C.Cudennec & H. Badhraa

Tison Award 2007 / Prix Tison 2007

2007 Tison Award for Dr Christophe Cudennec and Miss Houda Boudhraa

From left to rigth: A. Askew, C. Cudennec, H. Boudhraâ and Z. Kundzewicz

The Jury of the 2007 Tison Award, consisting of Dr Zbigniew W. Kundzewicz (Chair, IAHS Editor), Dr Bruce Webb (ICWQ), Dr Martin Thoms (ICCE) and Dr Alberto Bellin (ICGW) recommended bestowing the 2007 Tison Award upon Dr Christophe Cudennec and Miss Houda Boudhraa of France and Tunisia, respectively. The winning paper “A multi-level and multi-scale structure of river network geomorphometry with potential implications towards basin hydrology” was published in the IAHS post-Foz PUB red book “Prediction in Ungauged Basins: Promise and Progress” (IAHS Publ. No. 303). It was jointly authored by Christophe Cudennec, Jean-Christophe Pouget, Houda Boudhraa, Mohamed Slimani & Slah Nasri. Three remaining co-authors are not eligible for the Tison Award, in view of their ages, as the Tison Award is only made to younger (<41) authors.

The awarded paper on identification of the underlying structure of diverse, strongly self-similar river networks results from a search for a general law governing hydrological processes. The work has utilized concepts exposed in the seminal papers in the water field, by Horton (1945), Schumm (1956), a book by Eagleson (1970), and several publications by Rodriguez-Iturbe and collaborators, since the 1970s. But, apart from those already listed, one should mention one more name, Professor Benoit Mandelbrot, who was born in Poland, educated in France, and had a brilliant scientific career while working in the USA. He was the discoverer of the fractal geometry of nature and the father of scaling, with several generic works published in the field of hydrological sciences. These beautiful theoretical concepts hold promise for the practice, which has not materialized so far. Perhaps the awarded paper, a contribution to the PUB initiative, is a small step in this direction.

The awarded paper is a result of French-Tunisian cooperation. Dr Cudennec has spent a considerable time in (Tunis) Tunisia and Ms Boudhraa has stayed in Rennes (France). Both authors co-authored another paper published in the same volume and CC – yet another one.

Dr Cudennec has been known in IAHS for quite some time, and has attended several assemblies and symposia. He is not an ivory-tower scientist. He has visited a number of countries, including developing countries in Africa, Asia, and South America, where he carried out field work. Although he is a Frenchman, Dr Cudennec often publishes in English; hence, his papers are accessible to a broader audience. It is worth mentioning that he has had an episode of work in the diplomatic field, as a science and technology attaché in the French Embassy in Iceland. Ms Houda Boudhraa is likely to receive her PhD this month (July 2007). She has collaborated with Dr Cudennec both in Tunisia, during his three-year work period there, and in France, during her longer stay at Agrocampus Rennes.

I am very pleased that the Award goes to Dr Cudennec and Ms Boudhaa. Dr Cudennec delivers a very important service for the IAHS and its Hydrological Sciences Journal. He is one of 30 associate editors of the Journal. Yet, his role is more important than those played by other AEs. The two official, languages of the Journal, and the Association are English and French. For several years now, Christophe has been checking French titres, resumés and mots clefs of all the papers accepted in HSJ, before they are published. In practice, not all authors provide French abstracts that are reasonably correct, linguistically. If the language of the resume is poor, or else (and this is quite common), if the authors supply no resume at all, Christophe translates the abstract etc. into French. He also verifies the quality of the language of papers submitted in French. He thus helps support the continuing presence of the French language in the Journal and in the Association.

At the end, let me share a personal reflection. For me, the present ceremony is a sentimental journey, back in time. Twenty yeas ago, the Tison Award was given for the first time. I am proud to say that I was the first laureate. This Prize, whose nominal monetary value is only symbolic, has had a considerable impact on my scientific career. Ladies and Gentlemen, I feel honoured and pleased to bestow the 2007 Tison Award to Dr Christophe Cudennec and Miss Houda Boudhraa. Let me wish that this Prize marks an important milestone in their scientific careers. Congratulations and good luck.

Dr Zbigniew Kundzewicz
IAHS Editor
Perugia, 12 July 2007

Chrisophe Cudennec answer :

Thank you very much Drs Kundzewicz and Askew. The tradition is to say few words. In order to respect the bilingual status, I’ll speak in English and Houda will speak in French. I’m much honoured by this award and to have my name added to such a list of distinguished colleagues. Let me find this is a recognition of hydro-geomorphological and scaling approaches in our discipline. Let me understand this is a recognition of PUB issues in developing countries, where data scarcity is a crucial problem to address all the water-related aspects Dr Young has just listed. Let me believe this is a recognition of North-South cooperation. I’m truly happy and proud to share this award with a promising Tunisian scientist, the first African to receive the Tison award, all the more a woman. Thanks a lot to the jury for this honour, and to the association for being what it is.

Houda Boudhraâ answer :

J'aimerais remercier toutes les personnes qui m'ont donné l'occasion de me présenter ici aujourd'hui. Je remercie vivement les membres du jury du prix Tison 2007, je remercie également le secrétaire général de l'AISH, monsieur Pierre Hubert, puis toutes les équipes de l'IRD et de l'INAT. J'ai eu l'honneur et le grand plaisir de connaitre Christophe et de travailler avec lui dans le cadre de ma thèse et durant ces années j'ai beaucoup appris avec lui et je compte bien continuer cette collaboration. Je suis très heureuse et fière, en tant que tunisienne et africaine, d'être là ce soir pour recevoir le prix Tison 2007, merci encore.

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