The four-year structured PhD programme in Water is an internationally oriented programme. A PhD programme at the University of Twente can be started throughout the year. Read more about the related Master's programmes in Civil Engineering and Management, Master of Environmental and Energy Management, Public Administration, or Water Resources if you have yet to start a Master of Science programme. 

Water is inevitable for human life as water and water systems serve various functions. For each function we need a certain amount of water of a certain quality. Also, water systems can serve functions as traffic, recreation etc. Water problems occur in a broad variety, from drink water supply, defence against flooding from sea, droughts and water scarcity as well as river environments. At the moment, both natural processes (e.g. sea level rise, more extreme rainfall patterns) as well as human-related processes (i.e. growth of world population, especially along the coast and rivers, increase of farm land and interventions in water systems) put increased pressure on water systems. Therefore, we need new ways of solving these problems.

Programme overview

Prof. dr. Suzanne Hulscher
1 year - 2 years
4 years

Studying water at the UT

Water problems are multidimensional and complex. Usually several stakeholders are involved and the knowledge of the water systems is to a certain extent uncertain. Herein both monodisciplinary research is needed, i.e. modelling or measuring techniques to reduce uncertainty, as well as a combined effort of methodologies of the natural sciences and the social sciences. We need people who are aware of the broadness of the water scope and who can switch between the traditional approaches and – if necessary - combine them. The UT has the unique combination of technical, scientific and gamma expertise on this topic. Also the magnitude and focus of the UT-groups is such to make this graduate school programme work. The students in the graduate programme will be educated in a broader and more multidisciplinary environment that in their own programmes only. This will result in a broader view of the students, exchange of the students and it will enhance the collaboration of the water UT-groups.

Dutch reputation on water

The Netherlands has traditionally a good reputation on defence against water. The topic is very timely at the moment as the Dutch scientists and consultants are often asked to supply expertise in case of water related disasters (Katrina, Tsunami in Atjeh, flooding in Vietnam, water dispute in Iraq and water management in Africa). The relation between the sector (consultancy firms, Dutch ministry of public works and knowledge institutes as Deltares, Wetsus and water boards) is good and could be strengthened even further. Current prognoses show a large deficiency of people at MSc and PhD-level in the sector.