Maria da Conceição Cunha is Professor at the University of Coimbra, in Portugal. She holds a PhD in Natural Applied Sciences from the Catholic University of Louvain, in Belgium. She has been Visiting Fellow at Princeton University (1997/98), Invited Professor at La Sapienza Università di Roma (May 2018), Visiting Lecturer at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne – EPFL (2002/09) and was awarded with a Distinguished Visiting Fellowship of the Royal Academy of Engineering (UK) May 2017. Her main research focus is the application of optimization techniques to the design and proactive risk management of natural and built environment systems. She has been President of the Portuguese Water Resources Association (2014/16), she is member of the National Water Council (advisory board of the government for water and environment policies) and member of the Environmental Council of the Navigator Company (paper industry). She has coordinated or participated in 35 research projects funded by the Portuguese Science and Technology Foundation, the European Union and other institutions. Her research gave rise to around 300 publications on the planning and management of different water systems, including over 70 papers in international peer-reviewed journals and a book about groundwater management.