Chavez Olalla, J.


I am a PhD candidate in the Geo-Engineering group in the Department of Geoscience and Engineering. My research interests are characterizing the shallow subsurface and its related processes by means of geophysical and geotechnical exploration methods.


  • 2017 – Present: PhD candidate in the Geo-Engineering group at Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands
  • 2015 – 2017: Master of Science in Civil Engineering at Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands
  • 2008 – 2014: Bachelor of Civil Engineering at National Polytechnic School, Ecuador



Assisting in the courses:

  • AESB1240-24 Introduction to Minerals, Mining and Geo-Engineering
  • AESB3440 Field Exploration Project



Current safety assessment of flood defenses in the Netherlands is in question because of, among other factors, the little knowledge available about the subsurface. The objective of my research is to improve current estimates of dike-failure probabilities by exploring heterogeneity of the subsurface.

I have to develop a protocol for mapping subsoil heterogeneity to the required level of detail that is known to have an impact on risk of dike failure. For this purpose, I have to combine geophysical and geotechnical exploration methods. The collected data is to be interpreted within a probabilistic framework as opposed to traditional qualitative comparison of images.

My project is part of ‘All-risk: Implementation of new risk standards in the Dutch flood protection program’ which seeks to set the scientific framework for the transition to a risk approach for the management of flood defenses. I work in collaboration with Utrecht University and under supervision of TJ Heimovaara (promotor), Dr. Dominique Ngan-Tillard and Dr. Ranajit Ghose.

Apart from the research related to my doctoral project, I am involved in  the project ‘Verbreding Toepasbaarheid Duurzaam Stortbeheer (vtDS)’  which seeks to develop and test remediation measures in existing landfills. My job consists in characterizing landfill bodies using direct current electrical resistivity (ERT) in order to feed the existing predictive biochemical model. This project is supervised by Dr. Andre van Turnhout and lead by TJ Heimovaara.

31 Juan Chavez Olalla

PhD Student