Research programmes CE&M

Research programme: Construction Management & Engineering

Programme leader: Prof dr G. Dewulf

Construction Management & Engineering is the new name resulting from the merger between the Construction Process Management group and the Construction Technology group in early 2004. Prof dr ir A. Doree was head of the Construction Process Management group and leader of its programme until 2001. From 2001 onwards prof. dr G.P.M.R. Dewulf was the head of the group. Leader ad interim for the Construction Technology group was drs G. van Lieshout.

Construction management is a rapidly changing discipline and the group's research in this area addresses fundamental and applied research. It is concerned with the development and application of integrated innovative solutions to technical, societal and economic problems related to the management and engineering of construction.

The construction industry occupies a prominent position in the world’s economic and societal structure. In many countries, this industry is undergoing radical changes. New challenges have arisen as a result of project complexities, new ways of financing projects, and the shift from a supply-driven to a demand-driven market. New methods of project delivery and partnering, innovative materials and construction technologies, innovative ways of financing, and the need for increased involvement of end users in the decision-making process require the various stakeholders to modify their core competencies and incorporate the skills required to meet these challenges.


The mission of the research programme of the Construction Management and Engineering group encompasses all aspects of the construction process to do with the definition, appraisal, design, and delivery of projects. It deals with the interests of all stakeholders involved as well as with the construction business in its broadest sense. For this reason, the thrust of the research is an interdisciplinary programme focussing on the integration of technology and management for the purpose of producing innovative solutions. The design-oriented approach, the close cooperation with practice, and the emphasis on the integration of disciplines are major distinctive features of this programme.

The objective is to improve the performance of the construction industry by:


Developing effective and innovative solutions to the problems of managing and engineering of construction processes;


Conducting both fundamental and applied research of high quality;


Providing a stimulating and supportive environment for research students;


Disseminating the research results through publications in scientific and professional journals and at international conferences;


Regular involvement with the construction industry at all levels.

The programme is embedded in the Institute of Governance Studies, one of the spearhead institutes at the University of Twente. At the national level, the group participates in the Research School of Structural Engineering and in the scientific impulse programme of the Dutch government 'Process and System Innovation in Construction'.

Analysis, perspectives and expectations for the research programme

Before 2000, the group's primary focus was on education. During the period 2000-2004, the attention shifted towards creating a better-qualified and more productive research-oriented team. Over the past years, we have strengthened our competencies by attracting excellent researchers. As a consequence of the growing number of students and due to the success of attracting external research funds, the number of staff of the group has increased significantly. This was also reflected in higher productivity in terms of publications and a significant increase in the number of new research projects, including a significant number of recently started PhD projects.

Before 2002, there were only two PhD students within the group. This number has steadily grown after 2002 and at this moment, fourteen PhD students are working in the group. This number will further increase in the near future, particularly as a result of the BSIK programme Process and System Innovation in Construction, in which the group plays a key role. With the appointment of a full-time professor in 2004, the group is now well equipped to supervise the increasing number of PhDs.

The group also realises that, due to developments within and outside the university, it will face many new challenges in the future. The group believes that it will be ready to address those challenges. The new structure of the teaching programme provides a more effective base for high-quality education and a better alignment with the research programme of the group. In addition, there are many new developments and opportunities that are expected to benefit the group's future research. These include:

· The start of the BSIK programme and its development for the next 6 years;

· Participation in the programme of the Institute of Governance Studies;

· The group's well established relationship with the industry that is expected to continue in the future;

· The special attention paid to the construction sector within the EU 7th Framework Programme;

· The group's intention to increase and streamline its collaboration with other international institutes for the benefit of its long-term research programme.

Our goal for the coming years is to continue to strive for international recognition and prominence in the research themes. It is our conviction that focusing on certain themes is necessary to deliver high quality.

Our policy is also to attract new researchers and to develop new project ideas and proposals on the crossroad of the themes. The construction industry asks for integrated solutions for today's problems and the research and education programme of the group is focussed on these integrated solutions. One of the major challenges for the group will then be to further integrate technological, management and design knowledge to deliver new theoretical insights and tools.

