Civil Engineering and Geosciences
20,000 weather stations in Africa
In the next few decades, the worldwide demand for food is set to double. Africa and South-America look to be the main producers. But how can large-scale agriculture be achieved if there are no reliable data on the availability of water, when the rain is going to fall, and where?
Up in the clouds
They are a beautiful sight, those cumulus clouds drifting by slowly high above our heads. But what is propelling them? And how do they affect the wind? To find out Louise Nuijens spent a few days with her head in the clouds. Literally.
Floating homes for the Philippines
City dwellers in the Philippines are dealing with the consequences of frequent flooding on a daily basis. This is why Phd and Global fellow Pieter Ham has been working on the construction of sustainable, modular floating homes in the Philippines since graduation. Now the pilot home is ready and the first family to test it out has moved in.
The concrete listener
Dutch concrete bridges are getting old and wrinkled. For this reason, Assistant Professor Yuguang Yang spots cracks inside concrete by listening to how sound spreads inside it. Proposing a revolutionary monitoring technique that can reduce maintenance costs and help unsticking traffic on highways.
The breathing of dikes
When looking at a dike, you wouldn’t be able to detect any motion in this robust structure. Though in fact there is. On a millimetre level, dikes expand and shrink in relation to the weather conditions. Ece Özer showed that observing this ‘breathing’ of dikes could help prevent catastrophic flooding events. She used this feature to create an innovative model based on satellite data to better detect weaknesses in a dike.
Roots for riverbanks
The Netherlands has had an indissoluble relationship with water throughout history. Nowadays, 2400 km of waterways flowing through its veins use timber retaining walls along their banks. A more eco-friendly solution than brick or concrete but, still, not as sustainable as it could be. Civil Engineer Abhijith Kamath is researching an alternative method to use tree roots to strengthen waterways’ banks. Making Dutch channels greener in every way.
Not a band-aid but a feeder solution for our coasts
At the weekend Matthieu de Schipper likes to surf the waves but on weekdays he studies how they transport the sand along the coast and up and down beaches. ‘Sea level rise is a threat to coasts across the globe. I want to use the forces of nature to provide engineering solutions to this problem on a global scale’. At the Sand Motor project in the Netherlands De Schipper is training students to do the necessary fieldwork. In all weathers.