Cooperation Witteveen+Bos – TU Delft
At the end of this month, two years have passed since I started working at the African Water Corridor Initiative. It will be also 18 months since I have left behind my life in the Netherlands to start my new life in West Africa, in Ghana. My name is Jasper Schakel and in contrast like many other people working at the TU Delft, my employer is not the TU Delft, but the international engineering firm Witteveen+Bos. Two years ago I talked with Doris van Halem where she introduced me to the African Water Corridor.
The African Water Corridor is a consortium of universities (like the TU Delft), NGOs, local governments, social entrepreneurs and engineering firms working together at the development of new (local) technologies for the African environment. The goal is to ensure that water is no longer a limiting factor for development in sub-Saharan Africa. One of the aims is to create a bridge between the academic world and the commercial world, to find a synergy between two worlds whose interests do not always align, but enthusiasm for the implantation of new technologies are shared. With this goal in mind, I have joint the African Water Corridor. It has given me an interesting insight by working at one of the world’s pronouns universities, while at the same time working at an international engineering firm. It has exposed too many different viewpoints, from European universities, African universities, European commercial business ventures and African governments, while at the same time the access to a vast network between technical experts from all fields.
What I like about this position is that the first hour I can have a chat with one of the world’s leading academia’s on the field of water research, the second hour I can have a chat with an engineer with 30 years of working experience, at lunchtime work at an engineering drawing and a few hours later I can find myself in the field with one of our Ghanaian partners conducting fieldwork. I am happy to see that our local office, Witteveen+Bos Ghana and the Technical University of Delft are currently working together on the development of new concepts together in co-creation with our African parties.
With kind regards,