Robert Leconte

Robert Leconte

Department of Civil Engineering
Université de Sherbrooke

Chair title

NSERC Industrial Research Chair on the Application of Hydrometeorological Data from Satellite Images To Improve Hydrological Forecasting

Chair program

Industrial Research Chairs program


Senior Chairholder since 2017


The goals of providing protection from floods and mitigating their impacts have become increasingly important over the past few decades, both in Canada and elsewhere in the world, especially because of climate change. To achieve these goals, hydrological forecasting must be improved. Although some advances have been made in this regard, thus far, the information available from satellite images has been put to very little use in predicting water flows into rivers and streams. And yet, the images captured by satellites offer an opportunity to monitor water resources over very large geographic areas.

The primary objective of this research chair is to acquire knowledge and develop approaches and tools for modelling to optimize the use of existing hydrometeorological information, with an emphasis on information obtained from satellite sensors, so as to improve the forecasting of water flows over the short and medium terms.

The proposed research program will focus on the following two main research areas, within which various research specific projects will be carried out:

  • Evaluating the ways in which hydrometeorological products obtained from satellite sensors (for example, on the extent and thickness of snow cover) can be used to improve hydrological forecasting;
  • Optimizing the linkages between spatialized hydrometeorological data and hydrological models for forecasting flows.

Hydrological modelling and forecasting, evaluation and improvement of satellite products on soil moisture, snow, and bodies of water, and integration of these data into forecasting models will all be central to the Chair’s research.

The Chair’s research will enable its industry partners to acquire high-performance tools that will let them forecast floods more accurately and protect themselves against flood impacts more effectively. The various stakeholders in water-resource management will also benefit from the Chair’s research. Lastly, the Chair will train highly qualified personnel in the field of water-resource engineering, which is of key importance to the Canadian economy.


  • Hydro-Québec
  • Brookfield Power
  • City of Sherbrooke

Contact information

Department of Civil Engineering
Université de Sherbrooke



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