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Magazine of Dispuut Geo-Engineering “De Ondergrondse”


De Ondergrondse has been working together with the Dutch engineering association “KIVI
Geotechniek” for quite some time now. In order to make this cooperation even better, KIVI
Geotechniek is offering the students of the Geo-Engineering section the possibility to join the
activities hosted by KIVI Geotechniek. These activities include excursions to conferences and more!
For most activities you need to be a member of KIVI Geotechniek and most are organized in Dutch.

If you would like to become a member of KIVI Geotechniek, send an email to

Sponsors 2
Dear Ondergrondse member, by Bertie Rietema

Glad you’re reading the Mol. We from the board example an interesting lunch lecture (with sand-
sincerely hope your studies are going well, even wiches ofcourse) or a career-oriented workshop.
in these unprecedented times. You might have Did you attend the LateX workshop? It was super
already heard that students are allowed to study useful for projects or your thesis.
at the faculty again, so please make use of that Did you know that we started planning the Lus-
to get some work done or to study with some trum of De Ondergrondse, which will take place
classmates. More information can be found on in October 2021? We even have a committee of
the Brightspace page of Master programme Civil enthusiastic students working on it? Will you be
Engineering and Geosciences. able to guess the theme of the third Lustrum?
We, the board, are busy with coming up with fun You can check out our website and see an over-
activities to keep our members involved with De view of all committee members of this academic
Ondergrondse. We had too much fun at the on- (and previous) year.
line Christmas Pubquiz and the Winetasting. We Please also check out our website if you’re look-
hope you enjoyed it as well! During the holidays ing for interesting internships, graduation topics
in February we organised an online movie-night. or a student job at on of our partners. You could
That was in our opinion a success as well! If you also reach out to us, so we can get you in touch
have any fun (online) activity ideas, please let us with the right person!
know! We’re open to anything. Hopefully we can Stay healthy and happy,
have a real Geo-drink in the near future to catch
up and relax.
In the coming months, we’re planning on organ-
ising activities together with our partners, for

by Leon Vrielink

Dear reader,

Welcome to the first issue of ‘de Mol’ professor Phill Vardon. There is also
in the year 2021. This issue is brought a nice interview we did with our fel-
to you by a brand new committee of low student Ale about the difference
first year students. We spent the last between Mexico and the Netherlands
period, in between endless zoom lec- and one the last page of the edition
tures and challenging (Numerical) there is a Geo-themed crossword puz-
deadlines, assembling the stories that zle for you to solve. Maybe by the
make up this edition in front of you. next edition of ‘de Mol’ we will be able
We were able to meet each other ex- see each other again on campus and
actly once in physical form during this even have a new GeoDrink together!
process, which is, strangely enough, Cheers!
quite a good score for this time.
We hope you will enjoy reading the
stories written by our alumni Steve
van Ardichem and associate

