Kies de Nederlandse taal
Course module: 201800053
Subsurface Infrastructure Engineering
Course infoSchedule
Course module201800053
Credits (ECTS)5
Course typeCourse
Language of instructionEnglish
Contact L.L. olde Scholtenhuis
Contactperson for the course L.L. olde Scholtenhuis
Examiner L.L. olde Scholtenhuis
Academic year2022
Starting block
Application procedureYou apply via OSIRIS Student
Registration using OSIRISYes
At the end of this course, the student is able to:
  • Explain the impact of liberalization of the utility sector on the life cycle management of underground networks;
  • Explain the (cost and schedule) dynamics within the planning, engineering and construction of subsurface utilities;
  • Elaborate on the characteristics of technologies and standards for underground network localization and mapping, and apply this to define a utility surveying protocol;
  • Use and analyze a predefined set of maintenance information from utility databases;
  • Identify and assess the technologies for condition assessment of underground pipeline networks;
  • Explain how data driven technologies, such as visualizations, support planning and construction tasks.
  • Reflect on the value of digitalization in the context of the societal Challenge of the Energy Transition
Subsurface Infrastructure Engineering becomes more challenging since underground infrastructures are aging, while the introduction of smart city infrastructures makes underground interventions even more difficult to plan, organize and execute. Meanwhile, the utility construction sector is very fragmented. Consequently, the responsibilities for the life cycle management of underground networks is diffused. Myriads of network owners plan and construction networks. At the same time, municipalities try to better organize roadworks. It remains a large challenge in practice to: (1) obtain reliable underground information; (2) align construction schedules from multiple stakeholders; (3) avoid incidents that take place during excavations.
This course allows students to analyze these complexities from technical and organizational perspectives. The course material relates to the ongoing research in the ZoARG|ReDUCE research unit (Reduction of Damages to Utilities and Careful Excavation).The main topics covered in this course are:
  • liberalization of the utility sector;
  • planning, engineering and construction of complex buried subsurface infrastructure in city space (aging infrastructure, smart infrastructure developments);
  • technology for localizing and mapping underground utilities
  • modelling infrastructure and utility data;
  • technologies for assessing underground infrastructure;
  • visualizations for enhanced decision making in utility construction and maintenance
  • Digitalization and energy transition.
Course will be partly taught jointly with the ITC course Imaging the Underground. Students have the freedom to take both courses at once, or can selectively take the lectures/workshops of Imaging the Underground to achieve this course’s goals.
The course will include a challenge based learning component in the last 4 weeks; which will require another role (more proactive, self-driven) role of students, and of the instructor (who will serve more as learning coach on a yet to define learning/research path).

This course normally runs with 20 students, if more students sign up we will revise the labwork-schedules slightly to accommodate this

Additional info
Links to other courses:
  • Construction Industry Dynamics
  • Technological Innovation in Road Construction
  • Simulation & Optimization in Construction Processes
  • Imaging the Underground (ITC)

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

Challenge Based Learning
Presence dutyYes


Self study without assistance
Presence dutyYes

group and individual assignments

group assignments (30%) and individual assignments (70%)

Kies de Nederlandse taal