Symposium & farewell reception Dean Bert Geerken

On the occasion of the retirement of Dean Bert Geerken, the Faculty of Civil Engineering & Geosciences and TU Delft | Global Initiative organize a symposium on Global Development.

This symposium is followed by the farewell reception of Dean Bert Geerken.

You are warmly invited to attend one or both parts of this event. Please register before 20 April 2018.

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Civil Engineers & Geoscientists for Global Development

Contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Time: 14.30 – 16.45
Location: Faculty building of CEG – Lecture hall D

What role can engineers play in the field of global development? This is the leading question for this symposium, co-hosted by TU Delft | Global Initiative, on the occasion of the retirement of Dean Bert Geerken. “Through this symposium, I aim to inspire civil engineers and geoscientists to find concrete solutions for worldwide problems.” Guidelines are the Sustainable Development Goals as adopted by the United Nations in 2015, to make sure science and technology lead to impact. Let’s make impact!

TU Delft | Global Initiative is the platform, portal and booster of science and technology for global development at TU Delft.


Introduction: Nick van de Giesen – chairman of TU Delft | Global Initiative

  • Prof. Huub Savenije (TU Delft)
  • Karin Sluis (CEO Witteveen+Bos)

Three researchers will pitch their concrete solutions for worldwide problems
Will you help them make impact? Contribute to their projects on and vote on your favourite during the symposium.

Pitch 1: Pieter Ham – Floating Homes in the Philippines

What is it like to have wet feet twice a day? In the overpopulated deltas of the Philippines, people live in areas that experience daily flooding. The floods are caused by a combination of tides, heavy rainfall and land subsidence (the sinking of land), and are worsening due to climate change, population growth and the low quality of the current housing.

We believe that floating and amphibious housing is the future. Living with the water allows for natural water runoff ecosystems, while the inhabitants can live safely and comfortable above ground. Based on our field research in Pampanga, the Philippines, we have designed the Finch Floating Home. In order to build the first prototypes we need your help. Donate and become part of our community. You will stay up to date on the building process!

Read more and help fund this solution on

Pitch 2: Phil Vardon – Geothermal exploration on the island of Flores, Indonesia

Improving the living conditions of local communities on Flores with sustainable energy

Indonesia, with its numerous active volcanoes, hosts a considerable geothermal potential which is still hidden in many islands of the country. TU Delft has been active since 2014 to help build capacity in this domain in Indonesia, but a lot still needs to be done.

The first stage to assess the geothermal potential area is a basic geological mapping and sampling focussed on rocks, fluids and gases and to investigate whether there is a demand for the generated power. Together with the University of Yogiakarta (UGM) we would like to organise such a field survey on the Island of Flores to explore Volcano Inerie.  Furthermore, we wish to organise a mobility program for master students to visit TU Delft and work on the samples collected together in the field in the TU Delft laboratories.

Read more and help fund this solution on

Pitch 3: Doris van Halem – Drinking water technologies for global development

Access to safe drinking water is a global challenge, particularly affecting the rural poor in developing countries. Within the Sustainable Development Goals there is specific emphasis on the fact that people should not only have access to water, but also to safe water – according to the international accepted guidelines of the World Health Organisation. This urgent problem requires smart, new solutions today for the removal of a wide range of contaminants: e.g., arsenic, fluoride, pathogens and antibiotic resistant genes. With the new “TU Delft Global Drinking Water programme” Doris van Halem is accelerating the development of new drinking water technologies by stimulating early-stage field research in the developing country context. The combination of solid scientific research in the Waterlab of TU Delft and the hands-on field research has proven to speed up technology development, as well as local end-user engagement and technology adoption.

The programme is kicking-off with PhD projects on low-cost virus removal with ceramic membranes in Nicaragua, arsenic removal from groundwater in Bangladesh and smart phone participation in rural India. The projects are designed to specifically include BSc and MSc Civil Engineering students of both TU Delft and the target countries to strengthen the project and stimulate capacity building. At present the programme is investing in a mobile water lab – “a water lab in a suitcase” – to overcome the practical hurdles of measuring different water quality parameters in the field.

Read more and help fund this solution on

Farewell reception Dean Bert Geerken Bert Geerken has been the dean of the Faculty of Civil Engineering & Geosciences of TU Delft since December 2011. He is retiring in May 2018 and wishes to say goodbye to members of staff, the university community and people he worked with.  

Location: De Bouwcampus – de Promenade (central hall) – Van der Burghweg 1, 2628 CS Delft
Time: 16.45 – 19.00

Please register before 20 April 2018.


Would you like to attend the symposium and/or the farewell reception? Please register before 20 April

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