L'ingénieur engagé pour
la gestion durable des ressources naturelles

École Nationale Supérieure
en Environnement, Géoressources et
Ingénierie du Développement Durable

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Lundi 3
avril 2023

PEST Course 2023 at ENSEGID - Bordeaux INP

[ENGLISH] Bordeaux INP - ENSEGID is pleased to host a course by John Doherty, the developer of PEST.

The course will cover philosophical, theoretical, and practical aspects of robust modeling for decision support with both historical and most recent methods of parameter estimation, uncertainty quantification, data assimilation and optimization of decision variables. These are all serious topics, but they will be presented in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere!  The course is open to a broad audience interested in model-based decision support in geosciences (doc, post-doc, practitioners, …), the content will be adjusted to the background and expectations of the participants.


[FRANCAIS] L'ENSEGID - Bordeaux INP aura le plaisir d’accueillir John Doherty, le développeur de la célèbre suite logicielle PEST.

Le format est modulaire et le contenu prévu pour satisfaire un public diversifié (doc, post-doc, jeune chercheur, ingénieur, …). Il couvrira les méthodes d’estimation des paramètres et de quantification des incertitudes, d’assimilation et d’optimisation des variables de décision. Des sujets sérieux…qui seront abordés dans une ambiance amicale et bienveillante ! Le cours sera accessible à toute personne pratiquant la modélisation en géosciences, quel que soit le modèle, avec une approche orientée vers l’aide à la décision. Le cours sera en anglais, avec possibilité d’assistance en français.


PEST Course 2023 at Ensegid - Bordeaux INP

Inscription (closed March 10)

Five Day Short Course

Model Calibration and Predictive Uncertainty Analysis

Dates:  3rd - 7th April 2023

The course will be run by John Doherty (author of PEST) and will cover the broad spectrum of topics (philosophical, theoretical and practical) that embody a scientific response to the imperatives of modern-day decision-support modelling. We have tried to design this week so that the most people can get the most out of it. The atmosphere will be relaxed, with plenty of time for discussion and questions. Social events will be organized on day 1 on the campus and day 4 in Bordeaux city.


Day 1: Introduction and theoretical background


Introductory session covering the philosophy of decision-support modelling. It will discuss how decision-support modelling is different from explanatory modelling, and why/how simulation should serve harvesting of information from data, and delivery of that information to decision-makers.

Basic linear algebra and statistics (do not be afraid; it is easy)


  • Solution of well-posed inverse problems
  • Basics of PEST  ; Interfacing your model with PEST (GUIs, Python, …)

Day 2: The basics of PEST


  • Regularisation and the quest for uniqueness (manual regularisation, Tikhonov regularisation and SVD)
  • Workshop: use of PEST/PEST++ to solve a simple inverse problem with the GLMA


  • Linear analysis, sensitivity analysis, data worth and related topics
  • Workshop: highly parameterized regularized inversion with the GLMA

Wine tasting

Day 3: Uncertainty analysis


  • Linear analysis, sensitivity analysis, data worth and related topics
  • Workshop: linear uncertainty analysis (with PyEMU)


  • Conference : Nonlinear Decision support modeling needed - Conference with local stakeholders and practicioners
  • Workshop: using the PESTPP-IES ensemble smoother (with PyEMU)

Day 4: Optimization and data assimilation


  • Decision optimisation and optimisation under uncertainty
  • Debate : Dealing with model defects ; art of weighing observations ; fit-for-purpose modeling


  • Data space inversion (DSI)
  • Workshop: using DSI for predictive uncertainty analysis

Dinner in Bordeaux

Day 5: customized support and group therapy 

The content of day 5 will be adjusted to satisfy the expectations of the participants.


  • Model-specific interfaces (FePEST GUI, PyMarthe interface)
  • Workshop :A script-based approach for PEST with Python.


  • This is where you get to tell us your problems, and we suggest ways in which lessons learned in the previous few days may help you. Or perhaps you can help us (and the rest of the class) by telling us your experiences. Either way, the theme is group therapy!


Practical and administrative information

Course will be held at : ENSEGID - Bordeaux INP (France). [ Campus map - research Bordeaux INP - ENSEGID ]

The course will be led by John Doherty, with support from Alexandre Pryet for practical aspects and workshops.

Course attendance is flexible, Attendees can join us for 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 days (recommended!)

Full course (5 days):  1400€ (regular participant) - 1000€ (PhD students)

Flexible attendance: 400€ per day

Costs include lunch + 2 social events (ice breaking with a wine tasting session, dinner in Bordeaux).

Contact : alexandre.pryet@bordeaux-inp.fr

Inscription (closed March 10)

Who is John Doherty ?

John Doherty is the author of PEST, a software package that is widely used for groundwater model calibration and uncertainty analysis. He has worked for over 35 years in the water industry, first as an exploration geophysicist and then as a modeller. Over this time, he has been employed by government and industry; he has also worked at a number of universities where he undertook research, and supervised postgraduate students.

These days John works for his own company, Watermark Numerical Computing, undertaking consulting, research, programming and education, mainly on issues related to model deployment in support of environmental management and impact assessment. He also leads the GMDSI initiative – an industry-funded project that assists modellers to undertake scientifically-based decision-support modelling, and non-modellers to understand the contributions that modelling can (and cannot) make to environmental management.

Publiée le
25 novembre 2022