Due to the massive penetration of alternative renewable energies, hydropower is a key energy conversion technology for stabilizing the electrical power network by using hydraulic machines at off design operating conditions. At full load, the axisymmetric cavitation vortex rope developing in Francis turbines acts as an internal source of energy, leading to an instability commonly referred to as self-excited surge. 1-D models are developed to predict this phenomenon and to define the range of safe operating points for a hydropower plant. These models require a calibration of several parameters. The present work aims at identifying these parameters by using CFD results as objective functions for an optimization process. A 2-D Venturi and 3-D Francis turbine are considered.