Research programme: Transport Engineering & Management

Programme leader: Prof dr ir M.F.A.M. van Maarseveen

The birth of the twenty-first century is dominated by three powerful trends affecting most aspects of life and economic progress: individualization, globalization and telecommunications. The combination of these is changing the way many modern issues are perceived and tackled, in particular in relation to transport systems. Sustainable transport development requires a multi-disciplinary, integral approach encompassing user and operator perspectives, vehicle and infrastructure operations and network performance, and externalities of transport systems. Therefore, the mission of the research programme 'Transport Engineering and Management' is stated as:

The Centre for Transport Studies (CTS) examines the performance of urban and inter-urban road transport networks from a transport perspective in compliance with technological, social, economical or ecological aspects. CTS aims to support planning and management of these transport systems by developing quantitative and qualitative methods to understand and describe road traffic phenomena and patterns, to improve the underpinning of planning and management processes, and to assess impacts of human behaviour and technological innovations.

Research of CTS is focused on three intertwined research themes: strategic modelling for sustainable transport planning, traffic monitoring and management, and driver support systems and services.

The objectives of CTS are:

· To develop methods to support planning and management processes for urban and inter-urban road traffic systems from a sustainable transport perspective;

· To conduct fundamental and applied research of high quality in the areas it addresses;

· To provide a stimulating and supportive environment for researchers, students and guests;

· To be involved in national and international research networks to strengthen cross- fertilisation of research ideas, approach and output;

· To disseminate research output through publications in scientific and professional journals and at international conferences.

Within the University of Twente, the research of CTS is part of the spearhead institute CTIT (Centre for Telematics and Information Technology). CTS hosts the knowledge centre AIDA (Applications of Integrated Driver Assistance), which was established on 1 January 2003 by TNO and the University of Twente. In 2004, CTS became an associate member of TRAIL (the Netherlands Research School for Transport, Infrastructure and Logistics).

Analysis, perspectives and expectations for the research programme

The investment in a strategic and coherent set of research projects is clearly starting to bear fruit. In 2004 and 2005, a large number of research projects will terminate successfully. These milestones contribute to the established profile and academic reputation of CTS. As a consequence, it is expected that the output in terms of academic publications in refereed journals will further increase in 2005 and 2006. Each of the research themes is developing prosperously. Our staff is growing at a steady and controlled pace. CTS plays a prominent role in the BSIK programme TRANsition towards SUstainable MObility (TRANSUMO), a peer-reviewed scientific impulse programme of the Dutch government to stimulate innovation for the next six years. This initiative will enable CTS to develop its mission and to meet its ambitions. External funding will increase substantially.

On top of the start of the BSIK programme TRANSUMO, there are many new developments and opportunities that will support the future perspective of the research programme:

· Existing links with research institutes like TNO, TRAIL and SWOV will be tightened and intensified.

· Initiatives to set up an international academic network for sustainable transport development and to broaden its activities will be pursued actively.

· From this perspective, CTS will also promote existing cooperations with other academic institutes and NGOs at the national level.

· Through the knowledge centre AIDA, CTS intends to participate in EU research programmes, and other international ITS research programmes.

· Participation and cooperation in CTIT will be intensified, including the cooperation with the department of Industrial Design in the field of virtual reality.

Research Programme Water Engineering & Management

Programme leader: Prof dr S.J.M.H. Hulscher

At the end of 2001, the new programme Water Engineering & Management united the two former Civil Engineering programmes Water Resources Management and Integrated Modelling of Integrated Civil Engineering Systems. Their former (i.e. years 2000-2001) programme leaders were Prof dr H.G. Wind (WRM) and Dr J.S. Ribberink (MICS - ad interim).


The Water Engineering and Management (WEM) research group deals with management of large surface waters such as river basins, estuaries, seas and coastal zones. WEM aims to support management of these surface waters by quantitative and qualitative forecasting of the effects of measures and other forms of human intervention. To this end, we distinguish two research lines: one line concerns better understanding and modelling of natural processes in water systems, the second line addresses analysis of water management, which is highly multidisciplinary. We aim at an integrated approach of water management problems such that knowledge from both lines can benefit from each other and lead to optimal future water management solutions. WEM has the ambition to play a prominent role, national and international, in the research areas it addresses. This is to be achieved through a continuous flow of research by tenure staff, combined with and supported by a number of Post-Docs, PhD students and guest researchers. The tenured staff must warrant continuity and the absorption and consolidation of knowledge generated by the temporary staff.

