Kies de Nederlandse taal
Course module: 201800039
Building with Nature
Course infoSchedule
Course module201800039
Credits (ECTS)5
Course typeCourse
Language of instructionEnglish
Contact E.M. Horstman
Examiner E.M. Horstman
Contactperson for the course E.M. Horstman
Lecturer J. Vinke - de Kruijf
prof.dr. D. van der Wal
prof.dr. K.M. Wijnberg
Academic year2022
Starting block
Application procedureYou apply via OSIRIS Student
Registration using OSIRISYes
After finishing this course, the student will be able to:
  • identify the key principles of Building with Nature;
  • explain the differences between Building with Nature and traditional engineering;
  • explain the dynamics of Building with Nature solutions (mangroves, salt marshes, dunes) and their contribution to coastal safety;
  • explain the use of geo-information and earth observations for monitoring Building with Nature solutions;
  • explain and address the challenges of reaching an agreed upon and valid knowledge base for Building with Nature solutions;
  • collect and process biophysical data on the status/dynamics of a Building with Nature solution in the field;
  • use analytical and numerical models to compute and simulate the dynamics and effectiveness of Building with Nature solutions

Building with Nature (BwN) advocates for a new approach to hydraulic engineering by using natural (eco-)systems to benefit the environment, economy and society. BwN has gradually gained momentum over the past years, with nature proving to provide sustainable alternatives to conventional hard engineering solutions. This paradigm shift requires different skills from (future) engineers, who will now have to work with dynamic ecosystems that develop over time as opposed to the static structures of the past. Questions that come to mind are: How does a natural system develop over time? How to continually meet with safety requirements and how to maintain the ecosystem? How to fit natural solutions into the existing socio-economic system? These issues are unprecedented and have sparked a whole new field of research, which is strongly embedded in the Water Engineering group.
The main focus of this course is to teach master students the fundamentals of the BwN concept in relation to the protection of low-lying areas along coasts and rivers. This course discusses the integrated implementation of the BwN approach in water management and flood protection issues. This course will provide a state-of-the-art overview of coastal protection through dune, salt-marsh and mangrove systems, as well as monitoring techniques to monitor their dynamics and governance strategies for successful implementation. Students will obtain hands-on experience in collecting and interpreting field observations and the application of various numerical models to simulate the dynamics and effectiveness of BwN-inspired coastal management strategies.
This course is assessed by means of a written exam (40%), a practical exercises (10%) and a group assignment/project with presentation (50%).

Is knowledge of programming skills necessary for this course? If yes, please specify the skills / knowledge of which programme(s) is / are needed.
A basic understanding of Matlab/Python is essential for this course.

Participating study
Master Civil Engineering and Management
Required materials
Course material
Recommended materials
Instructional modes
Presence dutyYes

Presence dutyYes

Presence dutyYes

Presence dutyYes

Project supervised
Presence dutyYes

Self study without assistance
Presence dutyYes

Presence dutyYes

Written examination & (group) assignment

Written group assignment (10%), Written exam (40%) and group project (50%)

Kies de Nederlandse taal