I am convinced we need Resilience Engineering to shape a future-proof world. With my background in climate adaptation research, I am forced to think a lot about the changing climate and how it impacts us. The more I think about it, the more I realize how fragile we are. Even in a developed country like the Netherlands people die in the event of a big storm. That is a sign that we are not prepared, that we have a misguided faith that our systems and governments will shelter us from adverse events. The resilience outlook on the world tells us we cannot evade all troubles. We need to take disasters into account and create systems that are equipped to endure adversity.
I study climate adaptation, mainly for urban regions. In this research, I try to combine different views. I look at the design, governance and actual outcomes of processes. For example, how do you link bottom-up initiatives like operation Steenbreek – where urban residents take away the tiles in front of their house to make way for gardens which reduce heat stress and can help the drainage of excess water – to formal governance? And what are the results from those initiatives?
Through the 4TU RE Centre, I would like to help create a Resilience Engineering movement. Both within academia and in society at large through collaboration with societal partners and institutions. Moreover, I want to ensure RE disseminates through teaching, in regular education and through the capacity building program.