3 From the Board | Editorial


From the Board 3

How to get the thermal properties of soil 5

from CPT’s

Geotechnical Engineer - Crux 7

Effect of rapid draw down on dike 9

Interview with Alejandra 11

Geo consulting in sustainability 13

Word search 19
How to get the thermal properties of soil from CPTs
Introduction by Phil Vardon
In recent years, the thermal properties of the
ground have become increasingly impor-
tant. For example, to construct wind farms, we
need to place high voltage cables within the
sea floor – these cables produce heat and the
amount of electricity they can transfer is limit-
ed by the heat transfer in the ground. Another
example is for the design of energy geostruc-
tures, which are geotechnical structures which
are also used to generate, store or inject heat
to the ground – used to provide heating and
cooling to buildings. While heat transfer be-
haviour has been well-known for many years
(see Fourier in the 1800s), knowing the thermal
properties of soil in situ has remained difficult.
All geotechnical engineers know the cone Figure 1. Thermal conductivity determination using the T-CPT.
penetration test, which was developed in the (a) Measured data and calculated initial in-situ temperature;
Netherlands in the 1930s (VOTB, 2006; Gou- (b) Thermal conductivity determined from T-CPT using equa-
tion; (c) Thermal conductivity determined from T-CPT using
da Geo-Equipment B.V., 2021). It is a simple graphical method; and (d) Thermal conductivity determined
concept: push a cone of a fixed size into the from the in-situ needle probe
ground at a fixed rate and measure the re-
sponse. Currently, it is typical to measure the a common example is the transient plane test
tip resistance, the sleeve friction and the pore (also known as the host disk). A major dis-
pressure. These can be correlated to a range of advantage of doing laboratory tests, is that
different in situ geotechnical properties, usually the sampling process disturbs the soil and
the soil behaviour type and mechanical prop- the properties measured are not likely to
erties (e.g. Robertson and Cabal, 2015). How- be representative of the behaviour in situ.
ever, many additional sensors can also be in- In situ methods are available. The most com-
cluded for specialist purposes (e.g. Berthet et mon is a thermal response test, which can be
al., 2021). CPTs have a number of advantages thought of as a very large version of a nee-
over other methods, e.g. (i) it is fast and cost dle probe. The disadvantages of this test are
effective, (ii) in situ properties are determined. the length of time, the cost, a single thermal
In recent work, I have been involved conductivity value is derived independent
in designing new methods to meas- of whether the soil is layered or not, and any
ure thermal properties with CPTs. groundwater flow may affect the results. Anoth-
much energy a material stores when it heats up. er method is using a needle probe attached to
a CPT rig. This method is reliable, but must be
Measuring the thermal properties pushed into the soil, and is easy to break (so
The flow of heat is governed by the conserva- becomes expensive). There are no common in
tion of energy and Fourier’s law. Two key ma- situ methods to determine the heat capacity.
terial properties are used in these equations (i)
the thermal conductivity (normally expressed New methods
as k or λ), (ii) the heat capacity (either the vol- Thermal CPT (T-CPT)
umetric or the specific heat capacity, normally When pushing a CPT cone penetrometer
expressed as C or c, respectively). The thermal through soil, it generally heats up due to fric-
conductivity tells us how easily heat can move tion. In early versions of CPTs this caused prob-
(synonymously to the hydraulic conductivity in lems with the measurements due to the sensors
Darcy’s law), and the heat capacity tells us how being affected by the temperature changes.
much energy a material stores when it heats up. However, it was recognised by Akrouch et al.
In a laboratory, the thermal conductivity is nor- (2016) that by pausing the CPT, i.e. stopping
mally tested using a needle probe, where a nee- pushing temporarily, the temperature decay
dle is pushed into a sample and a constant could be used to detect the thermal proper-
power is supplied to the needle. To obtain ties. Along with colleagues from Fugro, I made
a new physics based interpretation method
5 Faculty Corner
based on this principle (Vardon et al., 2019).
This required a cone pentrometer to be fit-
ted with a temperature sensor close to the tip
of the cone, which was developed by Fugro.
An example of this method is shown in Figure
2. The temperature decay is shown in Figure
2(a), which is first used to calculate the in-si-
tu temperature. Then the thermal conduc-
tivity is calculated, using either an equation
(shown in Figure 2(b)) or a graphical method
(shown in Figure 2(c)). The example data from
Figure 3. CPT data, the volumetric heat capacity profile, and
a test in Figure 2(a-c) was compared with an
the uncorrected and corrected thermal conductivity profiles
in situ needle probe (shown in Figure 2(d)). including discrete data points.

Correlations Results
The thermal properties of a soil vary accord- Figure 4 presents sample results from the Delft
ing to their composition, i.e. how dense the campus. In the first two sub-figures, standard
soil is and the composition of the soil grains. CPT data from the Delft campus is presented. In
CPTs are often used to estimate these proper- the third sub-figure the results from the correla-
ties, therefore another method was designed tion of the volumetric heat capacity are shown.
to correlate standard CPT measurements to the In the last sub-figure, thermal conductivity re-
thermal properties (Vardon and Peuchen, 2021). sults are shown. In this sub-figure, original cor-
This has the advantage of being fast and easy. relation results are shown in the dashed lined,
These methods were based on existing corre- corrected results in dark blue and measured
lations for density. Two different correlations point-wise data by diamond markers. Sever-
were proposed, with one shown in Figure 3. al of the diamond markers are shown in pairs,
This method can be calculated in real time which were where both in situ needle probe and
during acquisition, and provides complete T-CPT data were taken and compared. It can be
profiles (as opposed to point-wise measure- seen that good matches between data is seen
ments). It was found that at high densities a and fully continuous profiles can be generated.
correction was needed. In addition, as this is Conclusions
a correlation rather than a measurement er- The methods presented here to determine the
rors may exist. Combining the two methods thermal properties of soils provide a robust
By combing the two methods, the advantag- method which can be quickly and easily taken, re-
moving the disadvantages of past methods. The

