Want to get involved in sustainable delta development as student, researcher or practioner? Join one of the DFL thematic working groups.
The thematic working groups are groups of 5-15 Master students, PhDs, postdoctoral researchers from different disciplines and (applied/vocational) universities that do research with a similar geographical focus. Groups meet every 4-6 weeks with coaches from public and private sector parties that have affinity with the theme and a relevant network.
The current thematic working groups and contact details can be found below. You can select a research topic from the description but may also propose a relevant project yourself. You may also join with an ongoing project.
The Dutch lower river region owes its prosperity to its advantageous location in the Rhine and Meuse rivers delta. It is a region of extremes, with densely populated urban areas, cultural landscapes, and nature reserves. The area’s water and flood risk management is of international importance in many respects. In the coming decades, the water and flood risk management infrastructure will be challenged on many levels. Rising sea levels and more extreme high and low river discharge ensuing from climate change will add to the flood risk and water management tasking. It is expected that more prolonged periods of drought will occur, putting additional pressure on the freshwater supply in the area. In addition, the region faces spatial adaptation challenges involving rural floodplains, urbanized areas, and the port industrial complexes of Rotterdam and Dordrecht. The Delta Futures lab group “Dutch lower river area” aims to analyze and embrace this complexity by bringing students and researchers together from different viewpoints and fields of expertise.
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Any questions? Contact: Tom van der Wekken (email@example.com)
The Urban Climate Adaptation group works on adaptation solutions for climate challenges that are particularly prominent in urban areas such as pluvial, fluvial flooding, drought and heat stress. Other challenges for urban areas such as densification, livability, biodiversity, inclusion are considered as well.
The group preferably consists of students and researchers from (applied) universities in Delft, Wageningen, Rotterdam and Amsterdam with backgrounds in engineering, design and policy. Case studies include Rotterdam, The Hague and Amsterdam. These municipalities are involved as well together with water boards and consultancy companies working in the field of urban climate adaptation.
Any questions? Contact: Jack Amesz (firstname.lastname@example.org), Joannes Visser (J.L.Visser@tudelft.nl)
How and where to (re)build the Dutch delta, given the complex transitions and wicked problems of our time? This transdisciplinary group of researchers working in the domains of design, planning, governance, economics, finance, engineering, and methodology meets approximately once per month to exchange insights in response to this grand question. Led by the Resilient Delta Initiative – a project of TU Delft, Erasmus University, and Erasmus Medical Center – in close cooperation with societal partners working in the Greater Rotterdam area. Graduate students interested in thesis projects, research assistant positions, and other forms of collaboration are invited to join.
Any questions? Contact: Zac Taylor (email@example.com)
Climate change exacerbates both the frequency and severity of floods, storms, and droughts in deltaic areas, where the coastal, riverine and regional/urban water systems co-evolve and interact with spatial development patterns. This thematic working group focuses on improving the understanding of these systems and their interactions, including the urbanized landscape and infrastructure, under climate change. The focus is on the integrated and interdisciplinary approach to develop adaptive design interventions that span from territorial scenarios to local spatial measures; both for operational use (real time, early warning) and long-term planning, under deep uncertainty.
Any questions? Contact: Luca Iuorio (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Unsustainable growth (urbanization) and climate change increase the urgency to radically change our current practice of delta management. There is still too much emphasis on short term solutions which constrains options to consider sustainable solutions on the long term. Moreover, in the coming decades, an opportunity for a ‘reset’ of the existing infrastructure is near as huge investments in this sector are foreseen in many deltas. However, an integrated strategy, an appealing perspective on the ‘delta future’ and the knowledge to develop the pathways to a sustainable and inclusive delta, are lacking.
It is more important than ever to collectively build the knowledge needed to develop these pathways in which transformations will likely be necessary. Both require a design-based approach in which these different perspectives are recognised and joint new perspectives are explored, identified and visualised.
We therefore initiated an ambitious, inter-disciplinary and multi-annual project, which puts design and design-based research at the heart to deliver these outcomes. This project, Redesigning Deltas (RDD), also aims to build in parallel new partnerships and capacities within the Dutch delta community and of other deltas to foster implementation for instance by delivering an innovative educational ‘delta-design’ program.
