What the Wadden can teach us
Intertidal zones are crucial for the protection of our coast and as stop-overs for migrating birds. But, increasingly, many of these sand and mudflats are disappearing permanently underneath the waves. Cynthia Maan investigated how by cooperating with nature and using a systems-based approach these precious resources can be saved.
Testing a bio-based bridge
For the first time in history, a bio-based movable bridge for cyclists is tested within TU Delft’s laboratories. It was made out of flax and resins derived from plants. This structure is actually a 12-meter long prototype and it’s the first time this bio composite material is used on this scale.
The most used material in the world
In his hand lays a small grey object, probably no longer than 10 centimeters. It is made of tiny triangle cross-sections and smells like recently casted concrete. This concrete microstructure was made by 3D printing. Yading Xu’s eyes light up when he talks about why he researches 3D-printing techniques for concrete construction. “Concrete is one of the most used material in the world, that is why it is so fascinating to me.”
Making dikes safer with acoustic fiber optic sensors
Playing a bass guitar on top of a dike. It’s not something you see a TU Delft scientist do every day. Yet this is exactly how post-doc Juan Aguilar-López tested his experiment on dike monitoring with the use of fiber optic cables. A technology which could greatly improve dike safety in the future.
Summoning heat from below
Heating our homes is warming up the Earth too. Associate Professor Phil Vardon and PhD candidate Ivaylo Pantev want to warm or cool buildings through their pile foundations, by using the natural temperature of the soil. If done well, this can help residents to save energy, money and problems for generations to come.
Sensible sewer maintenance
A world without a sewer system is not really something anyone would wish to contemplate. Flooding, smelly streets, not to mention the absence of toilet facilities, would make life intolerable. With approximately 150,000 kilometres of waste pipes the Dutch sewage system is one of the country’s most important pieces of infrastructure. While maintenance is crucial it is also expensive.