Water Science & Engineering

The WSE Department deals with the fundamentals of understanding and modelling the primary processes related to water and the environment.

The Water Science & Engineering Department conducts research and provides post-graduate education and training to professionals in the fields of water resources assessment and control, hydraulic engineering, hydrology/hydrogeology, various fields related to aquatic ecosystems and limnology, irrigation and drainage, navigation and hydropower, port and coastal engineering, and floods, droughts and pollution.

Departmental vision

To become globally recognized for excellence in education, research and capacity development in the various fields of water science and engineering, as well as for providing leadership on combining fundamental sciences with applications. There is a tremendous need to address the current challenges of sustainable development, urban growth, alleviating flood damages, river restoration, and ecosystems preservation, notably in the developing world. For all these critical issues, we need to advance the fields of water and environmental science, develop technologies that build on this knowledge, and build capacities around the world to implement solutions.

The department addresses a great number of global water-related challenges. One prime example is the exploration of the concept ‘Building with Nature’, for example providing coastal protection in Indonesia. This means that we are trying to understand how natural processes are taking place, in order to find better ways to reduce the risks of disasters. What causes floods? What causes coastal erosion? What causes damage to urban settlements? How can we remedy these in a natural, sustainable and cost-effective way? This requires scientific knowledge combined with an understanding of societal needs for sustainable solutions.

The department is organized into six scientific chair groups each headed by a professor.

Chair Groups

Land & Water Development

Deals with the technology of adapting and managing land and water resources for specific forms of land use in rural, urban and industrial areas. Its activities focus on the development of rural areas and the topics of irrigation, drainage and flood protection.

Aquatic Ecosystems

Creates better understanding of the relationship between the ecological structure, function and integrity of wetlands in the support of livelihoods.

Hydrology & Water Resources

Contributes to a better understanding of hydrological processes, to improve techniques for data monitoring and handling, to improve modelling of processes within the hydrological cycle, and to interpret and present results for implementation of integrated water resources management.

Coastal Systems, Engineering & Port Development

Deals with the analysis, design and management of natural and man-made systems in the coastal environment.

River Basin Development

Investigates processes in the natural and built environment which are determinant for the design and planning of sustainable water infrastructures prepared for global change.

Flood Resilience

Advancing scientific knowledge and practical application into integrated approaches to cultivate resilience in urban communities and built-up areas.