Student Assistant

Fernanda de Castro Franca works as a student assistant for the IRI THESys administration and is currently pursuing a Master of Sciences degree in Global Change Geography at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Her first contact with IRI THESys occurred while writing her bachelor’s thesis in Brazil when she quantified soil loss and erosion around a multipurpose reservoir in Colombia.

Fernanda is a civil engineer who graduated from the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil in 2021. She holds a specialization (M. Eng.) in dams engineering, which encompasses geotechnical engineering and hydrology. After graduation, she gained valuable experience in the field while working for an international consultancy company for a year and a half. During this period, she had the opportunity to visit and assess the safety of numerous dams in Brazil and enhance her theoretical knowledge of dams’ stability, safety, construction, and de-characterization. Her main research interest lies in the environmental impact of those structures and how they may enhance social inequalities in the global south.

Research Interests

  • Mechanical behavior and physical properties of soils, rocks, and groundwater (geotechnical engineering and hydrogeology).
  • Environmental impacts of dams in socio-hydrological territories.
  • Prevention and mitigation of floods and landslides.


Research Group: Water Security for Whom?

Selected Publications

“Limitations of the SPT Test in Brazilian Engineering” (original title: “Limitações do Ensaio SPT na Engenharia Brasileira” 4th Congress of the Polytechnic Institute PUC Minas (CIPUC) · October 21st, 2020.

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