Much of the sand needed for coastal replenishment, land reclamation and construction is extracted from sandbanks in the sea. However, sand reserves in the North Sea around Belgium and Zeeland are depleting. Moreover, sea sand extraction threatens the stability of sandbanks and their associated ecology. The University of Twente's BANX project is developing computer models and data analysis techniques to improve the detection and understanding of the consequences of large-scale sand extraction in areas with sand scarcity. Sand scarcity is an emerging crisis on a global scale. BANX contributes to making marine sand extraction more sustainable.
The BANX project is led by Dr Pieter C. Roos and represents a collaboration between UT and Belgian researchers at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences and the University of Ghent. BANX will host one PhD student and one postdoc at UT, and one PhD student in Belgium.
The Open Technology Programme provides funding for application-oriented technical-scientific research that is free, unfettered and unencumbered by disciplinary boundaries. The programme offers companies and other organisations a low-threshold way to join scientific research that should lead to societal and/or scientific impact.