es of both methods can be exploited and the
disadvantaged mitigated (see Vardon and methods are now being used worldwide by Fugro.
Peuchen, 2020 for details). This method uti-
lises the fact that CPTs would also be carried References
Akrouch, G.A., Briaud, J.L., Sanchez, M., Yilmaz, R. (2016) Thermal
out for site investigation and this can guide cone test to determine soil thermal properties. Journal of Geo-
the identification of select T-CPTs to tar- technical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, 142(3):04015085.
get specific layers or layers of high density. Berthet, K.E.A, Murali, M., Peuchen, J., Vardon, P.J. (2021)
Add-on Sensors for Cone Penetration Testing, Proceed-
ings of the 6th International Conference on Geotech-
nical and Geophysical Site Characterisation (in press).
Gouda Geo-Equipment B.V. (2021) History of Cone Pene-
tration Testing (CPT) <URL:
ry-of-cone-penetration-testing-cpt> Accessed February 2021.
Robertson, P.K., Cabal, K.L. (2015) Guide to cone penetration testing
for geotechnical engineering. 6th Edition, Gregg Drilling and Testing.
Vardon, P.J., Baltoukas, D., Peuchen, J. (2019) In-
terpreting and validating the Thermal Cone Pene-
tration Test (T-CPT), Géotechnique, 69(7):580–592.
Vardon, P.J., Peuchen, J. (2020) Using CPTs to derive thermal prop-
erties of soil, 2nd International Conference on Energy Geotech-
nics, La Jolla, California, USA, E3S Web of Conferences 205, 04005.
Vardon, P.J., Peuchen, J. (2021) CPT correlations for ther-
mal properties of soils, Acta Geotechnica, 16(2):635-646.
Figure 2. Thermal property CPT correlations: (a) thermal VOTB (2006) Ondergrond Handboek geotech-
conductivity, (b) volumetric heat capacity.
nisch bodemonderzoek. VOTB, Voorschoten.

Faculty Corner 6

Geotechnical Risk Ground

Engineering Assessments Improvement
– – –
Soil investigation Condition surveys Permeation grouting
Foundations and ground structures Vibration predictions Jet grouting
Construction pits Deformation analysis Mixed-in-place
Bored tunnels and trenchless tech. Damage predictions Compensation grouting (compaction)
State-of-the-art dike verification Monitoring plans Compensation grouting (fracture)
Low subsidence or sub. free systems Monitoring and supervising Ground freezing
Dynamics and earthquakes Damage investigations

Hydrogeology Environmental Internship/

– – graduation

Dewatering and pumping tests Environmental soil and water studies CRUX 2019/2020 achievements:
Groundwater statistics and climate (Re)usability of soil and construction - Finalist Cobouw Awards Best
Infrastructure constructions materials Employer
Sustainability and construction Working in contaminated soil - Great Place to Work Certified
Risk Assessments and monitoring Environmental supervising - Beste Workplaces top 10
Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage (ATES) Consulting on asbestos remediation - Finalist Schreudersprijs
Geochemistry ... and much more!

