PhD research

HKV employs 15 consultants with a PhD degree. That is almost a quarter of the employees who work at HKV as consultants. Some recent promotions are listed below.

Joost Pol defended his PhD thesis Cum Laude on the 6st of December 2022. Joost started his PhD in September 2017, studying how dike safety assessments can be improved by including flood duration and time-dependent failure processes such as piping erosion. He performed his research at TU Delft as part of the All Risk Research Program.

Guy Dupuits obtained his PhD at TU Delft on 20 December 2019. Guy researched the inclusion of breaches in a system of flood defences for the purpose of determining the economically acceptable flood risk. A breach in a flood defence will affect the flood risk for other flood defences in the same system. The economically optimal relationship between costs (flood defence reinforcements) and benefits (reduction of flood risk) changes with the inclusion of breaches.
Read more here.

Vincent Vuik successfully defended his PhD thesis at TU Delft in March 2019. He researched the reliability of Building with Nature flood protection measures. Vegetated foreshores, such as salt marshes and mangrove forests, received most attention in his research.
Read more here.

In addition, the following HKVs are engaged in research that should lead to a dissertation:

Lieke Lokin – University of Twente

Lieke Lokin started her PhD research on the topic of river dunes in January 2020. River dunes are dynamic bed forms moving over the riverbed. During high discharges, these dunes grow and during low discharges they decrease again. The growth and decrease lags the changes in discharge, this hysteresis results in dunes that are too small relative to the discharge the during the peak of a flood wave. After the peak has passed, the dunes are too large, but they also start adapting to the changing flow.
River dunes cause two problems: during high discharges they increase the bed roughness, which leads to higher water levels, during low discharges the crests of the dunes decrease the navigable depth creating ‘obstacles’ for shipping. In her research Lieke focusses on the dynamics of these river dunes, especially during (extreme) low discharges and the transition from high discharges towards the low discharges. Eventually she strives to develop a model to predict the dune size during high and low flows.

  • L. Lokin, MSc adviseur Rivieren, kusten en delta's Thema's Rivieren, Kusten en delta's
  • Bart Strijker – TU Delft

    After 3 years of (part-time) research into the desiccation of regional dikes, Bart started a PhD research at TU Delft in January 2022. Together with three water boards, Rijkswaterstaat and STOWA, he has set up a monitoring network where the geohydrology of regional dikes is measured. Geohydrology is the driving mechanism of instabilities and regional dike breaches. In order to correctly estimate risks associated with regional dikes, it is necessary to understand the geohydrological response; how do precipitation and evaporation translate into soil moisture and water pressures? Bart’s PhD work focuses on the geohydrological response, the translation into failure probabilities and dependencies with other precipitation-dominated flooding situations.

  • ir. B. Strijker Consultant Risk and disaster management Thema's Risk and disaster management
  • Ties van der Heijden – TU Delft

    Ties van der Heijden started his PhD research in October 2019. He researches the balancing capacity that the Dutch water system can deliver to the electricity grid. Renewable energy has a de-stabilizing effect on the grid. By adjusting the energy demand of pumping stations in a smart way, they can contribute to grid stability and reliability. Ties researches the available electricity market- and balancing-mechanisms, how they can evolve over the coming years, and how the water system (with all its uncertainties) can use them to facilitate the energy transition.

  • ir. T.J.T. van der Heijden Consultant Water and energy Thema's Water and climate
  • Hermjan Barneveld – Wageningen University

    Over the past century we have changed the Maas considerably by building dams, cutting bends, normalizing and extracting sand and gravel. After the floods of 1993 and 1995, dykes were constructed and the Meuse works were carried out, creating space and nature. As a result, the Meuse has become an even more complex river and we do not sufficiently understand how the system behaves. This also applies to morphology, i.e. the transport of gravel, sand and silt and the erosion and sedimentation processes. At the moment we do not know what the sediment balance for the Meuse looks like and what the consequences of an imbalance could be for nature, shipping and stability of infrastructure.
    Hermjan’s PhD research at Wageningen University & Research started on 1 February 2020. The first part concentrates on morphological modelling and how this can be accelerated for long term simulations. Next the sediment balance will be analyzed, followed by research into the most important morphological processes in this supply limited river with its many weirs. Finally techniques for long-term morphological impact assessment of measures and climate change will be studied and applied, taking into consideration the main uncertainties.

  • ir. H.J. Barneveld senior adviseur Rivieren, kusten en delta's Thema's Rivieren, kusten en delta's