8 towards the end of last year, she had time out from the tpm faculty to give birth to her third child. paulien herder will be back as a professor soon, though, and with her very own chair: engineering Systems design in energy and industry. in her new position, she will continue her research and teaching on the design of large-scale systems and infrastructures. the area covered by my chair is developing more of a momentum of its own and i will be able to build up a group of researchers around it. After completing her studies in chemical technology in Delft, Herder started work as a PhD student in the faculties that preceded TPM. Her research focused on the design of chemical installations and factories. That gradually widened to encompass research into the design and management of large- scale systems and infrastructures. These systems have both a technical and social component, which are closely interwoven. That's what makes it so interesting, explains Herder. Big business The complex issues relating to infrastructures and systems for the supply of energy are something that has only really emerged in the last four or five years. Previously, these were primarily the concern of government and the utility companies, but private market players now play a significant role. Energy supply is big business internationally. The systems and infrastructures currently being designed and constructed will need to last for thirty or forty, maybe even a hundred years, stresses Herder. This means that everything must be made future-proof, not only in the design phase, but also during maintenance and when replacing existing infrastructures. The latter is sometimes called asset management, an important subsidiary theme in my field of research. But even scientists and academics find it difficult to predict the future. Nevertheless, several methods are currently under development in the world of science and research for tackling these kinds of inherent uncertainties. One way of achieving this is to assume a number of different futures and use these to create models. These can then help you to decide what will need to be done. At the moment, we rely heavily on natural gas, she cites as an example. But it is possible to imagine that a new form of energy may emerge. Hydrogen is often Future-proof systems and infrastructures PAuLIEN HERDER PROFESSOR OF ENGINEERING SYSTEMS DESIGN IN ENERGY AND INDuSTRY SINCE 1 JANuARY 2010 edinburgh, St. andrews, amsterdam, nijmegen, maastricht, leiden. patrick hudson has studied or taught in all of these university cities. now hudson has been appointed as part-time professor in the tpm faculty in delft. his chair in the Safety Studies research group is entitled: the human factor in Safety, with special reference to safety culture and organisational factors. Born in London, Hudson studied psychology in Edinburgh. In 1975, he moved to the university of Amsterdam on a temporary one-year appointment and has stayed in the Netherlands ever since. During this time, he has been professor of Information Science in Maastricht and since 1986 he has specialised on the human factor in safety thinking at Leiden university. In addition to his activities in Delft, he still holds an associate professorship in Leiden and continues his safety research for external clients, including Shell and the aviation industry. A need for engineers with people skills PATRICK HuDSON PROFESSOR OF SAFETY STuDIES SINCE 1 JANuARY 2010 Nuclear energy At TPM, Hudson will concentrate on two projects, the first of which is a major programme relating to nuclear energy. Global warming is creating a real need for nuclear energy, but it is an area rife with dangers. Consider, for example, Chernobyl and Sellafield. So how can we organise nuclear energy, taking account of existing knowledge and all our previous experiences? Are the legislation and regulations still up to date? This is the subject of our research and the results should lead to the establishment of a gold standard. To achieve this, not only are engineers and public administrators needed, but also lawyers and psychologists. There are none of these in Delft, but I spend one day a week in Leiden, which is riddled with them. Research within the Netherlands is not enough for Hudson. He has set his sights on the whole world and will also need to approach such organisations as Greenpeace. Global warming may have made environmental organisations adopt a less negative attitude towards nuclear energy. This is the perfect opportunity for all parties to come together and discuss the best way of setting up a nuclear reactor after all. Hudson acknowledges that patience will be required for this project. I have been appointed for four years, but this research is certain to last longer than that. I shall leave it as my legacy. New professors The human factor Hudson's second project in Delft involves establishing an integrated Master's programme in Aviation Human Factors. Psychologists and aviation engineers will have to familiarise themselves with each other's subjects and the Master's programme will also include securing a pilot's licence. Although the market for this programme is not especially wide, students will be assured of acquiring a job immediately, says Hudson. He believes that the human factor should be covered in the first year of the engineer's programme. Within engineering, there is a culture in which engineers tend to forget that their work also involves people. The industry has a need for engineers with people skills. I intend to encourage professors to give up some of their hours for psychology. mentioned as a possibility, but synthetic gas and methanol may also play a significant role in the future. This means that systems and infrastructures will need to be constructed in such a way that these three different options at the very least are taken into account. Herder expects that new methods and new theories will offer greater opportunities for new research in the decades to come. A new form of energy may even emerge that we have not even yet envisaged. In that case, the company or manager will have to hope that its new infrastructure will be able to handle it. Alternatively, they can ensure that the infrastructure developed now is so flexible that any modifications will be relatively easy when the time comes. This is something that will keep our researchers busy for many years to come.
