Civil Engineering and Geosciences
Getting to grips with land subsidence
While Femke Vossepoel’s husband and kids were choosing a Christmas tree she was busy typing up a research proposal about land motion. After a career at Shell, Vossepoel was determined to return to science. ‘In four years’ time we will have developed a prototype for a subsurface model which will give us a more accurate prediction of land subsidence resulting from natural gas extraction,’ she claims. As far as the government and businesses are concerned, it can’t come soon enough.
Globally mapping air pollution
Satellites are the best available measuring instruments to detect man-made pollution worldwide. Atmospheric scientist Pieternel Levelt initiated OMI and TROPOMI, two of the most prestigious measuring instruments for the detailed mapping of harmful pollutants in the atmosphere. TROPOMI, the latest of the two, is capable of identifying and studying sources of pollution with even greater precision. The recently launched satellite will also be monitoring the main greenhouse gas emissions.
Water in the sky
Water is of vital importance for human survival. Human activity influences the way water moves around the earth but the complexity of the system is such that it is hard to tell how far-reaching its effects really are. Scientists like Lan Wang-Erlandsson are working hard to chart the earth’s water cycle with more precision. Wang-Erlandsson, who grew up in Sweden, became involved in this area of research when she worked as a volunteer at the annual World Water Week conference in Stockholm.
Water stress in the rainforest
How much water is intercepted by the canopy of a tree? That was the question PhD candidate Tim van Emmerik had to find an answer to in order to gain a better understanding of the earth’s water cycle. But how to go about it?
The turbulent waters of the Eastern Scheldt
Whenever there is a problem with the Eastern Scheldt storm surge barrier, the Dutch get worried. The last time the barrier made the news was in 2013, when the stability of the barrier’s foundation protection was compromised.
How to keep that rolling stock rolling
Engineers Evert van Veldhuizen and Jan Moraal are experts in the area of pantograph-catenary interaction and if it’s up to them, in the future, a failing overhead line will no longer get the headline news.
Building affordable homes using local biowaste materials
People in rural India traditionally live in so-called ‘mud houses’, houses made of a blend of clay, sand and silt. This material is not water-resistant, and over time, rain causes the walls to crumble. Residents have to replaster their walls after each rainy season. There is currently no affordable alternative. However, with his TU Delft Global Research Fellowship, civil engineer Kulshreshtha hopes to see this change.