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MSEC / MultiScale Environmental Changes


  • Electronic engineer, IRD
  • Lab. Address : IRD c/o NAFRI. Ban Sisangvone, Saysetta district, BP5992, Vientiane, RPD Lao.
  • Phone: +856 (0) 20 54 61 74 03
  • Email : norbert.silvera|DONTWANTSPAM|

Main fields of research and expertise

  • I am an electronics engineer of the French Institute of Research for Development (IRD), with 31 years of experience in working with agronomists, hydrologists and soils scientists. I am used to train local colleagues and students in electronics designing, testing and maintenance. I participate in publishing papers specialized on the impacts of land use changes on soil erosion and hydrology. I also took out international patents on several original systems dealing with water level, velocity and discharge measurements.
  • Since 2012, I am posted at the National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute (NAFRI), Vientiane, RPD Laos, managing the MSEC3 project (Multi-Scale Environmental Changes, phase 3 part of the RBV international catchments network) in Laos, Thailand and Vietnam, in term of developing new devices to sediment sampling, enhancing data acquisitions and rationalizing data collection.
  • Between 2011 and 2012 I have been posted at the IRD near Paris, France. My activities aims at managing several data acquisition systems equipped with environmental sensors to assess evapotranspiration processes, automating water level measurements, managing hydrological data base and website and designing new suspended sediment samplers used in the MSEC3 small catchments network in Laos, Thailand and Vietnam.
  • Between 2008 and 2011 I have been posted at the Office of Science for Land Development, Land Development Department, Bangkok, conducting experiments on erosion processes in NE Thailand using rainfall simulator, deploying geophysical instruments along profiles in rubber trees plantations (Khon Kaen, Satuk & HatYai region) to better understand roots development mechanism and water movements in soil, managing a data acquisition net equipped with environmental sensors to assess soil moisture content, enhancing technics dedicated to infiltration measurements by developing new data acquisition systems and automating water level measurements and water sampling in piezometers.
  • Between 2006 and 2008 I have worked at Kasetsart University, Faculty of Forestry, Bangkok, designing and deploying special electronic devices dedicated to flood genesis in small mountainous stream and assessing erosion processes by photogrammetric technics in Phrae province.
  • Between 2002 and 2006, I have already been posted at the National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute (NAFRI), Vientiane, RPD Laos, on the MSEC project. I was more focused on studying the properties of a mountainous small river by developing specific devices like weir supervisors, water quality and discharge portable systems recorder.
  • I had previously worked 19 years in West Africa (Ivory Coast and Senegal) designing and perfecting automatic devices based on micro-controller and dedicated to interrill micro-relief and shallow water depth measurements, low flow velocity distribution on experimental plots with a surface of up to 40 m² and data acquisition systems allowing sediment sampling and micro-wave surface characterizations in lagoon.

Patents and major publications

Silvera N., Ribolzi O. “Dispositif pour le prélèvement d’échantillons en surface dans un cours d’eau en période de crue”. Patent issued FR06/08841 on 12/12/08 by INPI (Institut National de la Propriété Industrielle, France). PCT International extension WO2008/043908 & special extention for Thailand 0701005092.

Silvera N., Planchon O. "Procédé et appareil pour la mesure de la vitesse d'un faible écoulement d'eau". Patent issued FR03/11672 on 16/12/05 by INPI (Institut National de la Propriété Industrielle, France).

Tatard L., Planchon O., Wainwright J., Nord G., Favis-Mortlock D., Silvera N., Ribolzi O., Esteves M., Huang C. H. (2008). Measurement and modelling of high-resolution flow-velocity data under simulated rainfall on a low-slope sandy soil.Journal of hydrology 348 (1-2) 1-12.

Silvera N., Ribolzi O., Xayyathip K., Sengtahevanghoung O., Pierret A. (2007). Relative performance of four methods for gauging stream discharge of headwater catchments under low flow conditions. The Lao Journal of Agriculture and Forestry 14 100-112.

Planchon O., Silvera N., Gimenez R., Favis-Mortlock D., Wainwright J., Lebissonnais Y., Govers G. (2005). Estimation of flow velocity in a rill using an automated salt-tracing gauge. Earth Surface Proccesses and Landforms 30 833-844.

Chaplot V., Coadou le Brozec E., Silvera N., Valentin C. (2005). Spatial and temporal assessment of linear erosion in catchments under sloping lands of northern Laos. Catena 63 167-184.

Giménez R., Planchon O., Silvera N., Govers G. (2004). Longitudinal velocity patterns and bed morphology interaction in a rill. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 29 105-114.

Planchon O., Esteves M., Silvera N. (2002) Microrelief induced by tillage: measurement and modelling of Surface Storage Capacity IN A.V. Auzet, J. Poesen and C. Valentin (editors) "Soil pattern as a key factor of water and/or wind erosion". Catena 46 141-157.