Civil Engineering and Geosciences
Hot topic: Green Roofs
Green roofs are hot! Roofs completely covered in plants are becoming a familiar sight in our cities. After all, what’s not to like? They offer a home to birds and insects, and because the plants hold on to moisture they cool down the city in summer. And, as an added bonus, it’s clear for everyone to see you’re doing your bit for the environment.
Follow the pretty pebbles
Rivers meander: it’s what they do. They make their way through the landscape twisting and turning as they flow. In the Netherlands a meandering river has become a rarity. ‘Many rivers worldwide have been ‘humanised’,’ says Victor Chavarrias who is researching rivers, with the Rhine as his case study. ‘200 years ago the Rhine meandered strongly. That made life in the floodplain dangerous and the transportation of goods very inefficient.
Leapfrogging towards sustainable palm oil
With palm oil being the most widely used vegetable oil in the world, the industry is likely to stay with us for the foreseeable future, despite its controversial reputation of pollution, deforestation and ignoring the needs of local communities. “The palm oil industry is only expanding, so doing nothing is not going to solve the problem,” says Dr Ralph Lindeboom of the department of Sanitary Engineering.
Producing geothermal energy in Indonesia
Her fieldwork takes geologist Fiorenza Deon to remote areas in Indonesia and it wasn’t long before she learned the language, a skill she needs to be able to negotiate with the local authorities. Her geologic research forms part of GEOCAP, an international collaboration between the governments of Indonesia and the Netherlands, companies and universities aimed at exploring the use of geothermal energy.