Multidisciplinary Project Proposal, CE Consultancy Project 2020-2021

Nieuws - 10 september 2020 - Webmaster Hydraulic Engineering

Polder2C’s levee challenge: Design and test an innovative repair for a damaged levee

This project is a unique opportunity for a multidisciplinary team of TU Delft students to take part in a practical project and compete against students from other countries, while remaining possible within the restrictions and uncertainty around the Covid-19 situation.

Climate change has been affecting countries in the 2 Seas Region (Belgium, the Netherlands, United Kingdom and France) more severely than expected. Humans have attempted to conquer the problems of changing water levels for thousands of years using the levee, also known as a dike. A levee is simply a man-made embankment built to keep a river from overflowing its banks or to prevent ocean waves from washing into undesired areas. But are these flood defences safe enough? In the past, levees failed due to insufficient planning, riskier designs, poor maintenance or insufficient funds. Nowadays, most of the levee systems rely on the understanding that levees require regular maintenance, constant monitoring and a long-term appreciation for how rivers, oceans and storms behave. When these are in place, communities can thrive safely alongside the beauty and convenience of coastal and riverside areas.

The Polder2C’s project offers a rare opportunity to test and improve flood resilience by improving climate change adaptation capacity on a strategic, tactical and operational level. The “Levee Challenge” is an event that offers students the unique opportunity to design an innovative repair strategy for a levee and thentest their design on a real levee under real loading conditions, while competing and interacting with groups of students from other countries.

During the physical challenge, groups of students from partner institutes are asked to repair a damaged levee (2 m wide) in the Hedwige-Prosper polder as well and efficiently as possible with surface protection measures. The levee will be damaged during large-scale steady overflow tests taking place between November 2020 and March 2021. The reparation of the levee will then take place between February and March 2021 and needs to be sufficient to withstand new overflow tests.

Location of physical challenge: Hedwige Prosperpolder (Zoetenberm 27, 9130 Beveren, Belgium)

Note: preparations for this project should begin by October, but the bulk of the work can take place in Q2 and Q3. The Polder2C’s Levee Challenge and the MDP/consultancy project can be combined, but have separate requirements. The Levee Challenge requires an application to be submitted by October 25th, however the competition takes place in February/March 2021. Even if the application for the Levee Challenge is not accepted, it is still possible to combine the virtual levee challenge with the MDP/consultancy project. Please visit the Polder2C’s and Levee Challenge website for more details.

Contact: Robert Lanzafame ( and Stephan Rikkert (