Pr. Robert Leconte, ing., Ph.D.


Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering Université de Sherbrooke, Canada, 1976-1980
Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering Université de Sherbrooke, Canada 1981-1984

Thesis: Hydrological modelling of a watershed located in the subarctic region


PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering Utah State University, Logan, USA 1984-1987

Thesis:  Evaluation of Economic Feasibility of Dual Water Distribution Systems: A General Methodology

Training of highly qualified staff (supervision and co-supervision)

Current:  5 Ph.D (2 co-sup) ., 3 M.Ing., 5 post-doc ,1 research associate, 1 intern

During the first 6 years:  10 Ph.D. ( 3 co-sup), 17 M.Ing, 7 post-doc, 6 interns, 4 research associates

Academic, research and industrial experience

Professor Civil Engineering, UdeS, Canada 2010-
Director Groupe de recherche sur l’eau de l’UdeS 2015-
Professor Construction Engineering, ÉTS, Canada 1992-2010
Director Construction Engineering, ÉTS, Canada 2000-2005
Scientific researcher Canadian center of remote sensing, Canada 1988-1992
Civil and Environmental Engineer Lavalin, Canada 1987-1988

Ongoing research grants

Grant Title $/year Dates
NSERC Discovery Earth Observation for Hydrological Forecasting 155 000 2016/2021
NSERC Industrial Research Chair Valorization of Earth observations in water resources 1 750 000 2017/2022
Canada Space Agency Assessment of the capabilities of the SWOT mission for improving the water balance of a large northern wetland complex 320 000 2015/2018
Ministère des Transport du Québec Estimating the impact of climate change on the hydrological regime of watersheds ranging in size from 25 to 500 km2 140 000 2017/2019
NSERC OIR Infrastructure for soil moisture measurement 114 000 2018

Contributions to research

For the past ten years, I have been involved in various research projects involving remote sensing in the service of water resources.  In particular, I have worked on remote sensing of snow, soil moisture and river ice.  I currently hold an NSERC research chair on the commercialization of Earth observations in water resources (2017-2022). I also obtained a research grant from the Canadian Space Agency to evaluate the potential of the future SWOT (Surface Water and Ocean Topography) satellite for monitoring water bodies in the Peace and Athabasca Delta in Canada.  As part of this project, we implemented a two-dimensional hydrodynamic model of Lake Mamawi and a reach of the Athabasca River.  These models will allow us to create SWOT synthetic images from a simulator developed by NASA.  Similar work is also underway on the Eastmain reservoir in Quebec.  I have also led several projects related to the impacts of climate change on water resources.  With my team, I led a study on the impacts of climate change on the hydroelectric production of water systems located in southern Quebec, including adaptation strategies resulting from anticipated changes in the hydrological regime.  The project, called “Climhydro”, is the result of a partnership with Hydro-Québec, Manitoba Hydro, Rio Tinto, Ouranos and NSERC (total grant of $2M on two projects, respectively from 2008-2011 and 2012 to 2016). I also developed an approach to calculate the maximum probable rainfall under climate change conditions, which made it possible to calculate the maximum probable flood of watersheds in Quebec and their evolution due to climate change.  Finally, I am currently leading a study commissioned by the Ministère des Transports du Québec on the estimation of the impact of climate change on the hydrological regime of watersheds ranging in size from 25 to 500 km2.

Selected recent publications (2013-2018)

  • Rouhani, H., Leconte, R. 2018. Estimating PMP and PMF under climate change conditions in three northern watersheds. Journal of Hydrology, 561:796-809.
  • Haguma, D., Leconte, R. 2018. Long-term planning of water systems in the context of climate non-stationarity with deterministic and stochastic optimization, Water Resources Management, 32 (5), 1725:1739.
  • Haguma, D., Leconte, R., Krau, S. 2017. Hydropower plant adaptation strategies for climate change impacts on hydrological regime, Revue canadienne de genie civil.
  • Jalliffier-Verne, I., R. Leconte, U. F. Huaringa Alvarez, M. Heniche, S. Madoux-Humery, L. Autixier, M. Galarneau, P. Servais, M. Prévost and S. Dorner. 2017. Modelling the impacts of global change on concentrations of Escherichia coli in an urban river, Advances in Water Resources, 108, 450:460.
  • Bergeron, J., Trudel, M., Leconte, R. 2016. Combined assimilation of streamflow and snow water equivalent for mid-term ensemble streamflow forecasts in snow-dominated regions. Hydrol Earth Syst Sci, 19, 1753-1766.
  • Rondeau-Genesse, G., Trudel, M., Leconte, R. 2016. Monitoring Snow Wetness in an Alpine Basin using Combined C-Band SAR and MODIS Data. Remote Sensing of Environment, 183: 304-317.
  • Marcil, G.-K., Trudel, M., Leconte, R. 2016. Using Remotely Sensed MODIS Snow Product for the Management of Reservoirs in a Mountainous Canadian Watershed. Water Resources Management, 30 (8): 2735-2747.
  • Rouhani, H., Leconte, R. 2016. A novel method to estimate the maximization ratio of the Probable Maximum Precipitation (PMP) using regional climate model output. Water Resources Research, 52: 7347-7365.
  • Haguma, D., Leconte, R., Brissette. F. 2015. Évaluation du régime hydrologique du bassin versant de la rivière Manicouagan, au Québec, dans le contexte des changements climatiques. can. génie civil, 42(2) : 98-106.
  • Huaringa Alvarez, U, Trudel, M., Leconte, R. 2014 Impacts and adaptation to climate change using a reservoir management tool to a northern watershed: application to Lièvre River Watershed, Quebec, Canada. Water Resources Management. DOI 10.1007/s11269-014-0694-z.
  • Trudel, M., Leconte, R., Paniconi, C. 2014. Hydrological response of a distributed physically-based model using post-assimilation (EnKF) diagnostics streamflow and in situ soil moisture observations. J. Hydrol, 514:192-201.
  • Chaouch, N., Leconte, R., Magagi, R., Temimi, M., Khanbilvardi, R. 2013. Multi-stage inversion method to retrieve soil moisture from passive microwave measurements over the Mackenzie River Basin. Vadose Zone Journal, 12, doi:10.2136/vzj2012.0134.