I am involved in safety assessment and the construction of levees, dams and flood defenses. Our goal is to protect society against flooding and deliver technical advice to plan and implement flood control solutions. It’s a hydraulic engineer that identifies the client’s problem and finds a solution using Fugro’s data acquisition techniques. With help of high quality datasets and innovations, such as new in-situ permeability tests, geospatial applications or new geo-risk management methods, we are able to assess, plan and design critical flood protection infrastructure.
My daily job is highly dynamic and challenging on a technical and social level. Within a month I generally work on 5-10 different projects, from providing proposals for field research and calculations for a flood prevention plan, to arranging and chairing meetings on multi-functional flood defences with stakeholders, to working on R&D projects to develop new products.
Associated challenges range from complex calculations to understanding the role as one of many stakeholders in the building process. Within a project, this role is subjective to constant change.
The beauty of my job is that the whole world is my office. Flood control projects are literally everywhere. In my daily work I learn how we can apply our survey techniques most effectively. We deal with uncertainties of the subsoil, in hydraulics and land use and need to communicate this effectively with clients. It is really interesting to be able to translate your own geotechnical expertise to tangible solutions for our clients.
In the 21st century, flood protection will become critical infrastructure to protect millions of citizens against the effects of climate change.
To protect vulnerable deltas effectively there is a need to integrate high quality (sensor based) data acquisition with expert engineering services.
About consultant hydraulic engineers
A hydraulic engineer by definition takes a strong role within project teams. S/he should understand perspectives of different stakeholders and provide clear solutions to flood control challenges. We always have more than one client; society is affected by a safe design and confronted with our solutions on a daily basis. Thorough understanding of the water system and the subsurface is therefore important. Knowledge of data acquisition techniques, data interpretation and the ability to design flood control measures are key assets of hydraulic engineers, plus a background in Mathematics and Physics is essential.