I enjoy working in an academic field that is particularly relevant to people’s everyday life. When done well, Resilience Engineering can help vast groups of people live a safe and stable life. It can reduce damage from natural disasters such as flooding or hurricanes, but also from human-made calamities like a terrorist attack. I appreciate the dimension this societal significance adds to the scientific research and education that I am involved in.
My research focused on hydrodynamics, sediment transport and morphodynamics of rivers and coasts. I studied, for example, how mangroves can help protect coastal regions. This is a typical RE topic, looking for natural solutions to reduce potential harm from an adverse event like a tsunami. Over the past years, I have mainly been involved in education, as program director for Civil Engineering. In this capacity, I’ve tried to bring these new concepts into the curriculum.
As former managing director, I was responsible for the daily operations within the 4TU RE Centre. It was my goal to bring people together, both from the 4TU and external partners, in such a way that scientific research on RE can flourish, that we can train our students in RE and that all partners can learn from each other. This, in turn, will help build knowledge and experience on RE in order to make our world more resilient.