Rivers, Ports, Waterways and Dredging Engineering

This section consists of 3 research groups: River Engineering, Ports & Waterways, and Dredging Engineering. The chair of the River Engineering group is Dr ir A. Blom, the chair of the Ports & Waterways group is Prof Dr ir M. van Koningsveld, and the chair of the Dredging Engineering group is Prof Dr ir C. van Rhee.

River Engineering

River Engineering focusses on the prediction of short-term and long-term response of the river system to natural and anthropogenic change. Furthermore, it focuses on the design of measures that help serve the various river functions: flood safety, navigation, freshwater supply, ecosystem services, and recreation. The group focusses on the fundamental conservation equations for flow and bed sediment and simplified versions of these equations, as these simplified equations help to understand the response of the fluvial system to change. We combine analysis of field data and lab experiments with conceptual modelling, analytical, and numerical modelling.

Ports & Waterways

The section Ports & Waterways focuses on industry-driven innovations in the fields of port engineering and inland waterway transport. It involves research and innovations in the field of transport economics, shipping, nautical aspects, safety and logistics. The knowledge of waves and currents, sediment transport and morphology, dredging and land reclamation, design of the infrastructure such as breakwaters, quays, jetties, locks, bank and bed protections play a substantial role in understanding the key processes and developing smart and sustainable solutions by using the Building with Nature, Engineering with Nature and Dredging with Nature philosophies. 

Digitalization of ports and waterways has triggered an urge for data-driven methods in the field for analysing the performance of the supply chains of waterborne transport and logistics. Our ports and waterways team is focused on developing data science methods in order to better understand how the current ports and waterways processes (for example navigation, port accessibility, interaction with other modalities of transport) interact with other physical factors (like hydrodynamic conditions, maintenance dredging, retrofitting the existing fleet, developing new green infrastructure). This new knowledge will be used to better address the global challenges such as increasing vessel sizes, sea level rise, climate change, energy transition, autonomous shipping and reduction of the CO2 emissions. 

Dredging works

The subject of Dredging Works has very multidisciplinary interest. Therefore, the subject of dredging is being teached in the master Hydraulic Engineering as well as in the master Offshore Engineering. Dredging Engineering is about the displacement of large volumes of sediment. Large land reclamation projects, as the new airports in Hong Kong and Singapore, the large land reclamations for ports and industry in Singapore and the spectacular projects in Dubai like the Palm Islands (see picture) and “the World”, are examples of dredging works. All Dredging processes involve slurry flows and are dominated by erosion, transport and sedimentation under special hydraulic conditions.