Majid Hassanizadeh

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Seyed Majid Hassanizadeh
Born (1952-10-22) October 22, 1952 (age 68)
Alma materPahlavi University, Shiraz
AwardsHumboldt Prize (2010)
Scientific career
InstitutionsUtrecht University,
TU Delft
Doctoral advisorWilliam G. Gray

Seyed Majid Hassanizadeh (born 1952) is a professor of hydrogeology at Utrecht University, where he heads the Hydrogeology group at the Faculty of Geosciences.[1] His research focuses on flow of fluids and transport of solutes and colloids in porous media, through theory development, experimental studies, and modeling work. In particular, he focuses on two-phase flow, reactive transport in variably-saturated porous media, transport of micro-organisms, and biodegradation.

Formerly, he has been with Abadan Institute of Technology (Iran, 1979–1982), Project Manager with Yekom Consulting Engineers (Iran, 1982–1984), senior researcher with the National Institute of Public Health and Environment, RIVM (Bilthoven, The Netherlands, 1984–1995), Associate Professor (1995–2001) and later Professor (2001–2003) with the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Delft University of Technology. He has also held visiting faculty appointments at Notre Dame University, US, University of Bordeaux, France, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland, and Stuttgart University, Germany.

He has contributed to more than 300 publications in journals, books, or as technical reports.[2] Former Editor of Advances in Water Resources (1991–2001), Associate Editor of Vadose Zone Journal (2002–2008) and Water Resources Research (2004–2010),[3] member of International Advisory Board of Journal of Hydrologic Engineering (since 2004),[4] and on the editorial boards of Transport in Porous Media (since 1989),[5] Advances in Water Resources (1988–2010), The Open Hydrology Journal (since 2007),[6] Kuwait Journal of Science, Journal of Porous Media (since 2009),[7] Special Topics & Reviews in Porous Media; An International Journal (since 2009),[8] and Journal of Fluids (since 2013).

He is active as session organizer or member of various committees for the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, NWO, American Geophysical Union, Soil Science Society of America, European Geosciences Union, International Society of Porous Media, and International Association of Hydrological Sciences. He has been leading and/or participating in a large number of projects funded by European Research Council, NWO, EU, TRIAS, SKB, TNO, BTS. He has supervised close to 100 graduate students and post-doctoral researchers; has (co-)organized more than 50 international conferences, workshops, and short courses; has been on the organizing or scientific committees of about 50 international conferences/workshops; has given invited lectures in more than 80 international meetings and short courses. He has received many prizes and honors, which are listed below. One of his most valuable services has been the co-founding of the International Society of Porous Media (InterPore);[9] in 2008. InterPore is a non-profit-making independent scientific organization with the aims of advancing and disseminating knowledge for the understanding, description, and modeling of natural and industrial porous media systems. It is now as vibrant and rapidly growing society with more than 2000 members.


Majid Hassinizadeh was born in the city of Toyserkan in the west of Iran. His father was a teacher at a local school. When nine years old, his family moved to the city of Ilam in the Kurdish western part of Iran. Eight years later, they moved to the city of Karaj (near Tehran) where he finished his last year of high school. Throughout the secondary school, he was the first-ranking student. He went on to study civil engineering at Pahlavi University in Shiraz. He focused on optional courses dealing with water, "partly because of the poetic value of water in Iran", he has said.

After his graduation, he was offered a scholarship at Princeton university. During his studies at Princeton he became very active in the protests against the Shah regime in Iran. This earned him the nickname 'the phantom' during his fourth year because he was hardly seen at his desk, but left traces of study all the same.

After he obtained his PhD in 1979, he had the opportunity to stay and work in US. However, the Iranian Revolution had just started in Iran and, like 95% of the Iranian population, he supported Khomeini. So he decided to return to Iran. He was bitterly disappointed. After about half a year, the new regime launched the so-called "cultural revolution", closed all universities, and encouraged all students and teachers to work in industry or agriculture.

While working at a consulting company on drainage and irrigation projects, Majid learned about a post-graduate course in hydraulic engineering at IHE Institute in Delft, the Netherlands. He managed to obtain an exit visa through contacts of his employer and left for the Netherlands. After finishing the course, he was offered a research position at the Netherlands National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). He and his wife had originally planned to return to Iran, but he was now offered the chance to stay in science. Although torn, he decided to stay in the Netherlands, where he lives till today.[10]


Honors and awards[edit]

Representative publications[edit]

  • Joekar-Niasar, V.; Hassanizadeh, S.M.; Leijnse, A. (2008), "Insights into the relationships among capillary pressure, saturation, interfacial area and relative permeability using pore-scale network modelling", Transport in Porous Media, 74: 201–219, doi:10.1007/s11242-007-9191-7
  • Bottero, S.; Hassanizadeh, S.M.; Kleingeld, P. (2011), "From local measurements to an upscaled capillary pressure-saturation curve", Transport in Porous Media, 87
  • Raoof, A.; Hassanizadeh, S.M.; Leijnse, A. (2010), "Upscaling transport of adsorbing solutes in porous media: pore‐network modeling", Vadose Zone Journal, 9 (3): 624–636, doi:10.2136/vzj2010.0026
  • Niessner, J.; Hassanizadeh, S.M. (2008), "A Model for Two-Phase Flow in Porous Media Including Fluid-Fluid Interfacial Area", Water Resources Research, 44 (8): W08439, Bibcode:2008WRR....4408439N, doi:10.1029/2007WR006721
  • Torkzaban, S.; Hassanizadeh, S.M.; Schijven, J.F.; van den Berg, H.H.J.L (2006), "Role of Air–water interfaces on retention of viruses under unsaturated conditions", Water Resources Research, 42 (W12S14): W12S14, Bibcode:2006WRR....4212S14T, doi:10.1029/2006WR004904
  • Oung, O.; Hassanizadeh, S.M.; Bezuijen, A. (2005), "Two-phase flow experiments in a geocentrifuge and the significance of dynamic capillary pressure effect", Journal of Porous Media, 8 (3): 247–257, doi:10.1615/JPorMedia.v8.i3.10
  • Schijven, J.F.; Hassanizadeh, S.M. (2002), "Virus removal by soil passage at filed scale and groundwater protection of sandy aquifers", Water Science and Technology, 46 (3): 123–129, doi:10.2166/wst.2002.0069, PMID 12227597
  • Hassanizadeh, S.M.; Celia, M.A.; Dahle, H.K. (2002), "Dynamic effects in the capillary pressure-saturation relationship and their impacts on unsaturated flow" (PDF), Vadose Zone Journal, 1: 38–57, doi:10.2113/1.1.38
  • Reggiani, P.; Hassanizadeh, S.M.; Sivapalan, M.; Gray, W.G. (1999), "A unifying framework for watershed thermodynamics: Derivation of constitutive equations", Advances in Water Resources, 23: 15–39, Bibcode:1999AdWR...23...15R, doi:10.1016/S0309-1708(99)00005-6


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