Are you an enthusiastic

and driven student of
Geo-Engineering at the
Faculty of Civil Engi-
neering and Geoscienc-
es and interested in an
at CRUX? Send your CV
and motivation to

CRUX Engineering BV +31 (0)20 4943070
Dear Geo-Engineering students and staff,

While I’m writing this piece for the Mol, I’m running a
Plaxis 3D calculation, curiously waiting for some first
results. It’s the first Plaxis 3D model I’ve ever made, and
surprisingly I’m quite enjoying it. I’m not sure if that’s
because I just fixed some errors in the model while I had
heard some terrible stories from students getting stuck
with this program while doing their thesis. Or maybe
just because the first phases of the model are already
finished and the calculation is still running.
Florentine Steijlen

Perhaps the hardest part still needs to be done, Until now I have already worked on a pretty large
checking if the results are as expected, and variety of projects: from dikes in Alblasserwaard,
otherwise adjusting the model. Or I enjoy it because to sheet pile walls in Amsterdam, to a foundation
I got some great help from my colleagues at CRUX, advise of the Utrechtsebaan in The Hague. One of
who checked the input for the structures mode and the best things of working as a geotechnical
with whom I have discussed the steps that still need engineer is that you can visit or actually see the
to be taken. projects you worked on. Of course, most of the
geotechnical structures are below surface, but
Probably I expected the worst... And I had not still you can see the execution of the projects or
previously realized that this project is not only eventually the structures that are founded on them.
your responsibility, but the responsibility of a team For instance I cycled by a monitoring project, visited
consisting of more experienced employees who the execution of the Groene Boog, and took some
are always willing to help. On top of that I’m finally bored samples of an excavation floor treated with
contributing to real civil projects in the Netherlands, silicate grout.
such as this Plaxis model which is aimed to predict
the horizontal displacements of a bridge in The At this moment, my Plaxis calculation is finalized,
Hague, highly necessary for the final design. so I’m going to discuss the results with my
colleagues. If you have any questions or if you are
All in all, I am pleased to finally bring everything interested in CRUX for a job, internship or graduation
that I learned during the Geo-Engineering masters thesis you can always contact me. When the
programme into practice. Believe me or not, those pandemic measures allow it, we could even have a
hours struggling on the python assignments of cup of coffee in the beautiful new office in Delft.
Coupled Processes in the fourth quarter will
definitely become useful in your career. At CRUX Regards,
Engineering BV, where I started a bit over half a year
ago, I have already used my python skills for a couple Florentine
of assignments, such as the development of a pile
calculation tool, as well as for an automation script
used for dike design and evaluation, which is still
under development by the CEMS team of CRUX.
Master Thesis - Effect of rapid draw down on dike stability (Delta21 project case)
by Steve van Adrichem
subject and the committee. Some of them had
the problem that the committee and company
had a different goal in mind for the thesis or
that the data set was not as good as expected.
Therefore I went with a different approach; I
emailed the professors of which I enjoyed the
courses the most for a quick discussion on po-
tential subjects during a cup of coffee. All of
them replied, made time in their schedule and
had several options. In this way I had confidence
I could find a suitable subject which offered the
right challenge. After this was settled I could find
a fitting company. In the end I chose a thesis with
Amin Askarinejad on the subject of dike stability.
To gain better understanding in the subject and Here I could combine numerical modeling with
to tackle the research question a combination lab work while being a graduate intern at Boskalis!
of numerical modeling (PLAXIS2D) and the Ge-
otechnical centrifuge were used. The research is Delta21 project
conducted by Boskalis in collaboration with the The Delta21 project formed the motivation for
TU Delft. In this article is explained why I chose this this thesis. The Delta21 project is a visionary wa-
subject and how it was organized, followed up ter defense system of the Dutch coast in front
by the methodology and results of the research. of the Haringvliet, close to Rotterdam. Most wa-
ter defense systems in the Netherlands, like the
How the thesis came to be Maeslant Kering, keep the water from the sea out
During my master I enjoyed various subjects during a storm. However, water from the rivers
within Geo-Engineering, so when choosing cannot flow to the sea anymore, creating the ne-
a subject I was not sure in which direction I cessity of inland reservoirs. The Delta21 project
needed to search. What I did know was that I proposes to build a lake with pumps and turbines
wanted to graduate at a company, preferably in the sea. In that case water can be pumped out
an international one, and that nine months of at all times from the Haringvliet towards the sea.
python modeling would not make me happy. At good weather conditions the lake can be used
Around 4 months before my thesis I emailed as a massive green battery. By filling the lake elec-
several companies from which I had a contact. tricity can be generated with help of the turbines.
Although around half of them replied and came When electricity is relatively cheap during the
with suggestions, I doubted if this was the right day, when the sun is shining and wind is blowing,
approach. Students from the previous year the lake can be emptied with help of the pumps.
warned me for finding the company before the This leads to an efficiency of around 69% (Ruiz,

