Why Civil Engineering?

Marinus Aalberts

Head of Office, Witteveen+Bos

We’re facing climate change, and there are a lot of new challenges for the next generations to keep our land safe from flooding. This embankment makes sure 2 million people are safe for the next generations. That’s the importance of our job.

Adriënne van der Sar

Task Manager- North Sea, Rijkswaterstaat Water, Transport and Environment

Civil engineers create, improve and protect the environment. We help sculpt the environment in such a way that the world can be a place where we still live and can enjoy life.

Jaap van Thiel de Vries

Director Design & Estimating, Boskalis

Civil engineers are crucial for our future because we shape the world that we live in. A world that is full of challenges related to climate change, biodiversity, which is under pressure, and to poverty, which is still found everywhere around the world. The role of civil engineers is to translate all those challenges into practical solutions.

Student Testimonials

Class of 2024

Vincent Kindermann

Why did you choose this programme?

For me, it is important to be able to have impact in the world, in the lives of people and in the preservation of nature. Within the unlimited possibilities in the technical world, I was afraid of becoming lost in subjects that are too abstract for me. In the field of civil engineering, the impact is often very clearly visible and the effect on nature, people and the world is directly visible. I am specifically interested in observing the natural behaviour of rivers and coasts. We can see that it corresponds most of the time with what you expect from the theory. This direct link between theory and the real world is what motivates me to become a civil engineer. 

What are you currently working on?

Currently I’m in the first year of the MSc Civil Engineering programme and I just started courses within the track Hydraulic Engineering. Right now I’m learning how to use the broad engineering knowledge that I’ve learned in the bachelor and the first quarter of this master’s within the field of Hydraulic Engineering. Waves, sediment transportation or flow, are phenomenon that I’m studying right now. The fact that our field of application is often dominated by natural processes is fascinating to me. I’m also hoping to work on a lot of projects in natural environments.

What experience have you enjoyed the most?

What I’m really enjoying right now is the close contact with teachers and staff. I really feel part of a scientific environment with a lot of inspiring and motivating teachers. During our practical sessions, teachers really approach you and ask how it is going, and are interested in your experience of the courses. To some extent this was also the case in the bachelor’s. However, this feeling has grown significantly since starting the master’s. 

Tip for future students?

I would encourage all students to really try to become part of this scientific environment. In my opinion, you should do a bit more than only studying. Start interacting with the teachers and students, become active in study related activities from the many disputes (student organizations) that are present at our faculty, and of course, have fun during your time in Delft. That’s what makes an engineer ‘complete’ for me.

Class of 2022

Stefanie Nanninga

Why did you choose this programme?

The Civil Engineering master covers a broad range of subjects, while always remaining directly applicable to current societal questions. Next to developing a good theoretical mathematical and physical base, the practical implications are also visible in your everyday life. You are really challenged to contribute to a future proof environment!

What are you currently working on?

I´m currently in the last few months of my master's thesis, which focusses on increasing knowledge about ice-ocean interaction beneath Antarctic ice shelves by creating a numerical model. A better understanding of the response of the Antarctic Ice Sheet to climate change contributes to an increase in global mean sea level rise projection accuracy, which is important for coastal protection planning.

What experience have you enjoyed the most?

During the programme I did an internship at Van Oord Dredging and Marine Contractors about oceanography in the Fehmarnbelt strait. A tunnel is dredged there, and I investigated how density differences in the water column influenced the directional flow of the sediment spill they are monitoring. It was impressive to see that you can apply your theoretical knowledge to real life problems!

Tip for future students?

As Civil Engineering is very broad, I would like to emphasize that you don’t already need to know what you exactly want to learn in this field yet. The master programme offers you different types of subjects and you will learn along the way what suits you and your interests best!