Of course, we test the safety of structures but these tests are also an excellent opportunity to determine lifespan, investigate the re-use of materials or to apply combinations with nature-based solutions, for example. In short, we can also address other new challenges arising from a range of national and international agendas and agreements, for instance in the area of the circular economy, the SDGs, the Paris Climate Agreement and agreements about biodiversity.

Examples include:

  • floating energy islands in the Delta Basin;
  • coastal reefs devised by small and medium-sized businesses in the Scheldt Flume;
  • finding plastic in the oceans with satellites in the Atlantic Basin;
  • willow trees in the Delta Flume, our largest wave flume; and
  • scour and bed protection in offshore wind foundations.

Measuring with the latest techniques

Our extensive experience with testing structures and conditions to scale, and our active wave reflection compensation that compensates for the returning waves, make all our studies reliable and representative. We use the latest measurement tools such as video and artificial intelligence techniques. Those techniques are also used, for example, in self-driving vehicles, resulting in a wide measurement scope. We can also film all our research, making it possible for our clients to follow our work remotely. The dimensions of the basins are such that complete designs can be tested.

In addition to commissioned research, we also use our facilities for the validation of computer models and in our research programmes to formulate and simulate the questions of the future in collaboration with others.

We work here with contractors, governments, knowledge institutes and universities on knowledge development. But small and medium-sized businesses are increasingly coming here to test as well. The awareness that innovations are tested and made applicable here is what drives us.

Marcel van Gent, expert waves and flows

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