The grand nature of the Mekong river | Foto: Kristine Lilleeng Walløe


Leif Birger Lillehammer


4000 Island area, Laos. | Foto: Kristine Lilleeng Walløe


Leif Birger Lillehammer, guest lecturer at Cornell University


Khone Falls, Laos. | Foto: Kristine Lilleeng Walløe

A career and a life shaped by water

In the new book «Adventures in Water Management: Real-World Engineering Experiences» Leif Birger Lillehammer of Multiconsult, shares his stories from a long and colorful career in water resource management projects.

24. May 2019

The book, published by the American Society of Civil Engineers, is the idea of Daniel Pete Loucks of Cornell University, Ithaca, USA. It tells stories about challenges, successes, lessons learned and inspired moments professionals from around the world has had in conjunction with projects of water resource management. The book contains examples from the real world based on projects that show the need for adequate, reliable, accessible and affordable water for all.

– When I started this crazy book project I was looking for people that had been involved in interesting water resource management projects in different parts of the world, and had made a difference with their expertise and work, says Pete.

– Leif is one of those I was sure could add to such a book. He could show everyone, not just the effect his consulting has made in the places where he worked, but also, how the places he has worked has affected his own life, Pete continues.

– Fortunately, for me and for the readers, Leif joined the project, and the book is significantly better for it, Pete concludes.

International cooperation

Leif Lillehammer has had connections to Cornell University for a long time. From the mid-nineties there has been an exchange of knowledge between Pete and Mark Bain from Cornell University and Leif. Many of the lessons learned from this collaboration has been put into practice in Asia, Africa, Central-, and South America.

Leif was invited to give a guest lecture at Cornell Universityin 2018, called «Adventures in the Practice of Managing Water – From Norwegian small streams to “Khong, The Mother of Water”.

– Four short-stories were the basis for the quest lecture. These four stories were also my contribution to Pete’s book. He is a world-leading scientist in water resource management, Leif says.

– The book features several projects that Multiconsult has been a part of, like Mekong Guidelines, Lake Victoria and Lesotho Highlands, he continues.

Inspiration and development

– Some of the most important lessons I have learned is always to have a good relationship with locals, and that young people should always take the opportunities presented to them, Leif says.

– There are so many interesting water management projects out there. Sustainable development in water management and hydropower projects is gaining momentum across the world, and I hope that my stories can inspire young professionals to join in this exciting development, Leif concludes.

The main goal for the book is just that. To inspire students to work in the field of water resource management. Water resource professionals from all over the world contribute to the book.

Leif Birger Lillehammer has more than 25 years of experience in the field of water resource management, hydropower projects, environmental work and research. He now works as a specialist in the department of Natural Resources in Multiconsult Oslo, Norway.