prof.dr. Z. Su (Bob)

Full Professor

About Me

Key qualification

  • Scientist and educator with 30 years of experience in research, education, and project and human resources management
  • Expertise in spatial hydrology, earth observation, water cycle and climate, land-atmosphere interaction, and water resources management

Professor Bob Su holds the Chair of Spatial Hydrology and Water Resources Management, and previously served for 15 years as Chairman of Department of Water Resources in Faculty of Geo-Information and Earth Observation (ITC) of University of Twente, Enschede, the Netherlands. Bob Su is a recognized international expert in land-atmosphere processes and interactions and earth observation of water cycle. His research covers remote sensing and numerical modeling of land-atmosphere processes and land–atmosphere interactions, earth observation of water cycle and applications in climate, ecosystem and water resources studies, as well as monitoring food security and water-related disasters. He has coordinated and participated in numerous international projects and experiments and served as committee member of various science communities. His current research focuses on integrated water, energy and carbon processes in the water-soil-plant-atmosphere pathway as a component of earth system model, modelling microwave signature of land surface and retrieval of soil moisture and vegetation properties, and developing data driven machine learning algorithms for digital twin earth.


Earth & Environmental Sciences
Energy Balance
Land Surface
River Basin
Soil Moisture
Surface Energy

Ancillary Activities

  • Committee on Space Research (COSPAR)
    COSPAR Panel Capacity Building
  • World Climate Research Programme
    WCRP GEWEX Science Steering Group Member
    World Climate Research Programme GEWEX SSG


Zhuang, R., Manfreda, S. , Zeng, Y. , Su, Z., Ben-Dor, E., & Petropoulos, G. P. (2023). Soil moisture monitoring using unmanned aerial system. In S. Manfreda, & E. Ben Dor (Eds.), Unmanned Aerial Systems for Monitoring Soil, Vegetation, and Riverine Environments (pp. 179-200). Elsevier. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-323-85283-8.00003-5
Shaoning, LV. , Yu, L. , Zeng, Y., Wen, J., Simmer, C. , & su, Z. (2023). Inference of soil freezing front depth during the freezing period from the L-band passive microwave brightness temperature. IEEE Journal of selected topics in applied earth observations and remote sensing, 16, 4039-4049. https://doi.org/10.1109/JSTARS.2023.3241876

UT Research Information System

Google Scholar Link

Courses Academic Year  2023/2024

Courses in the current academic year are added at the moment they are finalised in the Osiris system. Therefore it is possible that the list is not yet complete for the whole academic year.

Courses Academic Year  2022/2023


Recent major projects

(PI: Principal investigator, CO-I: Co-investigator)

-        PI: WUNDER: Water Use and Drought Ecohydrological Responses of Agricultural and Nature Ecosystems in the Netherlands - Towards Climate-Robust Production Systems and Water Management. NWO KIC (TUD, WU, HAS, Planet, Deltares, WEnR, HKV+ stakeholders, 2022-2028) (1,516,238)

-        CO-I: EcoExtreML: Accelerating Process Understanding for Ecosystem Functioning under Extreme Climates with Physics-Aware Machine Learning. NL eScience Center (PI: Y. Zeng, 2021-2025) (253000)

-        CO-I: MINERVA: MIcrowaves for a New Era of Remote sensing of Vegetation for Agricultural monitoring. NWO PIPP (Partnerships for space Instruments & Applications Preparatory Programme) (PI: S. Steele-Dunne, TUD; J. Reiche, WU; + stakeholders, 2020-2023) (155373, plus bench fee)

-        PI: CLIMATE-Pan-TPE: Monitoring and Modelling Climate Change in Water, Energy and Carbon Cycles in the Pan-Third Pole Environment (ESA-MOST Dragon Programme IV, Young scientist, 2020-2024) (ID.58516)

