Track: Hydraulic Engineering

Water plays a major role in delta areas such as the Netherlands. Although we need constantly to bear in mind the threats posed by rivers and the sea, we derive enormous benefits from water: the Netherlands has been able to develop into a prosperous trading nation thanks to its large rivers and the easy accessibility of the North Sea. The MSc in Hydraulic Engineering focuses on the ways in which we can protect ourselves against water while exploiting the opportunities it offers us.


Within this track you will learn how to tackle complex problems within fluid mechanics and other basic disciplines, and how to apply the developed technologies in practice. The emphasis here is on the use and development of computer models, laboratory experiments and field measurements. You will also learn how hydraulic constructions such as sluices, dams, barrages and storm surge barriers are designed.


The MSc Hydraulic Engineering track has four specialisations:   

Coastal Engineering

Within the specialisation Coastal Engineering, you will concentrate on the coastal zone. You will receive tuition in coastal morphology, dune erosion and tidal inlets. You will also be initiated into various approaches to coastal and river-bank protection, and into the design of breakwaters. 

Rivers, Ports and Waterways

The specialisation Rivers, Ports and Waterways has three fields:

  • River Engineering,
  • Dredging Engineering
  • Ports and Waterways

Within the River Engineering field, you will study river flows, sediment transport and river morphology. You will become an expert in river improvements and in flood prevention.
Dredging Engineering is a multidisciplinary study in which civil, maritime and mechanical engineering aspects play an important role. The main elements of the dredging process are excavation, vertical transport, horizontal transport and deposition of dredged sediment.
In the Ports and Waterways field, you will learn how to design a port area or transhipment terminal from a logistics point of view, which criteria an access channel has to meet and which safety aspects need to be taken into account, and which simulation techniques are available to support the optimization of logistical processes at locks and in ports and terminals. 

Environmental Fluid Mechanics

The specialisation Environmental Fluid Mechanics is distinct from the others due to its stronger focus on the fundamental issues of fluid mechanics. For example, you will be taught about currents in open watercourses and related transport processes, turbulence, flow densities and shallow-water waves. Another important subject is the interaction between currents or waves and coastal engineering works and river-bank and seabed protection. 

Hydraulic Structures and Flood Risk

The specialisation Hydraulic Structures and Flood Risk concentrates on the design and construction of dykes, dams, locks, weirs, quays and storm surge barriers. You will also receive tuition in the design of underground infrastructure, such as submerged and bored tunnels, and underground spaces. Probabilistic design methods play an important role in the design of these constructions. Our graduates work for a range of employers, for example engineering and consultancy firms, port authorities and large municipalities. 

Future expectations

Hydraulic engineers work in any number of projects across the globe for employers such as contractors, dredging companies, consultancy and engineering companies, water administrators, communities, public works departments and academic bodies.