David Felix studied Civil Engineering at the University of Applied Science in Burgdorf (BSc.) and at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich), Switzerland. After graduation (MSc.) in 2005, he started working in the fields of hydraulic design of hydro power plants, safety of small dams and flood protection as a project engineer and project leader at Pöyry. In 2010 he joined the Laboratory of Hydraulics, Hydrology and Glaciology (VAW), ETH Zurich, as a senior teaching assistant at the Professorship for hydraulic structures and hydraulic engineering (Prof. Dr. R. Boes). In 2011, David Felix started his PhD study on effects of suspended sediment on Pelton turbine wear and efficiency at VAW, ETH Zürich.
David Felix’ principal research interests lie in the fields of Hydraulic and Mechanical Engineering with particular focus on: (i) suspended sediment monitoring, (ii) fine sediment transport in rivers and hydropower plants (HPPs), (iii) sediment management at HPPs, as well as (iv) hydro-abrasive erosion and (v) efficiency changes on hydraulic turbines, in particular Pelton turbines. Such turbines are used in high-head HPPs and are particularly prone to hydro-abrasive erosion, leading to high maintenance costs and production losses.
He works as a member of SCCER-SoE in the group of WP2 – hydropower usage. He is responsible for laboratory and field investigations on selected aspects of the mentioned research topics within the scope of his PhD project. The project aims at (i) investigating continuous real-time monitoring techniques, (ii) quantifying suspended sediment load, turbine erosion and efficiency reductions, (iii) understanding of these processes and their interrelations and (iv) developing an erosion prediction model. The knowledge gained from this project will provide a basis for economic and energetic optimizations of HPPs. Thus, the project contributes to the realization of the ‘Energy Strategy 2050’.