The collaboration on national level is embedded as follows. River research participates in NCR (Netherlands Centre of River research); marine research is part of NCK (Netherlands Centre of Coastal Research). At the University of Twente, all research of WEM participates in two spearhead institutes: research on natural physical processes is fully part of IMPACT (Institute of Mechanics, Processes and Control-Twente), and research on Integrated Multidisciplinary water management is fully embedded in IGS (Institute of Governance Studies). The division in institutes reflects the 'border' between the two full-time chairs of the group.

Analysis, perspectives and expectations for the research programme

In general, during the review period, the output in terms of scientific publications and PhD theses was in balance with the research input. The average number of papers in reviewed journals was over 1 per input research fte during this review period. This ratio is quite satisfactory considering the usual delay between actually doing the research and publication of the work in refereed journals, which in general equals two to four years, in combination with (i) the large proportion of junior staff members (without a history of previous PhD graduations), and (ii) the growth of the group during the past five years. The relative decrease in journal papers in 2004 is due to the large effort in acquisition by the tenured staff in 2003, so that the publication of journal papers is about one year ‘delayed’. We expect that this temporary dip will be fully compensated in 2005. Several papers are published already and, moreover, a large number has been unconditionally accepted at this moment. The concentrated acquisition effort in 2003 has led to a number of funded projects, of which details are provided at theme level. In general, we can state that the themes a.1, a.2 and c have sufficient means for the next review period.

The performance in terms of PhD graduations over the review period is quite satisfactory too. Assuming a PhD contract period of exactly 4 years and considering 15% of PhD projects terminated after 1 year (5 out of 34), the realized 12 internal graduations over the 5 years are in balance with a steady internal PhD student population of 11.5. During 2000-2002, WEM hosted 13 PhD students, which is only slightly more. In other words, the number of delayed or unfinished PhD projects was very low, which is in line with our policy. Note that in 2003 and 2004 significantly more PhD students started with their projects so that we expect an increase in PhD graduations during the next few years. During the review period, the average ratio of PhD graduations (15, including the externally prepared graduations at WEM) over professor research fte input (3.2 fte) ratio was well above the UT performance indicator of 3.75. This very positive result reflects (i) the high level of PhD supervision from senior staff members (besides the full professors) (ii) successful selection of highly capable and motivated PhD students and (iii) that the measures to deal with the limited amount of available professor capacity worked out quite well. A concern during the review period was the imbalance between the research themes, in research input as well as in output. The reason is clear; the absence of the full professor as leader of theme b has hindered its progress. As Prof Hoekstra has recently started on this position, we expect that themes a and b will show a better balance in the next assessment period. As theme c covers research that integrates theme a with theme b, theme c will also benefit from this improved balance. Projects in theme c are multidisciplinary which is also reflected in the involvement of both chairs. At present, we have made a start already with several PhD projects within theme c.

Theme a.1 Marine/Coastal engineering and management

The research within theme a.1 has clearly been successful, both in the amount of high-quality output (journal papers, PhD graduations) and in the number of ongoing and started projects: national as well as internationally. Examples are the EU projects HUMOR, EUMARSAND, SANDPIT and two projects on national research funds (STW). During this period, we employed quite a number of international Post-Doc researchers. We broadened cooperation; on university level, entering in IMPACT resulted in collaboration with the faculty of Applied Mathematics on sand wave modelling, with which we have joint projects and joint journal papers. On national level, we took the initiative to start a joint PhD project with Delft University of Technology on biogeomorphology. On this topic, also collaboration with Duke University (US) and NIOO-CEME is being/has been set up. In sediment transport, we collaborate with other universities in the Netherlands, such as Delft University of Technology and Utrecht University, and with universities abroad (Aberdeen, UK). Laboratory facilities in Hanover, Aberdeen and at WL|Delft Hydraulics have been used during the review period. Our niche position in seabed dynamics has been strengthened and broadened to include the effect of human interference – such as sand mining and offshore windmill farms – in predicting the offshore seabed morphodynamics. We have a close collaboration on sand wave modelling with the University of Genoa. Several senior staff members had (guest) editorships during the review period.


