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Details Winter School

Date: 1 March 2021 - 1 April 2021 
Max no. of participants: 15
Venue: Online and Youth Centre Prosperpolder, St-Engelbertusstraat 5, 9130 Beveren, Belgium*
Study level: MSc and Phd
Disciplines: Hydraulic Engineering, Water Management, Safety & Security, Flood Risk Management, Crisis Management, Risk Governance, Resilience Engineering, Climate Change Adaptation and more
Organising team: HZ University of Applied Sciences
Convener: Vana Tsimopoulou, send email 
Logistical officer: Marijke van de Voorde, send email 

* You will be given the opportunity to follow the Winter School remotely if COVID-19 developments prevent you from being physically present.

Climate-proofing the 2 Seas Region

Climate change has been affecting countries in the 2 Seas Region (Belgium, the Netherlands, United Kingdom and France) more severely than expected. The frequency and intensity of extreme weather conditions that induce storm-surges along the coast and river discharges that threaten the integrity of flood defences is increasing.

Are flood defences safe enough, and how effective will emergency response be in case of a levee failure? How can the combination of flood defences and emergency response remain effective in light of the emerging circumstances? These questions are relevant to local stakeholders whose prosperity and wellbeing depend upon flood resilience. Polder2C’s offers a rare opportunity to test and improve flood resilience by improving climate change adaptation capacity on a strategic, tactical and operational level. 

Polder2C's Winter School 2020 - 2021

The Winter School

Sponsored by the Polder2C’s consortium, this Winter School aspires to contribute to the mission of developing a solid knowledge infrastructure in the field of climate change adaptation. The event will provide a podium for exchange, transfer and development of ideas and knowledge, giving you the opportunity to be immersed in the planned activities of the Living Lab Hedwige-Prosperpolder. Following a balanced schedule of theory and practice, you will be invited to contemplate the challenges of flood resilience capacity building, think together with the Polder2C’s partners, and come up with practical solutions that contribute to the cause.

"The Winter School provides a unique environment where students can learn by doing and explore how their knowledge and skills complement the knowledge and skills of others."

Vana Tsimopoulou, HZ University of Applied Sciences

Speakers and instructors

Talks, workshops and field activities will be mostly facilitated by professionals and academics that are affiliated with organisations in the Polder2C’s consortium. Confirmed contributors are:

  • Juan Pablo Aguilar-López, Assistant Professor of Structural Flood Resilience, Delft University of Technology, NL
  • Mario van den Berg, PhD Researcher, Delft University of Technology, NL
  • Marian Booltink, Crisis Coordinator, Regional Water Authority De Stichtse Rijnlanden, NL
  • Davy Depreiter, Researcher, Department of Mobility and Public Works, BE
  • Phil Foxley, Senior Advisor Asset Standards & Engineering, Environment Agency, UK
  • Mark Fuller, Flood Risk Adviser, Environment Agency, UK
  • Anco van den Heuvel, Calamity Team Flood Defences, Rijkswaterstaat, NL
  • André Koelewijn, R&D Specialist, Deltares, NL
  • Wietse van de Lageweg, Coordinator of Building with Nature Group, HZ University of Applied Sciences, NL
  • Robert Lanzafame, Lecturer of Flood Defences & Probabilistic Design, Delft University of Technology, NL
  • Faye Lynch, Project Manager, Environment Agency, UK
  • Nicolas Nerincx, Project Manager, DN&T
  • Mark Postma, Adviser of Water Safety, Rijkswaterstaat, NL
  • Marte Stoorvogel, PhD Candidate, NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, NL
  • Teun Terpstra, Professor of Resilient Deltas, HZ University of Applied Sciences, NL
  • Vana Tsimopoulou, Research Project Leader Building with Nature Group, HZ University of Applied Sciences, NL
  • Bart Vonk, Senior Advisor of Water Safety, Rijkswaterstaat, NL
  • Ludolph Wentholt, Polder2C’s project coordinator, Foundation for Applied Water Research STOWA, NL
  • Wouter Zomer, Director, BZ Ingenieurs & Managers, NL

Participation requirements

The event is open to MSc and PhD students worldwide. Affinity with the field of flood protection is required. People with a broad range of academic and professional backgrounds can apply; from disciplines such as Hydraulic Engineering, Water Management, Safety & Security, Flood Risk Management, Crisis Management, Risk Governance, Resilience Engineering, Climate Change Adaptation and more. 


Accommodation and food will be provided for free in the venue of the event. A registration fee applies to all admitted participants as follows:

Before 12 December 2020: Early bird fee of €200
From 12 December 2020: Regular fee of €300

How to apply

In order to participate in the 1st Polder2C’s Winter School, you have to:

  • send a CV and a motivation letter (of max 300 words) by e-mail

Applications will be evaluated in the order that they are received. The application procedure closes upon admission of the 15th candidate.

Wait no longer, and apply for our Winter School now!

Photos: HZ University Of Applied Sciences Audiovisual Team

COVID-19 policy
The event will be held under the strictest measures that are deemed necessary in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Organising a Winter School that uses ‘resilience’ as its core theme creates the obligation for us to remain flexible and ready to adapt the event’s layout in order to safeguard health. Most of the activities are held online, combined with several days of fieldwork. Participants will be updated about necessary adaptations in the schedule or form of activities in a timely manner.