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Majid Hassanizadeh


Majid Hassanizadeh

Seyed Majid Hassanizadeh
Born (1952-10-22) October 22, 1952
Tooyserkan, Iran
Fields Hydrogeology
Institutions Utrecht University,
TU Delft
Alma mater Pahlavi University, Shiraz
Doctoral advisor William G. Gray
Notable awards Humboldt Prize (2010)


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 200 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] and 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 TNO, BTS. He has supervised close to 90 graduate students and post-doctoral researchers; has (co-)organized close to 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 nearly 80 international meetings and short courses. He has received many prizes and honors, which are listed below.


  • Biography 1
  • Education 2
  • Honors and Awards 3
  • Representative publications 4
  • References 5


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.[9]


Honors and Awards

He was elected Fellow of American Geophysical Union in 2002[10] and Fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2007.[11] He was awarded the honorary degree of Doktor-Ingenieur from Stuttgart University in 2008.[12] In 2010, he was awarded a von Humboldt Prize.[13] In May 2011, he was selected by the US National Ground Water Association as the Darcy Distinguished Lecturer for 2012.[14] In the course of 2012, he gave around 80 lectures at 57 places around the world (see and for the recordings of his lectures). In June 2011, he was elected by the Soil Science Society of America to receive the Don and Bety Kirkham Soil Physics Award.[15] In 2013, he was awarded a research grant of 2.24 Million Euro by the European Research Council.

For his lifetime scientific achievements and his major role in founding and leading of the International Society for Porous Media (, he was awarded the Royal medal of honor, Ridder in de Orde van Nederlandse Leeuw[16] (Knight in the Order of Netherlands Lion) in July 2015.[17]

Representative publications


  1. ^ Personal web page at Utrecht University
  2. ^ Curriculum vitae at Utrecht University
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ (in Dutch)
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ Orde van de Nederlandse Leeuw
  17. ^ Order of the Netherlands Lion
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