9 Sybe Schaap follows the ongoing discussion about global warming and the associated rise in sea levels with incredulity. everything is based on probability models and assumptions, which we can never completely back up scientifically. yet, at the same time, it is an indisputable fact that the land in Jakarta is sinking by twenty centimetres per year. people are approaching the problem from the wrong perspective. Sybe Schaap follows the ongoing discussion about global warming and the associated rise in sea levels with incredulity. Everything is based on probability models and assumptions, which we can never completely back up scientifically. Yet, at the same time, it is an indisputable fact that the land in Jakarta is sinking by twenty centimetres per year. People are approaching the problem from the wrong perspective. Schaap has certainly earned his credentials in the field of water management. Born in Friesland, he worked for over twenty years as head of a district water management body, the last six of which he also spent as chair of the union of Water Boards. He began his career by qualifying as an engineer at the agricultural college in Leeuwarden. After working as a farmer in the family company for a few years, he studied social sciences and philosophy at Vu university Amsterdam. Philosophy is my professional hobby. Global problem profile The way in which we have organised water management here in the Netherlands is relatively unique. Only Belgium, France and Germany have, to a certain degree, similar structures. Although our model cannot serve as a blueprint for the entire world, the problem profile does apply globally. Approximately half of the world's population is now concentrated in delta regions. How can we ensure that these areas remain habitable and quality of life is sustained? Effective water management is part of the solution, argues the new professor. It is not just about safety and protecting against floods. There are also issues relating to public health. Take for example the area around Lagos, Nigeria's largest city right on the Atlantic coast. It is home to between 25 and 30 million people, no one is exactly sure how many. That very same area is rife with industry and agriculture. How can that be managed? It is a fascinating issue. Effective water management is crucial SYBE SCHAAP PROFESSOR OF WATER POLICY & GOVERNANCE SINCE 1 JANuARY 2010 marja elsinga's fascination for all things relating to housing and accommodation systems started at what was then the agricultural university in Wageningen, where she graduated in residential ecology in 1989. the subject is now defunct. at the time, she knew tu delft from the electives she did with hugo priemus, professor of public housing. After graduating, Elsinga took a post-doctoral programme in technical public administration at Tu Delft's interfaculty OTB research institute. I did research on problem neighbourhoods and how they can be improved. Two years later, I switched to Housing Systems, which focuses more on organisation and funding. In 1995, Elsinga was awarded her doctorate cum laude for her thesis on home ownership among low-income groups. She joined a housing corporation in the city of Dordrecht as a consultant but soon realised that the world of corporations, municipalities and the like largely revolves around power. Arguments relating to substance play only a minor role and only if it is opportune. I learned how decision-making about housing construction and management actually works in practice. Extremely useful knowledge to bring with me to the university. In the last few years, Elsinga has worked as a senior researcher at OTB. The changing world of housing systems The Housing Institutions & Governance research group has a long tradition of comparing international housing systems. These systems change over the course of time. In countries like the Netherlands, Sweden and Austria, renting a home is an attractive alternative for people who are unable or unwilling to buy a house. Nowadays, the social rental sector is regarded by increasing numbers of policymakers as little more than a safety net for people in deprived situations, as is the case in the united Kingdom, explains Elsinga. Important questions for the research group include: how affordable is housing for people with low incomes? What is the role of housing corporations, rental subsidies, land subsidies and affordable home ownership? How can you create a system that guarantees a decent home for everyone? The question of a good home not only relates to the houses themselves but also the living environment. The role of housing corporations in the complex network of urban renewal in vulnerable communities is also a key area of focus for the group. What does the future hold for social housing? MARJA ELSINGA PROFESSOR OF HOuSING INSTITuTIONS & GOVERNANCE SINCE 1 FEBRuARY 2010 Organisational structure Professor Schaap believes that what the world is lacking is an effective organisational structure. In many countries, everything is controlled from the capital. In terms of spatial planning and water management, that is the gravest error you could make. Obviously, it is possible to set the broad parameters, but good planning is also essential at local level. This is impossible without delegated powers and funding. So how should it be organised? That's what my subject is all about. In the yet to be established Water Policy & Governance research group, he hopes to be able to make a contribution to broadening the water theme within Tu Delft. Progress is already being made in terms of civil engineering, but I would like to make advances on the institutional element. Professor Schaap combines his position in Delft with a similar appointment at Wageningen university and Research Centre and a seat in the upper House of the Dutch parliament, where he has represented the VVD since 2007. Elsinga identifies three different phenomena in Europe, the first being increasing numbers of people owning their own home. Secondly, the ageing population is placing the pension systems under pressure. Finally, financial service providers are continually devising new products. If you combine the three, it is possible to assert that the assets held in home ownership may also be regarded as a form of pension. The financial market already offers products such as the reverse mortgage to provide additional income in retirement. These are interesting developments that we are evaluating with a team from eight European countries on behalf of the European Commission, explains Elsinga. Her research adopts an explicitly international perspective. I am fascinated by international comparative research. From left to right: Patrick Hudson Paulien Herder Sybe Schaap Marja Elsinga