Heimovaara, T.J.


Timo Heimovaara is full professor of Geo-Environmental Engineering at the TU Delft. Since 2019 he is head of the department of Geoscience & Engineering within the faculty of Civil Engineering and Geo-sciences.

After more than 10 years of commercial experience he joined the faculty in June 2007. In July 2012 he was appointed full professor. His main research interests are focused around the question:

How to use natural processes as engineering tools in the subsurface in order to achieve a more sustainable society?


  • Engineering the eco-system services of the sub-surface in urban society;
  • Sustainable landfill after-care;
  • Reactive-transport in porous media;
  • Contaminated soil management and soil remediation;
  • Dynamic monitoring in system oriented groundwater management;
  • Experimental and computational modelling of coupled processes.

Current Projects

Sustainable after-care for landfills

In this STW funded project we are researching approaches in order to stabilize waste bodies to such an extent that emissions from the waste no longer pose an unacceptable risk for the environment. Currently four sub-projects are being carried out:

  1. Dr. Andriy Bun: Integrated modeling and up-scaling of landfill processes and heterogeneity;
  2. Ir. Laura Konstantaki: Integration of high resolution geophysical measurements with 3D process modelling to obtain 3D-time lapse images of processes in the landfill body;
  3. Ir. André van Turnhout: Quantification of bio-geochemical heterogeneous activity in full-scale landfills;
  4. Shirishkumar Baviskar MTech: Addressing preferential flow in municipal solid waste landfills.

Biological Corrosion Protection

This is a project within the STW BioGeoCivil perspectief program. In this project we are investigating methods to use the processes within the soil's ecosystem to prevent corrosion of man made steel objects in the soil. Currently we aim to understand the behaviour of the microbial community in the vicinity of the steel object.

  1. Ir. Michael Afansyev: Engineering of bio-based substrates on buildings and infrastructure as a basis for natural protection.


BioFix is a project within the STW BioGeoCivil perspectief program where we are working on the next generation BioGrout process. The idea is to use naturally occurring microbial communities in the sub-surface to generate carbonate minerals which cement the soil particles together. Research focuses on understanding how to modify the boundary conditions in order to have optimal precipitation of minerals.

  1. Ir. Vinh Pham: Bio-based ground improvement;
  2. Ir. Luke Bergwerff: Biogrout precipitation

Timo Heimovaara

Department Chair / Professor of Geo-environmental