EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

BAR Talks: a YHS-Italy webinar series to bring hydrological researchers and practitioners close together 

Mara Meggiorin1, Elena Cristiano2, Martina Siena3, Marco Peli4, and Giulia Zuecco5
Mara Meggiorin et al.
  • 1Ramboll Italy Srl – Rome & Milan, Italy (
  • 2DICAAR, Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Architecture, University of Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy (
  • 3DICA, Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Politecnico di Milano, Milano, Italy (
  • 4DICATAM, Dept. of Civil Engineering, Architecture, Land, Environment and of Mathematics, University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy (
  • 5Dept. of Land, Environment, Agriculture and Forestry, University of Padova, Legnaro (PD), Italy (

Hydrological sciences can contribute to society in numerous impactful ways: thus, it is crucial that we make an effort to enhance the opportunities for collaboration between academia and society, such as industry and territorial authorities. With the support of the Italian Hydrological Society (‘Società Idrologica Italiana'), in 2021, the Italian Young Hydrologic Society (YHS-Italy) organized a series of webinars to reduce the gap between academic researchers and practitioners, belonging to both private and public sectors.

The webinar ‘Beyond Academic Research Talks’ (BAR Talks) hosted a total of 24 guests during five online public meetings discussing three overarching topics: i) the professional careers of Italian researchers, ii) the research in the private sector, particularly at consulting and manufacturing firms of any size, iii) the hydrological and hydrogeological research in the public sector.

The goal was to document heterogeneous experiences and promote a discussion on potential practical applications of academic research. The meetings also served as an opportunity to understand similarities and differences between the role of a hydrological researcher across different institutions. All webinars have been organized online with live sessions, where the audience could interact with the speakers and ask questions. Each meeting was also recorded and made available on YouTube for asynchronous attendances (

The initiative has been positively welcomed, particularly by young researchers, and many new interesting topics have been raised. The BAR Talks presented a comprehensive selection of professional paths available to researchers interested in working outside academia, and looking for a more immediate impact on society. The guests talked about the challenges of doing hydrological innovation and research outside academia, and highlighted some of the skills that become particularly handy in the private sector (e.g., open-source software, programming languages, digital water, project management, soft skills). 

Finally, one issue that came out strongly from the BAR Talks series was the need, especially for the private sector, to close the gap between academic research and its real-world applications in order to improve the positive impact that academic research can have on society. Indeed, real-world applications often encounter constraining challenges that are sometimes missing from academic research. Overall, we observed that there is a widespread desire for a closer collaboration between hydrological academic researchers and practitioners, which may take the form of joint research projects aimed at producing impactful knowledge. 

How to cite: Meggiorin, M., Cristiano, E., Siena, M., Peli, M., and Zuecco, G.: BAR Talks: a YHS-Italy webinar series to bring hydrological researchers and practitioners close together , EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-5977,, 2022.