Sunday, 22 April 2012

New beginnings in Delft

On the 1st of March we began the second leg of our academic relay-race at UNESCO-IHE in Delft. We were warmly welcomed by the staff at the self-contained institute who were both efficient and charasmatic as they helped us with the tricky formalities of opening bank accounts, learning the key dutches phrases ("Dank u wel" and "Alsjeblieft" being the top ones) and more. The department were even willing to provide transport to our accommodation upon our arrival and have rent us a top-end laptop for our time here to allow us to do high-end computer modelling. All very brilliant!

FRM participants at the  UNESCO-IHE American-
European party on our first night.
And upon our arrival, it just so happened that there was a party celebrating the diverse culture of UNESCO-IHE students from across the American and European continents. After a light-hearted and entertaining cultural showcase, South American cuisine and drinks were provided in the canteen and the lunch-floor was transformed into a dance-floor. It seems to have been a very lucky day for us to have arrived and gave us a real taste of the institute and an opportunity to meet the full range of students and staff! Through this and the efforts upon our arrival, it very much felt like we were the newest addition to a small and well-functioning academic family.

After the initial preparations and a few days of acclimatising, it was straight into the academic deep-end. With our first module 'Data Driven Modelling and Real Time Control of Water Systems' we were quickly facing 7-hour days and even a set of classes on Saturday in an intense but rewarding course. But with a assignment set on our very first day we were left under no illusions that this would be a hard couple of months. This is exacerbated by UNESCO-IHE's monthly module rota in which three weeks of lectures are followed by a week of exams. This high-intensity took some time to get used to, but quickly all eighteen of us were into the swing of things with our new, magnificent Hydroinformatics coursemates and were taking a great deal from the classes.

Currently we have just finished our second module's classes and we are working on our assignments on Groundwater Modelling and Catchment Modelling, with a focus upon learning to use a variety of hydrological modelling programs. After getting to grips with MIKE SHE, MODFLOW, RIBASIM and ArcSWAT our minds were left positively brimming with modelling experience.

Next, its time for our own choice of module and preparations for our fieldtrip to Florida. Watch this space for more.

by Richard Vause


  1. Thanks alot Richard, this is good...

  2. Now its Introduction to River Flood Modelling and Urban Flood Management & Disaster Risk Mitigation. Very good modules...