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Counting grains of sand to understand coastal dunes
The Dutch coastline is continually changing. Coastal engineer Sierd de Vries is using small ventilators, home-made wind tunnels, drones, jet skis and laser scanners to gain an insight into the development of coastal areas and dune formation. He can often be found sitting close to the Sand Motor counting grains of sand. It’s all in aid of providing more accurate predictions of the long-term changes affecting the coastal landscape.
| READING TIME: 4 MIN
Reading time: 4 min
Marcel Stive: Father of The Sand EngineSince people began to realise, as early as the 19th century, that there was a need for civil as well as military engineers, Civil Engineering has been the oldest and defining discipline in Delft. In fact, its roots go even further back than that, because land reclamation and protection against flooding have been serious endeavours since the early Middle Ages. Professor Marcel Stive is well aware that his specialism, Coastal Engineering, owes much to the legacy of such luminaries as Simon Stevin, Cruquius and Johan van Veen.
Reading time: 5 min
SEAWAD: research into a sand engine for the Wadden IslandsLast September, researcher Bram van Prooijen and Professor Zheng Bing Wang, who both work for the Hydraulic Engineering department were given the green light to start the SEAWAD research project. The latter hopes to answer the important question of how the coastline along the Wadden Islands can be protected in the future utilising some kind of sand engine as is done along the coast of the province of Zuid-Holland. For four years, researchers at three universities will immerse themselves in the issue.
Reading time: 3 min
Micro-CT scanner reveals secrets hidden in prehistoric eggsIn 2016 archaeologists digging at a building site in Tilburg stumbled upon thirteen egg-shaped objects. Geoscientist Dominique Ngan put them in the micro-CT scanner of the Geoscience and Engineering Lab, studied the resulting 3D pictures and noticed some very interesting imprints in their shells. ‘A small find like this can shed a lot of light on a period we don’t know very much about.’
reading time: 4 min
Digital WaterOverflowing sewers, plastic waste and leaking water mains… the Netherlands and the world are facing water challenges below ground as well as above. Simple human effort alone is not enough to solve the problem, Professor Zoran Kapelan says. That is why he has been using Artificial Intelligence and machine learning.
reading time: 12 min