Direction of flow during good weather

9 Alumni Corner
2020). The water level in the lake can change details of the test can not be shared in this
with a level of 17.5m in a period of 12hours. The small article the results of the PPT’s are shown
decrease of external pressure on the dike while in the figure. The numerical model could not
having a delay in dissipating pore pressures with- model further, because at high deformations
in the dike can influence the stability of the dike. the mesh deforms too much and the pro-
Hence the main goal of the research is to gain gram errors. However, it can be seen that
a comprehensive understanding of the effect the pore pressure estimations matched well.
rapid draw down has on the stability of a dike.
Methodology With the capabilities and weaknesses of the
To answer the research question a combina- numerical model known the dike of the Del-
tion of the geotechnical centrifuge and numer- ta21 project was modeled. The rapid draw
ical modeling (PLAXIS2D) were used. A cou- down proved to be not a risk on the stabil-
pled analysis was used in the PLAXIS model. A ity. It was even advised to increase the slope
fully coupled flow-deformation analysis can angle to reduce costs. In the main report the
solve the full interaction between deforma- effect of hysteresis due to multiple cycles
tions, consolidation and groundwater flow si- of water change, influence of slope angle
multaneously in the same phase. This is done and slope protection were taken into ac-
with a combination with a Hardening Soil small count. Herefor I refer to my thesis, that can
strain model, to capture possible hysteresis be found in the TU Delft repositry. Waves
caused by the repetitive water level changes. and current perpendicular to the dike were
To verify the capabilities and test weaknesses not taken into consideration. And they could
of the numerical model, it was compared with cause erosion. This is a subject for further
three tests found in the literature. Here it was research. Placing larger rocks or boulders
found that pore pressures and the moment at on the dike could prevent erosion. Because

which failure happens were accurately predict- they are not taken easily away by the current.
ed. However, negative pore pressures and suc-
tion could not accurately be modeled and this References:
was a clear weakness of the numerical model. Ansorena Ruiz, R. (2020). Conceptual design
Deformation at failure could not be verified, of the Valmeer’s pump storage station of the
because this was not clearly measured in tests DELTA21 plan.
found in literature. Therefor a centrifuge test at
100g was performed in the lab of the TU Delft. A
centrifuge test can be practical, because it small
and relatively cheap prototype can be used.
However, a lot of preparation is needed before
executing the test and as the experts told me: it
never goes perfect the first time. After a few times
tries the results were satisfying. Camera’s were
installed so individual grains could be tracked.
With the method of PIV (particle image veloci-
metry) deformation could be measured and the
shear band became visible. Pore pressure sensors
were used to verify pore pressures. Although all

