzorana


LFUI Guest Professorship
January - March 2023

Home university / Country
Universidad Austral de Chile / Chile

Associate Professor at Institute of Earth Sciences

Research areas
Fluvial geomorphology, cascading natural hazard processes, flood risk assessment and management, hydraulic modelling and large wood dynamics

Guest of 
Bernhard Gems

Institut für Infrastruktur, Arbeitsbereich Wasserbau

Guest lecture
02.03.2023, 16-17:30 Uhr, Großer Hörsaal (hybrid), Technik Campus: "Process-cascade induced distributary dynamics on alluvial fans and implications for risk assessment – insights from an analogue model"

 "The interplay between conjecture and criticism as a learning propellant is what fascinates me the most."


The motto I live by is...

I am fully convinced of the extraordinary problem solving capacities of the human species, despite the complex problems we have to deal with. The quality of our conjectures about the physical reality has increased dramatically in our recent past and it seems that this trend will continue. The encouraging fact is that what is mandated by the laws of physics is, in principle, possible. Hence, as a society, we should take the importance of basic and applied research in the highest regards since we do not know in advance which knowledge will be crucial for solving unknown future problems. Attempting to contribute to the growth of knowledge gives me sense of purpose and I enjoy the possibility to share a minuscule part with my students and the general public.


At the University of Innsbruck I will...

I will investigate different aspects of fluvial dynamics of Alpine rivers from an experimental perspective by elucidating how fluvial hazard processes interact with the built environment and gaining insights on how we can better adapt in a rapidly changing world. In this sense, the University of Innsbruck provides an excellent research facility and the commitment of the students at the Engineering Faculty makes research even more interesting.


What fascinates me about scientific work is...

The possibility to use creativity and rigorous analytic procedures in synergy. In the field of experimental hydraulics, applying the right mixture of both elements is key for a successful research outcome. Perhaps contrary to what is common view, conceiving a valuable research idea is often the product of an imaginative guesswork around an identified research problem. Understanding the research problem to be solved entails, for me, a profound exploration of both the available and retrievable knowledge sources, a constant attentiveness versus the urgent societal needs, but also a great deal of sagacity in choosing promising research directions. Once I submit my research for potential publication, I am ready for the feedback of a rigorous review process. To recap, the interplay between conjecture and criticism as a learning propellant is what fascinates me the most.


From Innsbruck I will take home with me...

A unique life experience and fond memories of a marvellous city located at the centre of the Alps. Moreover, I will take home strengthened research ties, promising research results and the friendship of my colleagues at the Unit of Hydraulic Engineering. For sure, Innsbruck will remain a point of reference in my professional life and, maybe, a place to live in the future.

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