For theme a.1 we aim at a continuation of the ongoing line. Although we have many ongoing projects, both on national as on international research funds, we are involved in several new initiatives for joint proposals, both on national as well as on international level. We aim at keeping the level of our scientific papers at the same high standard as it is now and we hope to enlarge the number of professional publications in this field. This theme is certainly above critical mass and we aim at keeping it this way. In the next period, we will pay attention to explain variations and uncertainties as well as the construction of a GIS-environment to unite modelling and data on the North Sea scale. Within this respect, we have high expectation of the recently started we@sea programme. A new European collaboration on sediment transport modelling will start with the University of Aberdeen (UK) in collaboration with other Dutch and UK universities (Delft University of Technology, Universities of Liverpool and North Wales) and research institutes (a.o. WL|Delft Hydraulics, HR Wallingford).

Theme a.2: River engineering and management

The research within theme a.2 was successful in producing high-quality output (journal papers, PhD graduations) as well as in the number of ongoing and started projects. Our group has a leading position in modelling sediment sorting and stochastics. A strong collaboration with US National Center for Earth-surface Dynamics (University of Minnesota, US) and the University of Illinois (US) has been set up in the recently started VENI and VICI projects. During the review period, laboratory experiments were performed at WL|Delft Hydraulics. Several recently started PhD students investigate the coupling between water management and morphology by addressing various aspects of roughness modelling.


From now on, the number of researchers in theme a.2 is expected to increase further due to the recently approved VICI funding. In the next period, we hope to intensify cooperation with the Fluid Dynamics group of Applied Physics (Lohse), which started already in the ongoing projects; initiatives to intensify this cooperation have already been taken. A strong collaboration with the US National Centre for Earth-surface Dynamics (Parker) and the University of Illinois (Parker) has been set up in the recently awarded VENI project. New laboratory experiments are expected in 2006. Due to the increase of researchers, starting already at the end of the present review period, we look forward to many new results, which will be published at international conferences, and in journal papers and PhD theses.

Theme b: Integrated multidisciplinary water management

Despite the absence of the chairholder of theme b during a major part of the present period of evaluation, the research was quite successful. The senior staff took over the daily guidance of PhD projects and external help (WL|Delft Hydraulics, HKV, Utrecht University) had the positive side effect of strengthening the national network. A start has been made to publish results in scientific journals. Due to the relative young age of this research field, the quality of scientific journals is difficult to assess (many of them are not yet in the Science Citation Index). During the last part of the review period, PhD students were encouraged to submit their findings in scientific journals. This has resulted in a considerable number of submitted papers at the moment. Several projects have started early in this review period, so that these are in their final stages now. We would like to underline that acquiring funding for this research theme is not an easy task, as many funding agencies work with assessment criteria that are unfavourable for multidisciplinary research. Therefore, the fact that we managed to gain externally funded projects can be explained as a great success (WOTRO, Elbe-DSS BfG, KNAW/MOE, RWS, EU project Flocods). At the end of the review period, a new full professor was appointed (Prof dr A.Y. Hoekstra) and we can expect new initiatives here.


National and international water management are increasingly oriented towards integrated approaches, with an associated demand for the development of supporting tools. We expect that the BSIK programmes will have a stimulating effect on the related research both within and outside the university of Twente. Further cooperation with groups from Policy Analysis and Business Administration are foreseen through the IGS, especially concerning the role of supporting tools in policy processes. The existing cooperation with the University of Osnabrück (Pahl-Wostl) on integrated assessment in support of water resources management will be strengthened.

Theme c: Uncertainties, scales and appropriate modelling

During the review period, the first PhD projects in this line have finished and several projects about appropriate modelling are about to finish at the moment. Our group took part in several EU projects (Delos, FLOODsite). Several papers have been published and quite a large number is in review. The concept of appropriate modelling is starting to spread around. New PhD projects in this theme started recently, one on uncertainty in roughness modelling (within the VICI framework) and two within the recently awarded project on congruent scales in morphology, economy and coastal engineering (LOICZ). A solid cooperation with the University of Osnabrück was established regarding Agent-Based Modelling and Integrated Assessment.


Theme c is now above critical mass, with tenured staff and various ongoing PhD projects. Theme c plays a relevant role in the expected future development of the research programme, connecting themes a and b; the current cross-fertilization through various theme c projects having main roots in both other themes will be maintained through new initiatives. A cooperation with ITC (zero-appointment early 2005 of the new ITC professor Spatial Hydrology and Water Resources Management, Prof dr Z. Su, at WEM; collaboration on GIS) enlarges possibilities for common research activities. Recently, a joint research proposal was submitted for national research funding and the Boards of ITC and the UT both stimulate cooperation actively. The cooperation with Osnabrück extends to this theme as well (agent-based modelling).