-       PI: iAqueduct: An integrative information aqueduct to close the gaps between global satellite observation of water cycle and local sustainable management of water resources, ERA-NET Water JPI 2018 joint call, 2019-2023 (Co-Is: Y. Zeng; F. Francés, F. Vallés Morán, Uni Politecnic Vallencia; Giulia Vico, Swedish Uni Agr Sci., S. Manfreda, Uni Basilicata; Brigitta Tóth, Hungary Academy of Sciences ; N. Romano, Uni Naples; E. Ben-Dor, Tel Avis Uni)

-          PI: NWO/GO SMAP-Freeze/thaw: Modelling Freeze-Thaw Processes with Active and Passive Microwave Observations, 2015-2019 (Co-Is: R. van der Velde; Y. Zeng; M. Schwank, ETH Zürich; P. Ferrazzoli, TVU, Rome;  J. Wen, CAREERI/CAS; Y. Ma, ITP/CAS)

-          PI: EU FP7 CORE-CLIMAX: COordinating Earth observation data validation for RE-analysis for CLIMAte ServiceS 2013-2015 (CO-Is: J. Schulz, EUMETSAT; P. Poli, ECMWF; F. Kaspar, DWD; E. Swinnen, VITO; J.-C. Calvet; H. Gregow, FMI; Y. Ma, ITP/CAS; J. Wen, CAREERI/CAS)

-          PI: ESA-MOST Dragon Programme I-II-III-IV Advanced Training, 2005-2020 (dragon4.esa.int)

-          PI: ESA TIGER Capacity Building Facility I/II, 2007-2012 (Co-I: M. Menenti, TU Delft; E. Swinnen, VITO; M. Painho, ISEGI-UNL) (tiger.itc.nl)

-          PI: ESA WACMOS: Water Cycle Multimission Observation Strategy (ESA Support to Science Programme, 2009-2012) (Co-Is: W. Wagner, TU Vienna; R. de Jeu, Vrije Universiteit; R. Roebeling, KNMI and J. Schulz, DWD) (wacmos.org)

-          Co-I: EU-FP7 CEOP-AEGIS: Coordinated Asia-European long-term Observing system of Qinghai – Tibet Plateau hydro-meteorological processes and the Asian-monsoon systEm with Ground satellite Image data and numerical Simulations (EU FP7, 2008-2012) (PI: M. Menenti, Université Louis Pasteur LSIIT ULP; Z. Su, ITC; G. Durso, ARIES Space; T. Folken, Uni Bayreuth; L. Jia, Alterra; G. Sobriono, Uni Valencia; Y. Ma, ITP/CAS; L. Liu, CMA; X. Li, BNU; K.D. Sharma, NIH; K. Ueno, Uni Tsukuba; W. Bastiaanssen, WaterWatch; J. Wang, CAREERI/CAS; F. Porcù, Uni Ferrara; C. Liu, IGSNRR/CAS; Q. Liu, IRSA/CAS) (CEOP-AEGIS.org)

-          PI: NWO-GO EcoRTM:  Modeling radiation, heat and mass (water vapour and carbon) exchanges at the land-atmosphere interface using  multi-angular optical and thermal measurements (NWO/SRON GO - User Support Programme, 2005-2008) (Co-Is: L. Jia, WU; M. Menenti, ULP; W. Verhoef, NLR; H. Dolman, VU)


Climate Change and Droughts - monitoring, prediction and adaptation





€ 1.5 million for UT research to mitigate drought damage


NWO-KIC grant to UT research on water use during droughts



Climate Change and Precipitation - monitoring and prediction


ITC algorithm detects rainfall in rural Africa



Researcher from UT developed an algorithm to predict rainfall in rural Africa



How mobile phone towers can help farmers monitor rainfall



Mobile Phone Signals Hold Real-Time Rainfall Information



ITC algorithm detects rainfall in rural Africa



Contact Details

+31534896830 (secretary)
+31534874305 (if no answer)

Visiting Address

University of Twente
Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation
Langezijds (building no. 19), room 1124
Hallenweg 8
7522NH  Enschede
The Netherlands

Mailing Address

University of Twente
Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation
Langezijds  1124
P.O. Box 217
7500 AE Enschede
The Netherlands

Additional Contact Information