Alumni Corner 10
Interview Alejandra Reyes
by Alejandra Reyes
Who are you and where are you from?
My name is Alejandra Reyes and I am from
Mexico but I have lived in the Netherlands
since 2016 already. My bachelor in Mexico
was in biotechnology engineering. I did
my first masters in Environmental sciences
at Wageningen University. When the pan-
demic started I thought it was a good idea
to start with the track that I have always
wanted, which is soil sciences. I selected
the master Geo-Engineering and was ac-
cepted. In September 2020 I started and here in Delft my perception of Dutch people
that is how I got here at TU Delft. really changed and I have talked to more
What are the biggest differences of stud- Dutch people in my short time in Delft than
ying at TU Delft compared to your home I did in my whole time in Wageningen.<333
country? Why did you choose to study at TU Delft?
For me, studying at TU Delft is more about In between my masters I worked at Royal
applying knowledge. Because of that the HaskoningDHV, during my work I could tell
pace is faster and the pressure is higher the difference between my field of expertise
at TU Delft compared to my bachelors in and the fields of colleagues that came from
Mexico or my other masters in Wagen- TU Delft. My field was related to chemical
ingen. We are expected take up a lot of and biological processes and how to turn
information in a short time and apply it these into concepts whereas my colleagues
shortly after. I do see a large difference focused more on modelling and a math-
with Wageningen University which was a ematical approach. This appealed to me
scientific school whereas TU Delft is more and that is why I chose to start studying at
of an Engineering School. I might be a bit TU Delft. Besides this, TU Delft has a good
biased because I am changing my field of international reputation.
study from Wageningen to Delft. Why did you choose the master in Geo-En-
What are the biggest cultural differences gineering?
between the Netherlands and your home I compared different master tracks at TU
country? Delft. At the end I narrowed it down to
During my time in Wageningen I was Geo-Engineering as well as Remote Sensing
under the assumption the Dutch society and Geosciences. I chose for Geo-Engineer-
is not that inclusive compared to Mexico. ing because I think it is more tangible com-
Because the Mexican society is very good pared to Remote Senses and Geosciences
at making friends and is very hospitable. which focuses on the bigger picture and
People are very open to foreigners, even then zooms in. In Geo-Engineering you can
if they don’t like to speak English they will really go to the site and ineract ot what you
invite you to do things and will help you are doing or modelling.
to feel at home. When I arrived in Wage- What do you like/dislike about the master
ningen everybody already knew people program so far?
and it was difficult to get into the circle. I like that it has many different perspectives,
That might be because people are more for example in the first quarter we have
competitive in Wageningen compared to learned a lot about chemical and biological
Delft. I think in Delft, because the study is processes and now (Q3) it really escalated
harder, people are more helpful and easy into hard numbers. But at the same time
going towards each other instead of being I think the program might be a bit more
competitive and only focused on their own diversified in terms of conceptual courses
results. Because of the different attitude which are offered. But that might be be-
11 International Geocorner
cause that is the direction I am looking for difficult, for me it is harder to call someone
in the end. What I also really like are all the to ask for help with something than to just
fieldtrips included in the program, unfortu- catch up and ask someone. During lectures
nately they can not be organised right now. I think it is a bit confronting to raise your
What did you expect from the Netherlands hand for a question. Normally you can just
before you moved here and the what extend go to the lecturer during the break or after
did those expectation compare to reality? the lecture, that is not possible right now
To be honest, I did not do a lot of research on with the online lectures.
the Netherlands on beforehand. Geographi- Do you think the covid-19 pandemic has
cally, I was not really sure where it was, I only a large influence on contact with your
heard about the bad weather of the Nether- fellow students and staff of the study
lands “[laughter]”. We had some introduction program?
sessions in Mexico about the culture here, Very much so, for example in Wageningen
but I did not want to pay too much attentions I knew exactly who was who and what they
to that because I wanted to experience it for where doing. You could go to the offices
myself and not be prejudiced. In the begin- and see which person is a PhD student for
ning the directness of Dutch people kind of which subject for example. Right now, be-
shocked me because people are not like that sides of knowing who are the professors,
in Mexico. But I am like that myself as well so I don’t know anyone or anything that is

