Seifu Admassu Tilahun (Ph.D.)

Associate professor
Scientific director
Department : 
Hydraulic and Water Resource Engineering


Ph.D.     Biological and Environmental Engineering, Cornell University, 2012

M.S.       Hydraulic Engineering, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia, 2004

B.S.       Civil Engineering, Bahir Dar University, Ethiopia, 2001

Academic Experience

Visiting Scie.: International Water Management Institute, 08/2016 to 01/2017

Dean      Faculty of Civil & Water Resources Engineering, BDU., 2013-2016

Deputy Dean Research and Publication Office of BDU Inst. of Tech. 2012- 2013

Assistant Prof.:Faculty of Civil and Water Resources Engineering, BDU,2012-2016

Research Ass.: Department of Bio. and Env. Engineering, Cornell University, 2009-2013

Head, Civil Engineering Department, BDU, 2008-2009

Head, Water Resources Engineering Department, BDU, 2005- 2007

Lecturer,Department of Civil and Water Resources, BDU, 2001-2013

Research interest

My research interest has been on rainfall-runoff processes, irrigation and water productivity, sustainability of water supply, soil erosion and sediment transport, non-point source pollution and water quality, and soil and water conservation. With the help of MSc and PhD students, I have been actively involved on research and modeling better ways to manage water in surface and ground water particularly in the Blue Nile Basin.

Membership of professional services

A member of Ethiopian Young Academy of Science since Feb 2015

A member of Ethiopian Association of Civil Engineering since Oct 2015

Publications/presentation (2005 TO PRESENT)

·         PI of a research project on Reducing soil loss through effective soil and water conservation practices using hydrologic considerations and farmers' participation in Blue Nile Basin. This is funded by USAID through PEER Science program from July 2012 to June 2015. We produced one book of abstracts from a conference, three briefing notes, assist five PhD students for their research and stipend costs, published two papers on journals so far and producing documentary film.

·         Co-PI since Sep 2016 for Sustainably Intensified Production Systems Impact on Nutrition and Appropriately Scaled Mechanization Consortium under Sustainable Intensification Innovation Lab. It is a collaborative research project with TAMU, IWMI, NCAT and Illinois.  It is currently supporting two PhD and three MSc students.

·         Co-PI since February 2015 for project on Sustaining Land Management Interventions through Integrating Income Generating Activities, Addressing Local Concerns and Increasing Women’s Participation which is funded by WLE program of CGIAR. It is currently supporting two PhD students and five MSc students.

·         Co-PI since September 2014 for a project on Innovation lab for small scale irrigation which is a collaborative research project of Texas AM, IWMI, ILRI, and North Carolina A&T state. It is funded by USAID. It is currently supporting two PhD and seven MSc students.

·         Co-PI Since October 2013 for a project on Adaptive governance of mountain ecosystem services for poverty alleviation enabled by environmental virtual observatories. and this project is led by Imperial College London.


H-index of 18 in Google scholar.


1. Assefa, T., Jha, M., Reyes, M., Tilahun, S. and Worqlul, A.W., 2019. Experimental Evaluation of Conservation Agriculture with Drip Irrigation for Water Productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa. Water, 11(3), p.530.

2. Abera Beyene, A., Verhoest, N.E., Tilahun, S., Alamirew, T., Adgo, E. and Nyssen, J., 2019. Irrigation efficiency and shallow groundwater in anisotropic floodplain soils near Lake Tana, Ethiopia. Irrigation and Drainage.

3. Ochoa‐Tocachi, B.F., Alemie, T.C., Guzman, C.D., Tilahun, S.A., Zimale, F.A., Buytaert, W. and Steenhuis, T.S., 2019. Sensitivity analysis of the parameter‐efficient distributed (PED) model for discharge and sediment concentration estimation in degraded humid landscapes. Land Degradation & Development, 30(2), pp.151-165.

4. Mhiret, D.A., Dagnew, D.C., Assefa, T.T., Tilahun, S.A., Zaitchik, B.F. and Steenhuis, T.S., 2018. Erosion hotspot identification in the sub-humid Ethiopian highlands. Ecohydrology & Hydrobiology.

5. Walker, D., Parkin, G., Schmitter, P., Gowing, J., Tilahun, S.A., Haile, A.T. and Yimam, A.Y., 2018. Insights from a multi‐method recharge estimation comparison study. Groundwater.

6. Abera, A., Verhoest, N.E., Tilahun, S.A., Alamirew, T., Adgo, E., Moges, M.M. and Nyssen, J., 2018. Performance of small-scale irrigation schemes in Lake Tana Basin of Ethiopia: technical and socio-political attributes. Physical Geography, pp.1-25.

7. Dile, Y.T., Tekleab, S., Kaba, E.A., Gebrehiwot, S.G., Worqlul, A.W., Bayabil, H.K., Yimam, Y.T., Tilahun, S.A., Daggupati, P., Karlberg, L. and Srinivasan, R., 2018. Advances in water resources research in the Upper Blue Nile basin and the way forward: A review. Journal of Hydrology.

8. Addisie, M.B.; Langendoen, E.J.; Aynalem, D.W.; Ayele, G.K.; Tilahun, S.A.; Schmitter, P.; Mekuria, W.; Moges, M.M.; Steenhuis, T.S. Assessment of Practices for Controlling Shallow Valley-Bottom Gullies in the Sub-Humid Ethiopian Highlands. Water 2018, 10, 389.

9. Beyene, Abebech., Cornelis, W., Verhoest, N., Tilahun, Seifu Admassu., Alamirew, Tena., Adgo, Enyew., De Pue, J., Nyssen, J., 2018. Estimating the actual evapotranspiration and deep percolation in irrigated soils of a tropical floodplain, northwest Ethiopia. Agricultural Water Management, 202, 42-56

10. Zegeye AD, Langendoen EJ, Guzman CD, Dagnew DC, Tilahun SA, Steenhuis TS. 2018. Gullies, a critical link in landscape soil loss: a case study in the sub-humid highlands of Ethiopia. Land Degradation and Development. On line. DOI: 10.1002/ldr.2875.