Civil Engineering and Geosciences
Can sandbanks save mangrove forests?
Waking up early and going into the field on a small fishermen's boat, while the sun is rising behind volcano tops. That's how days started for PhD student Silke Tas during her two month fieldwork in Indonesia. The rest of her days were less idyllic: they consisted mostly of treading through the mud to get the right measurements for her research. She studies the workings of coastal sandbanks that give a chance to mangrove forests to restore, so that the forests can, in turn, prevent coast erosion.
From concrete waste to concrete buildings
Earth’s primary resources are finite. Human inventiveness, however, isn’t. At TU Delft’s laboratories, Francesco Di Maio is working on the recycling of concrete waste. Just like the Phoenix, the mythological bird that rises from its own ashes, Di Maio wants new concrete buildings to arise from their predecessors waste. He hopes his technologies will help to transform urban economies into self-sustaining loops.
A golden age for earth observation
Earth observation is experiencing a golden age: satellites are providing us with an unprecedented wealth of data. Climate researcher Stef Lhermitte is making good use of this, because however effective our models may be, they still contain plenty of uncertainties.
Waiting for the perfect storm
For months hydraulic engineer Patrick Oosterlo has been waiting for a heavy storm. One that can truly test his equipment that was installed in and on a dike on the coast of the eastern Wadden Sea. He needs high waves and strong winds to decide: is this dike high enough?
Water with a barcode
How, and at what speed, do bacteria or chemical substances travel through groundwater or surface water? The tracer hydrologist Thom Bogaard has developed using synthetic DNA is putting him hot on their trail. ‘It’s a lot safer than working with real pollutants.’
The creepy crawlies that can save lives
Doris van Halem’s aim is to make drinking water safe and accessible to all. Not by adding expensive chemicals but by putting to work the tiny creatures already present in it. She is tackling the two health risks associated with contaminated drinking water which have been hardest to eradicate: arsenic poisoning and infectious diseases caused by viruses.