Veni laureate De Schipper wins talent prize

5 June 2019

Coastal engineer Matthieu de Schipper has been named Science Talent of 2019 by scientific journal New Scientist. The assistant professor and his team at Delft University of Technology are doing research on how waves change beaches and vice versa.

Photo: Bob Bronshoff

The researchers have developed computer models that help to predict how beaches change under the influence of nature and humans. This knowledge can be used in methods to strengthen coasts by means of sand replenishment. By dumping sand at specific locations offshore, the waves help to reinforce the coast in vital places. De Schipper's research should provide more insight into the way in which sand spreads and ultimately make these strengthening methods more predictable. This will lead to new opportunities in the field coastal protection, making use of the power of waves.


De Schipper received the prize for his inventive ways of doing research, according to New Scientist: 'For example, he raced along the coast armed with a water scooter full of measuring equipment to study the behaviour of water and sand'. The prize is awarded annually to young research talent in the Netherlands and Flanders.

In 2016, De Schipper received a Veni grant for his research into coastal reinforcement by means of sand replenishment via STW (now NWO Domain AES). He was also involved in the Perspectief programme NatureCoast. This recently completed programme focused on a better understanding of large-scale coastal systems and is known, among other things, for De Zandmotor, an artificial peninsula off the coast at Ter Heijde.

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Source: NWO