Water Engineering & Management

Create smart solutions for water management, combining technical knowledge with management skills.

What measures can you take to prevent flooding and what cross-border cooperation is needed for this? How can you predict river water levels and prevent ships from becoming wedged? And can you map the amount of water being used for the production of certain products, such as coffee or jeans, in order to understand and diminish (over)exploitation of water resources? Water is an essential part of our lives and the environment we live in. The specialisation in Water Engineering & Management (WEM) will help you to come up with smart solutions for water management through an in-depth understanding of the natural processes in water systems as well as the socio-economic processes that affect these systems. As a student of this specialisation, you can choose between two different profiles:

What is Water Engineering & Management?

The key question in this specialisation is: how can we design our living environment in such a way that we can benefit from water, but do not suffer from it? Especially in view of climate change, which is causing floods but also droughts to become more frequent. How can you deal with the seeming contradiction of the need for quick water drainage in case of heavy rainfall and the need for retaining water in periods of drought? This specialisation will familiarise you with a variety of tools for analysing the long-term behaviour of water systems (like rivers, coastal zones, and seas) and for evaluating the impact of human interventions on these systems. You can opt to focus more on the engineering side of water management within the profile River & Coastal Engineering, or you could focus on a more integrated approach within the profile Integrated Water Management.

Examples of courses you might follow during this specialisation:
  • How do surface waves behave when approaching the shore and how will these waves influence the bed level in the coastal zone? The course Wave-Dominated Coastal Dynamics focuses on a quantitative description of marine processes in the coastal zone and how this knowledge is used to design structures.
  • How can you measure the impacts of an organisation on local water resources along global supply chains? And what can be done to reduce this footprint? You will learn more about this in the course Sustainable Engineering & Integrated Water Management.
  • How to solve a differential equation describing the water movement in a harbour? The course  Mathematical Physics of Water Systems deals with the aspects of mathematical physics that are commonly encountered in Water Engineering and Management.

Within this specialisation, you will work on solutions for interesting, real-life cases that sometimes stem directly from the field. From making a city more resilient to flooding to the construction of offshore wind farms and from building erosion-proof sea dikes to water policy-making in view of climate change: there’s a great variety of challenges you can learn to deal with – using knowledge and skills in a variety of domains. You might, for example, learn about hydrology, fluid dynamics, ecology, climate change, data science, soil dynamics, water footprint assessments, remote sensing (via satellite or drone images), and the list goes on. It is exactly this diversity that makes students of this specialisation – and this Master’s in general – stand out on the job market!

What will you learn?

As a graduate of this Master's and this specialisation, you have acquired specific, scientific knowledge, skills and values, which you can put to good use in your future job.

  • Knowledge

    After completing this Master’s specialisation, you:

    • have a broad overview of the multidisciplinary aspects of water engineering and management;
    • have solid knowledge of research techniques to engineer and manage water- and engineering-related issues in oceans, coastal areas and rivers as well as for rural and urban (water) systems;
    • have a fundamental understanding of various drivers and policies influencing the societal impacts of water systems.
  • Skills

    After successfully finishing this Master’s specialisation, you:

    • know how to use tools and models to design civil engineering structures in a water system;
    • are able to take other disciplines into consideration in the designing process of civil engineer structures (e.g. ecology, governance, physical geography, hydraulics);
    • are able to analyse the social consequences (economic, social, cultural) of new technological and social developments in the water engineering domain and integrate the consequences in your scientific work.
  • Values

    After completing this Master’s specialisation, you:

    • can develop a multi-perspective, context-dependent approach for water engineering solutions;
    • can identify gaps in your knowledge, and you have a mindset to enhance and extend your knowledge through study;
    • are aware of social, environmental, sustainability aspects of water engineering and you are able to analyse and understand these aspects and to integrate these elements in your scientific work.

Other master’s and specialisations

Is this specialisation not exactly what you’re looking for? Maybe one of the other specialisations suits you better. Or find out more about these other master's:

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