Ports and Waterways

The growth of intercontinental cargo traffic implies an increasing need of port capacity worldwide. Large port expansion projects, such as Maasvlakte II in the Netherlands, and projects to increase the capacity of access routes, such as the Panama Canal, are among the many challenging projects for port engineers and IWT engineers (IWT meaning Inland Water Transport).

The design of ports and waterways is a multidisciplinary activity. It involves expertise in the field of transport-economics, shipping, nautical matters, safety and logistics. It also involves knowledge of waves and currents, sediment transport and morphology, dredging and land reclamation, design of breakwaters, quays, bank protections and locks. Hence, port and IWT planning is teamwork. Within this team the port and waterway planners play a central role in developing the concepts and obtaining the required expertise at the right time.

This section gives students an insight in the working field of a port engineer and in inland water transport. In two courses (MSc program) students get acquainted with design and simulation of ports and waterways. During the lectures the aspects of port and waterway planning, nautical design, queuing theory and environmental aspects of port planning and IWT are addressed.

Graduate students conduct a research or a planning project for organizations like port authorities, research institutes, consultants, contractors, or governmental organizations. This enables these organizations to investigate certain topics, while students are involved in (socially) relevant issues.

The research department of Ports & Waterways focuses on innovative and sustainable design and operation of ports and waterways including its logistic chains. It includes nautical simulations, innovative concepts of port logistics and cargo handling as well as inland water transport.

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