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Building with Nature (BFftF)

As a result of changes in societal demand and technical developments, water management and engineering are moving from hard traditional structures like dikes and dams, to designs in which natural structures and processes are incorporated. One of the underlying factors in this development is the increasing awareness of the impacts of climate change and its effect on water levels and extreme events. Furthermore, water managers are expected to create more safety, opportunities for recreation, and other benefits, with increasingly smaller budgets. This requires infrastructure that combines multiple functions. 

In our research group we work on application of the Building with Nature concept. ‘Building with Nature’ focuses on solutions that use abiotic forces of nature (e.g. wind and currents that transport sand) and ecosystem services delivered by organisms (e.g. reefs and vegetation that catch and stabilize sand). The research group also focuses on Building for Nature: creating additional nature values in and on mono-functional structures such as dikes. 

Topics and projects: You can contribute to

        • Optimizing the design of Building with Living Nature structures such as oyster reefs or salt marshes, used for coastal protection and nature development
        • Sediment dynamics on sand nourishment locations
        • Rich revetments: Building for Nature on dikes
        • Tidal restoration projects
        • Transfer of knowledge by means of an expertise management system
        • Develop skills like change making and research capacity in a practically-orientated research project

More information:


    1.  You improve the challenge based on a professional and proactive attitude.
    2.  You view and understand the challenge from different perspectives.
    3.  You design, execute, monitor, interpret and/or validate the professional product systematically.
    4.  You propose a desirable follow-up and critically evaluate the professional product (result) and the associated development process.
    5.  You share and record the results in a structured manner and, based on your results, you potentially contribute to enriching existing knowledge.
    6.  Project related goal (specified by or with help of work field).


Technical domain 
          • Civil Engineering
          • Chemistry
          • Engineering
          • HBO-ICT
          • Water Management

Entry requirements: you are in study year 3 or 4 and you have achieved your propedeuse


Contact moments in general: kick-off (week 1), four workshops about research, workshops about relevant and specific topics (optional), poster presentation (end of the minor), final assessment (last week(s)).
Contact moments specific for Building with Nature: weekly progress meetings, presentations to the research group at the start and end of the minor.

Work forms: (guest) lectures, excursions, group discussions, expert consultation, workshops.


Type: individual, oral Final Assessment about the participant's digital portfolio
Content: Portfolio consisting of evidence for the six learning goals (Professional Products and a Progress & Reflections report)
Minimum grade: 5.5 out of 10 points
Planning: semester 1:18 until 29 January 2021 |  semester 2: yet to be defined

Inspection: same date as Final Assessment. Re-exam: 2 weeks after Final Assessment.
More information: Final Assessment

Aanvullende informatie


English. Depending on the project Dutch is possible as well.

Location HZ (Vlissingen / Middelburg) and/or at location in the work field depending on the project.

Becoming Fit for the Future.

You will work on and gain experience in a real project. Stakeholders and experts from the work field are looking forward to collaborate with you and to find solutions to the challenges they currently encounter. Your contribution will be of direct use to them, and future minor participants will build on your work. 

By working on these projects you will learn to develop a project plan and experience how to execute this with your team. You will also learn from other teams by assessing their plans and results. In other words, you will further develop your professional skills and research capacity. Coaches and researchers will train and support you to achieving these. Read more about why not to miss this opportunity!