The Green Village is the sustainable fieldlab for innovation in the built environment, located at the TU Delft campus. At The Green Village we work on three themes: Sustainable building and renovation, Climate adaptive city and Future energy systems. Within these themes we bring together entrepreneurs, end-users, students and other professionals in order to enhance the development and implementation of innovations.
For students, there are opportunities to work on research questions regarding innovations and broader questions regarding the three themes: you are welcome to come and test, improve and introduce.
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Any questions? Contact: Hannah Sorgedrager, email@example.com
The landscapes in the southeast of the Netherlands (Limburg) and the neighbouring countries in the Meuse basin are unique in terms of geology and water, as well as nature, farming and cultural heritage. The region had to deal with opposite meteorological extremes in the past years: floods in 2021 and droughts in 2020 and 2022. Water managers and municipalities did not anticipate these extremes, and the revealed vulnerable spots in the water system require further research and coordinated action. Especially transdisciplinary research is needed to find (novel) ways to deal with more frequent extremes.
Within DFl, we provide the environment to work on your thesis research yet discuss the outcomes in a broad interdisciplinary group and contribute to a common objective. We aim to contribute to an adaptation pathway that makes the region robust in dealing with extremes.
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Any questions? Contact: Nicole Jungermann, firstname.lastname@example.org
Climate is changing, which leads to challenges in water management within the Netherlands. Higher (peak) discharges in winter and spring. Longer periods of drought in summer. Not only are the Rhine and Meuse affected by this changing discharge regime: the dry summers increase the fresh water demand in the hinterland, which might be supplied from river water. On the other hand, the same hinterland might offer opportunities to store and buffer fresh water in wet periods.
Any questions? Contact: Niels Welsch , email@example.com
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With a predicted increase in the world population of up to 10 billion people and increasing pressure on space and resources, integrated urban design and development are gaining interest. Can we create spaces and assets that can be used in multiple ways? Which design perspectives, architectures, infrastructures, and business models fit this challenge? What do developers and policymakers need to contribute to creating livable, sustainable, green cities as economic and inspirational powerhouses?
In this DFL team, we focus on integrated solutions for urban challenges. We organize monthly sessions at the TU Delft Bouwcampus to help sharpen the scientific foundation of your thesis work. These Sessions allow you to discuss and learn from fellow students addressing similar integrated design and development topics.
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Any questions? Contact: Joannes Visser, J.L.Visser@tudelft.nl
The Rhine Estuary-Drechtsteden Region owes its prosperity to its advantageous location in the Rhine and Meuse rivers delta. It is a region of extremes, with densely populated urban areas, cultural landscapes, and nature reserves. The area’s water and flood risk management is of international importance in many respects.
In the coming decades, the water and flood risk management infrastructure will be challenged on many levels. Rising sea levels and more extreme high and low river discharge ensuing from climate change will add to the flood risk and water management tasking. Expectations are that more prolonged periods of drought will occur, which will put additional pressure on the freshwater supply in the area. In addition, the region faces spatial adaptation challenges involving rural floodplains, urbanized areas, and the port industrial complexes of Rotterdam and Dordrecht.
The Delta Futures lab group “Rhine Estuary-Drechtsteden” aims to analyze and embrace this complexity by bringing students and researchers together from different viewpoints and fields of expertise.
Click here for the flyer with more information.
Any questions? Contact: Tom van der Wekken, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Zwolle region, the old delta of the IJssel-Vecht in the former “Zuider Zee”, represents the Netherlands in small. High and dry sandy soils, river landscapes with cities and peat meadows, and polders below sea level. All connected through the water system. A water system that is changing because of climate change and increasing spatial demand for urbanization, housing, energy and mobility. Changes that put pressure on spatial functions and planning. The Zwolle region has the ambition to become a delta of the future: a climate-resilient, attractive and economically prosperous. With climate change and a resilient water system as main drivers for designing the landscape of the future, interdisciplinary solutions are key.
For the academic year 2022-2023, we are looking for mission-oriented, enthusiastic students that want to contribute to the delta of the future! We also look for companies and University staff who would like to supervise these students. While supervisors may take active part in activities organized by the thematic working group, they are not obliged or expected to do so.
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Any questions? Contact: Beau Warbroek, email@example.com