I could adopt to it very easily. Another thing going on in the faculty. Also I don’t know
is the sandwiches which are cold here, it is a who I should approach for my thesis. So
bit painful to the heart for me “[laughter]”. In the pandemic has a very negative influ-
Mexico we never eat cold food and I still try ence on that but I understand that it is no
to warm up all my food. I really appreciate one’s fault as no one was prepared for this
the microwaves around the University Build- to happen. Maybe a conceptual map of
ings. (I know they are for international people who is doing what and who I can approach
“[laughter]”) would be useful. With regards to my fellow
What do you miss from your home country? students I think we where very lucky to
The weather of course, but her the weather have the first few drinks in the beginning
is improving every year. Like I said the food, of the year as they were key to get to
and my family of course. However during the know people.
pandemic right now I think the situation is the What helps you stay in contact with your
same everywhere. I am talking for myself but fellow students? (events organised by de
I have already lived here for four years, I think Ondergrondse for example)
for new people who arrive here it must be I think so far they have come up with some
really though. I recently talked to a girl who really good ideas and events. I have at-
returned to her home country because it was tended a few of them and really had fun,
too difficult for her to be alone here and not but I think for other people it can be a bit
meet new people. uncomfortable as everything has to be
How does the covid-19 pandemic affect your online. I think TU Delft should also create a
general experience in the Netherlands? general program to improve the students’
My daily routine in Wageningen was to go to welfare and especially mental welfare. I
the university at 8:30 am, follow the courses know they are organising different events
and have lunch there in the cafeteria, then I to try that but I think more can be done.
would go back for classes in the afternoon For example my old university in Mexico
and after that I would stay in the library until organises exercises for students and pro-
around 9 pm. So basically I was only in my vides a large space with couches for peo-
studio to sleep. Now during the pandemic it ple to relax or meditate. They also focus on
was difficult for me to adopt to studying at the fact that students should be aware of
home because I never did that before, the their mental wellbeing. After all students
library was always the place to study for me. should know mental health is very impor-
Also the interaction with other students is tant and nothing should overcome that.

International Geocorner 12
Geo consulting in sustainability
The world is changing – faster than ever
Fugro Article
before. Transformation is being driven by There are numerous examples of the com-
multiple factors; rising population levels, pany’s work contributing, at a crucial level,
the move of people to urban areas, in- to the realisation of this goal. This article
creasing demands on natural resources, considers two projects as demonstrations of
technology and digitalisation and the this.
effects of climate change.
Case Study 1: Hollandse Kust West Off-
Fugro: at the forefront of sustainability shore Wind Farm
Leading Geo-data specialist Fugro is Just over 50 kilometres from the Dutch west
familiar with this situation; which it expe- coast, the Hollandse Kust West Offshore
riences in its work around the world. Even Wind Farm will eventually cover some 176
within the Netherlands where the compa- km2. Its contribution to sustainable energy
ny is based, there are challenges posed by production will be significant with its 1,400
housing shortages, aging infrastructure, a MW capacity.
changing climate and ever-growing calls Fugro has played a pivotal role from the
for increased sustainability. In geo consult- opening stages of the project. The com-
ing the company has a crucial role to play pany’s primary objective was to provide a
in finding the answers to such things. Key clear geotechnical understanding of the site
to these challenges lies in understanding so as to inform the design and installation
them. Here, skills for geo consulting are at requirements. With this, realisation can be
the forefront of providing solutions. speeded up and the risk to tenderers pre-
paring their bids can be minimised.
Fugro is committed to sustainability. In Fugro Marine Geo consulting developed the
line with its strategic objectives, Fugro un- site investigation plan, prepared the labo-
locks insights from geo data, a critical el- ratory test strategy and carried out a scope
ement for the sustainable development of of geotechnical engineering works includ-
infrastructure, plants, buildings and natural ing development of the ground model
resources. With its products, services and provision of geotechnical parameters and
innovative solutions, Fugro directly con- synthetic cone penetration tests (CPTs), and
tributes to the realisation of modern infra- assessment of seismic hazard.
structure and climate monitoring projects, Geotechnical Consultant Kostas Kaltekis:
including flood and coastal protection and ‘Fugro produced a state-of-the-art 3D
safer, more efficient power grids. ground model and geotechnical interpretive
The company plays an important role in report by integrating geophysical data, age
the energy transition with the develop- dating analyses, in situ geotechnical data
ment of renewable energy assets such as and results of a comprehensive laboratory
offshore wind farms. Fugro, together with test programme.
its clients and other stakeholders, plays a
fundamental role in creating a safe and
liveable world. HKW 3D Ground model
The ground model defines soil provinces for Fugro’s scope is a broad one. The company
spatial zonation of the site and efficient concep- has been involved from an early stage, carry-
tual design of monopiles and jacket piles. Fugro ing out a range of ground analysis activities.
provided also characteristic values of geotechni- This has involved, for example drilling activi-
cal parameters for use in foundation design.’ ties; creating bore holes to assess the ground-
The work that Fugro has performed has literally water situation and conducting CPTs to deter-
provided a solid foundation for getting this pro- mine the land site characterisation.
ject off the ground. With the investigations that Fugro has un-
dertaken, it has been able to give advice on
Case study 2: HAUT iconic building the foundation of the building – taking into
HAUT is a construction project currently under- account the high pile loads of the construc-
way in Amsterdam. The development of this 22 tion and the presence of dikes. Fugro has also
storey building featuring a two storey under- been able to give drainage advice and deliver
ground parking area will be built close to the a monitoring plan and vibration risk analysis.
River Amstel, near dikes, railway lines, cables, Geotechnical Consultant Maarten Profittlich:
pipes and telephone lines. The residential project ‘Fugro continues to be involved in the project,
has ambitious sustainability goals. Its primary supporting by monitoring the vibration and
construction material is wood – making it, at noise impact during construction. The work
73 metres, the highest wooden building in the carried out by our company’s geo consulting
country. Resulting from this, the builcding is able team plays an important role in making this
to absorb CO2. The theme of sustainability in this iconic and sustainable project possible.’
iconic project goes further; wherever possible it
is utilising recycled materials. HAUT has achieved Interested in working in geo consulting at
the highest sustainability accreditation – a feat Fugro and really getting the feeling of con-
unique in the Netherlands. The project developer tributing to community and society globally?
is Lingotto, who works together with Team V and Apply for a future traineeship to:
Arup. and a job to:

