Karen Lorena Rojas Gómez

Contact/ Address

Karen Lorena Rojas Gómez
PhD student

Department Aquatic Ecosystem Analysis and Management (ASAM)
Helmholtz Centre
for Environmental Research - UFZ
Brückstr. 3a, 39114 Magdeburg, Germany

Karen Lorena Rojas Gómez

Research interests

  • Urban water management
  • Contaminant and sediment transport in urbanised catchments
  • Groundwater– surface water – urban drainage networks interactions
  • Integrated water resources management
  • Modelling impacts of anthropogenic pressures on river water and groundwater quality
  • Strategies to improve water quality in urbanised catchments

Professional Career

Feb 2020

PhD candidate at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ
Department Aquatic Ecosystem Analysis and Management
PhD topic: Transport, Fate and Impacts of Particle Bound Contaminants on the Water Quality of Urbanised Catchments

Jan. 2019 – March 2019

Research assistant
ifak - Institut für Automation und Kommunikation, Magdeburg – Germany, Department of Water and Energy
Integration of groundwater modelling into the simulation of urban water cycle to propose water management strategies towards sustainability of cities

Nov. 2014 – Oct. 2017

Project Engineer
Cinara Institute, Faculty of Engineering, Universidad del Valle,
Cali - Colombia
Research Group: Integrated Water Resources Management
Project: Strategies for the recuperation and for an integrated water resource management in the Cauca and Dagua catchments – Valle del Cauca
Formulation and evaluation of pollution control strategies for policy-makers in Cauca river valley. Proposing new approaches to improve the water resources quality and urban water

Nov. 2015 – March 2016

Project Engineer
Research Group for Advanced Processes for Chemical and Biological Treatment (GAOX), Universidad del Valle, Cali - Colombia
Groundwater vulnerability and microbiological and pesticides pollution in Valle del Cauca, Colombia

Research stays

Aug. 2018

Development of a simplified block in SIMBA# simulator for Groundwater Modelling: recharge, abstraction and surface-groundwater interactions
ifak - Institut für Automation und Kommunikation, Department of Water and Energy, Magdeburg – Germany

March 2016 – Jun 2016

Apply methods and simulation tools for the adaptive management of urban hydrological systems
ifak - Institut für Automation und Kommunikation, Department of Water and Energy, Magdeburg – Germany
Fellowship from FunCyTCA (German-Colombian Foundation for Science and Technology)


Feb 2019

Dr-Ing. candidate at Technische Universität Dresden, Institute for Urban Water Management (Germany)

Sept. 2017 – Sept. 2019

MSc. Hydro Science and Engineering -TU Dresden (Germany)
MSc. Water Science and Engineering - IHE Delft (The Netherlands)
MSc. Environmental Engineering - Instituto Superior Técnico (Portugal)
Scholarship holder from the Erasmus Mundus Programme for studying the Joint Master “Groundwater and Global Change - Impacts and Adaptation” 
Thesis at TU Dresden: Predicting Highly Polluted Regions within Aquifers Resulting from Leaky Sewer Systems Using a Simplified Simulation Approach

Dec. 2013 – March. 2014

Semester abroad - University of Freiburg, Germany (DAAD scholarship)

Aug. 2009 – Nov. 2014

B.Sc. in Sanitary and Environmental Engineering at Universidad del Valle (Cali, Colombia)
Honours Graduate distinction
Thesis: Degradation of the 2,4-D pesticide in groundwater by Photo-Fenton at neutral pH

Participation in conferences

  • Rojas, K.L., Engelmann, C., Binder, M., Sadeghikhah, A., Walther, M (2019). Predicting polluted regions within aquifers from leaky sewer networks. 10th International Groundwater Quality Conference – GQ 2019. Liège, Belgium
  • Rojas, K.L., Galvis, A., Schütze, M (2017). Modelling the Impact of Sediments on Drainage Systems. International Conference on Urban Drainage – ICUD 2017. Prague, Czech Republic
  • Gutiérrez, H., Rojas, K.L., Sanabria, J., Rengifo, J (2015). Photo-Fenton degradation of 2,4-D herbicide in groundwater: effect of iron concentration, hydrogen peroxide at near neutral pH. International Congress: VIII Meeting on Environmental Application of Advanced Oxidation Processes and II Iberoamerican Congress of Advanced Oxidation Technologies - 2015. Belo Horizonte, Brazil


  • Gutiérrez-Zapata, H.M., Rojas, K.L., Sanabria, J., Rengifo-Herrera, J (2017). 2,4-D abatement from groundwater samples by Photo-Fenton processes at circumneutral pH using naturally iron present. Effect of inorganic ions. Environmental Science and Pollution Research. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-016-7067-5