Majid Niazkar is an Iranian postdoctoral researcher who owns a PhD in Civil Engineering – Water Resources. He joined the team of Prof. Bischetti and works directly with Professor Masseroni since last July. He will spend at least one year in our Department being involved and working hard in the project “Monalisa” while discovering every hidden part of Milan in his free time.

Hi, please introduce yourself.

My name is Majid Niazkar. I was born in Shiraz, Iran. I graduated from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Shiraz University and I owned a PhD in Civil Engineering – Water Resources. In a bid to continue my researches, I came to Italy at the University of Milan DiSAA department, as a postdoctoral researcher. You can find further information about my background on my personal website or simply googling my name.

Google knows everything!

How do you like living in Milan?

In my opinion, Milan is a nice place. It is a very international city. You bump into people from everywhere. However, to be frank with you, living in Milan has pros and cons. It is an expensive city to live in but this compensates with loads of job and hobby opportunities. Also, the weather is quite the same as that of my hometown, well few centigrade colder and more rainy days in a year.

Rainy days? We’ve been waiting for rain for such a long time now….

Oh yeah! Climate change is now felt everywhere. In my team, we assess the impacts on hydroclimatic variables, like precipitation. As you may know, the prominent impact of climate change on rainfall events is that it makes them stronger (larger rainfall intensity) within a shorter duration. This influence unfortunately may bring to floods in some areas of the world, like in Pakistan last summer.

Considering that you live in a country which is much dryer than Italy, what do you appreciate the most about Italian soil and agriculture?

Although there is a great amount of water resources available in Italia, it still requires to conduct water resources management projects to make the best of the situation. In addition, with the effects of climate change, it is necessary to revisit our life style and applications of natural resource. In this context, R&D are of paramount importance.

Going back to Milan….What do you like the most about the city?

I like to live in big cities like Milan as it provides a lot of opportunities and hobbies for spending my spare time including strolling out and discover historical museums like “Museo del Castello Sforzesco” or even strange places like “Monumental Cemetery”. The transportation system, the combination of modern and traditional parts of the city, various restaurants and bars make the adventure of living in Milan extremely interesting.

What do you appreciate the most about Italian culture?

Italian culture, like Iranian culture, heritages an ancient culture. In fact, you can find various ancient monuments in both countries, which shows a profound history. I appreciate the fact that food and art are two important elements in Italian culture.

maijd team

Is it difficult to work in an international team?

Before this job position, I have some experiences working with international researchers. For example, I worked as one of editors of a multi-authors book named “Water Resource Modeling and Computational Technologies”, which was published by Elsevier in 2022. The contributors of book chapters were from various nationalities. By the way, the book is available here in our library if you want to take a look at it. Nevertheless, I found working in the University of Milan very interesting. My colleagues are so kind that I sometimes feel like I never left my country. We also hang out after work. I really feel very lucky and well-integrated.

Describe your team and what you work on

My supervisor is Daniele Masseroni. He’s very supportive, and I like working with him. I joined his research group in the project named Monalisa, which investigates the assessment of nature-based solutions for not only improving the water quality but also mitigating the peak flow of water collected by combined sewer systems. During my 12-month contract, the project will run to an end. For the future, I hope to continue collaborating with my supervisor and his research group as we have developed very productive and nice relationship.  

Why do you think research and innovation are important?

I think that everybody lives under the influence of research and innovation. I think that as a researcher I do have the responsibility to conduct meaningful and valuable studies.