Tom Rientjes

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Personal profile

Personal profile

In 2004 Tom Rientjes started to work at ITC. By his long term affiliation (18 years) at Delft University of Technology (DUT), Faculty of Civil Engineering, Department of Water Resources, his background is in Water Resources Engineering and Hydrologic and Hydraulic modeling. At DUT he was involved involved in various lecturs in groundwater hydrology, watershed hydrology and field measurments including geophysical sounding. He was responsible for the MSc-lecture ‘Modeling in Hydrology’ (since 1992). His key qualifications are in deterministic and stochastic modeling of hydrologic systems and encompass surface water, groundwater, catchment and river systems. His PhD at DUT was in the field of Physically Based Rainfall-Runoff modeling with a specific focus on Inverse Modeling and Automated model Calibration. Since 0ctober 2005 he is employed full time at ITC were he is involved in Water Resources Management and Quantitative Hydrology but now with a focus on performance assessments of, and assimilating of i) remote sensing data and ii) data from climate models in hydrologic and hydraulic modeling. Much work aims at at i) sptially distributed water resourse assesssments and at ii) climate change and landuse change impact assessments.


Tom was portfolio holder Education and member of the Management Team of the Department of Water Resources for the period 2005-2007. For the Water Resources Department he is involved in initiating and developing Joint Educational Programs (JEPs) with international partners He was member of the Working Groups on curriculum development ‘Master of Science in Governance and Spatial Information Management’, a joined initiative between ITC and University of Twente.

Besides his appointment at the Water Resources Department he also is Coordinator Research (0.5 FTE) for the Faculty Bureau of ITC. Since 2011 he is vice-chair of the Examination Board of the Faculty ITC.


At the Water Resources Department Tom is responsible and coordinates modules 9-10 ‘Advanced modeling in Hydrology and Water Resources Management with emphasis on Surface water’. He is also responsible for module 13 'Satellite data for Integrated Water Resourse Asssessemtns and Modelling'. Furthermore in his capacity of 1st supervisor he was involved in over 50 MSc-thesis studies that are in the field of flood modeling, watershed hydrology, groundwater and surface water, water resources management and rainfall estimation through satellite imagery. Currently he supervises 4 MSc-thesis studies.

Research interests

Research at the Department focuses on developing hydrologic modeling approaches by use of "space borne" data types such as Satellite data and Climate model-data from General and Regional Circulation Models (GCM-RCM). Modellingis at the core of the research and aims at resourcs assessments under climate and/or land use change projections, or on calamities such as floods and droughts. Model performance is commonly assessed by multi-objective model calibration. Assimilating aism at use of various data sources that include RS based data and in-situ data. Being at ITC, the prime focus is on assimilating satellite imagery in distributed modeling. This is also reflected in the project proposal writing for PhD-research. At ITC Tom supervises currentky 4 PhD projects. Projects deal with i) satellite rainfall estimation (SRE) for runoff modelling, ii) simulation and forecasting of water resources avaiability for wheet production under water scarse conditions iii) and climate and landuse change impact assessments. At DUT research aimed primarily at multi-objective model calibration in neural network and conceptual rainfall-runoff modeling. Fields of expersice are reflected in his publiations. 

Tom holds memberships of European Geosciences Union (EGU), International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS) and Dutch Hydrological Society (NHV).


Tom is involved in a number of capacity development projects such as the European Space Agency (ESA) "TIGER" Capacity Buiding project at and WaterNet at


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