Are you looking for a new challenge in

an innovative professional environment?
Do you want to work with motivated
colleagues from all over the world?
At Fugro, we are proud to deliver
geo-intelligence and asset integrity
solutions that contribute to a safe and
liveable world.
Fugro is an international organisation
with many career opportunities in the
Netherlands and abroad.

For more information, please

visit our website:

Agenda G
ASAP Geo-drinks g

21-4, 6-5, 19-5, 3-6, 16-6 Geo-talks A


27-9 to 01-10 Lustrum m


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Ondergrondse” and vacancies of our g
partners by following our Instagram. h

Geotechnical work at the Rivierenland water board
The water boards in the Netherlands are responsible for clean surface water and dry feet. To be future-proof,
the Rivierenland water board faces a major challenge. With a comprehensive team of technical managers,
geotechnical specialists, hydrologists and other disciplines, plans are designed and executed to suffice the future
requirements. Geotechnical analyses are carried out daily by consultancy firms, but also by geotechnical
specialists working at the Rivierenland water board. This article provides an insight into geotechnical work in

Assaying and designing dikes is one the aspects in geotechnical engineering. For calculations on a dike, a
geotechnical engineer collects all kinds of information. Including data about the subsoil directly under the dike
and nearby. With the accessibility of advanced methods such as cone penetration tests (CPTs) and machine
drilling, more and more use was made of these point measurements. The valuable geological knowledge is
being used less and less by the modern geotechnical engineer. Exaggerated: when the subsoil is uncertain, a
modern geotechnical engineer prefers additional CPTs and drilling more quickly than looking at a geological map.

Specific in the Alblasserwaard Vijfheerenlanden area, an enormous amount of soil research has been carried out
in recent years. An important missing step was to develop this point information into area-covering information.
A soil atlas of the Alblasserwaard and Vijfheerenlanden has been developed with the aim of providing the
desired clarification of the subsurface and recognizing important knowledge gaps. This soil atlas makes
geological knowledge accessible, clear and easy to interpret.

Although in current practice there is still a tendency towards pointmeasurements, the added value of the
geological profiles is clearly visible in the figure below: despite an almost covering intensity of soil research, the
human eye and geological knowledge are an added value in the subsurface schematization. These geological
cross sections are therefore an additional source of information. If you want to know exactly what the soil
structure is at one location, you will always have to start from a measurement.

Would you like to know more about the soil atlas or about our activities at the Rivierenland water board? Please
contact Team Knowledge and Advice Dykes and Ecology (T-KDE) or

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