With a background in hydraulic engineering at TU Delft, Mart-Jan is developing an analytical quay wall model with which statistical research will be carried out. In the last phase of his master, he worked on the dynamic behavior of submerged floating tunnels due to waves and current. After graduating, he started working at AMS Institute as a Research Fellow.
At AMS institute, Mart-Jan is working on the problem of the historic inner city quay walls. Amsterdam has over 900 km of quay wall of which 200 km is doubtful in terms of structural condition and safety. In practice, it seems to be hard to prove that these quay walls are safe enough to use. In some cases, it is not even possible to prove with the current engineering models that these quay walls are stable without safety margins at all. This is very undesirable but because an important part of the uncertainty lies in unknown soil data and, for example, an unknown number of rows of piles, there is certainly potential for improving the assessment of the old quay walls, without all of these having to be rigorously replaced. The uncertainty can be reduced by using a statistical approach called, reliability updating.
In his spare time, Mart-Jan can be found at the soccer pitch, or abroad as a traveler. Besides sports and traveling, he is a family man. He is glad to be involved at AMS Institute where research and metropolitan problems come together.
“While the historic quay walls in Amsterdam become older and weaker, the usage of these "Hydraulic structures" Increases significantly. Engineers will have to come up with creative and practical solutions to tackle this problem.”