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1995 …2022

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Personal profile

Personal profile

Wim Timmermans obtained his MSc degree from the Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands, in 1995 in Civil Engineering and his PhD degree from the University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands, in 2016 in Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation.

Wim has been teaching in remote sensing for water resources since 1996 at the International Institute for Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC), Enschede, The Netherlands and as such directed several MSc theses. Since January 2010, ITC is the Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation of the University of Twente, where he is currently affiliated as a researcher. He acts as a referee for several ISI journals and is a member of IAHS.


Degrees earned

  • Delft University of Technology, Delft, Faculty of Civil Engineering
  • Section: Hydrology
  • Subject: Remote sensing evapotranspiration


  • PhD: University of Twente, Enschede, Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation
  • Section: Water Resources
  • Dissertation title: Modelling the footprint of the land on the atmosphere

Professional experience

May 1996 to date: Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation of the University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands / International Institute for Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC), Enschede, The Netherlands




Wim is lecturing in the following modules:

  • Earth observation and quantification of water cycle components
  • Thermal infrared remote sensing: from theory to applications

and coordinating and lecturing in modules:

  • Research: Concepts and skills
  • Water, Climate and Cities


Research interests

Wim’s research interest lies in remote sensing based monitoring of hydrological processes where he seeks a better understanding of surface hydrology over a wide spectrum of spatial and temporal scales. He is focusing on the coupling of the earth's surface and its atmosphere, with implications for surface hydrology, meteorology, and climate. The approach ideally combines field investigations with (numerical) simulation of the governing transport equations in order to understand how we can describe hydro-meteorological processes at the scale of interest. The aim is to bridge the gap between remote sensing based observations of water and energy at the earth's surface and in the atmospheric boundary layer. Efforts include 3-D numerical solutions of turbulent flow and transport using large eddy simulation (LES) techniques that simulate water vapor and temperature plumes in the atmosphere, considered along with distributed observations of surface soil moisture to describe the generation of these structures. Emphasis herewith is on employing remote sensing data in these simulation models for determining water and energy fluxes from field, via catchment and regional to global scales over different environmental systems. Future activities aim at expanding to built environments.

Field studies relate to remote sensing measurements of multi-spectral reflectivity and thermal infrared emissivity, fast response measurements of turbulent fluctuations in water vapor concentration, temperature, and wind velocity, among others by means of eddy covariance and scintillometry.

Wim participated in the SPARC-2004, Sen2Flex-2005 and AgriSAR-2006 interdisciplinary field experiments, coordinated the EAGLE-2006 and REFLEX-2012 campaigns and has been working as a visiting scientist at the US Department of Agriculture in Beltsville (MD), USA, at Duke University in Durham (NC), USA and at INRA in Avignon, France.

Results of his work have been disseminated in various scientific publications and sometimes in less scientific publications:


Project service activities are primarily related to research activities as stated under Wim's research interest. Some examples include:

Participating in the SAFARI2000 project, (a NASA initiative aimed at developing a better understanding of the southern African earth-atmosphere-human system) which meant working along the Kalahari transect in Botswana to study land-atmosphere interactions of water vapor and heat, which sounds a lot less dangerous than it sometimes was... 

An example of this work can be found at:

Participating in the CEOP-AEGIS project (an EU FP7-funded research program to study the hydrology and climatology on the Tibetan plateau), which among others meant installing an earth observation tower at the Mount Everest site…