Almost every family living on hills and mountains is vulnerable to landslide, flood, debris flow and earthquake induced landslides disasters. Due to increasing numbers of landslides incidents, every year many lives and property worth millions of dollars are lost due to landslides and floods. In order to mitigate the human induced and rainfall triggered natural disasters, it is necessary to implement appropriate preventive and curative measures against slope failure, soil erosion and flooding.
My cooperation with Austrian Universities started in 2004 with a North-South-Dialogue Scholarship, financed by the Austrian Development Cooperation. During my PhD studies at University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), I conducted research on “Sustainable Management of Road Side Slopes in Nepal”. After I completed my PhD study in 2007, I returned to Nepal and re-joined the government service as Senior Divisional Engineer at Department of Roads under Ministry of Physical Planning and Transport, Government of Nepal. Thereafter, in the year 2012, as I was interested to conduct post-doctoral research, I applied for university assistant position at BOKU. I worked for six years as university assistant at BOKU and again return to Nepal and joined the Tribhuvan University in 2018. Now I am working as visiting professor at Tri-Chandra Multiple Campus, Department of Geology.
In November 2019, I together with Department of Geology, Tri-Chandra College and BOKU applied for a research project within the OeAD programme Cooperation Development Research (KOEF). This programme provides financial support for establishing and strengthening collaboration in research between the Universities/research institutes of Austria and Universities/research institutes in countries of the Global South. The project is about the use of green and sustainable technology for the mitigation of rainfall triggered natural disasters like landslides and floods. The proposed research project will explore the possibility for an extensive use of an innovative, sustainable and environment friendly green slope and riverbank protection system in developing countries. A slope protection system based on semi-flexible steel mat and soil nail was developed in Austria and it has already been used for long time in Europe However, this technology has not yet been tested in Nepal where there is great potential for it. The increasing number of natural disasters demands further research on the application of such technology in a different geological environment and socio-economic context. The pictures (see gallery on the right) show a piece of my work in slope stabilisation in Nepal using austrian technology.
Living and working in Austria for many years helped me to expand the academic network and bridge the research gap between developed and developing countries. I got several opportunities to work in different research projects which helped me to explore the new areas of research and present research needs of different stakeholders. The OeAD scholarship supported me very much in my professional career development. The PhD study itself changed my horizon and widened my vision towards scientific research. After the PhD, I got promoted to a senior post and got new responsibilities. My PhD degree also led me to a university assistant position which was a most important milestone in my career.
My future plan is to enhance further the existing academic and scientific network between Austria and Nepal through more research cooperation projects. I will continue to work as visiting professor at Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu and will try to establish and strengthen academic network between Austria and Nepal. If possible, I will try to have a regular academic exchange programme and joint thesis supervision for Master and PhD students.
Madhu Sudan ACHARYA received his PhD at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), Vienna in 2007. After he completed his PhD, he returned to Nepal and to work in the government service as Senior Divisional Engineer at Department of Roads under Ministry of Physical Planning and Transport, Government of Nepal. Between 2012 and 2018 he returned to BOKU as University Assistant (Post-Doc researcher). Currently he is a visiting professor at Tri-Chandra Multiple College, Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu, Nepal.