Design of infrastructures under uncertainty

Approaches to develop future-proof designs

In designing and retrofitting infrastructure systems, engineers are confronted with growing uncertainties regarding the future operating conditions of their designs. Engineers design and build infrastructures that are expected to remain operational for the decennia without much insight in their future operation conditions. These uncertainties compound on the uncertainties in the equations and models that support the design. Research into dealing with deep uncertainties is now contributing methods that complement probabilistic approaches in the design of infrastructure under deep uncertainty.

In this course you will learn to understand these novel approaches and to apply them in the design of infrastructures under deep uncertainty.  Exploratory Modelling and Analysis (EMA) is central to this approach. EMA uses a powerful software tool that supports the exploration, and analysis of your design space using a fast and integrated simulation model. It evaluates alternative designs and their performance under uncertain future conditions.

In the course we demonstrate the use and added value of EMA in developing a robust design through a number of real world applications.  After theoretical introductions and practical examples you will apply these methods yourself. You will make a simple system model and use the EMA-workbench to develop a robust design.

This course is part of the NWO-UDW research project Adaptive Delta Management.

This course doesn't have a start date yet, you can show your interest in this course by clicking on the 'Reservation'-button on the right. We will keep you informed if you do so.

Designing robust infrastructures

In this course you will learn:

  • What robustness, resilience, adaptivety and flexibility mean

  • What it means to make a robust infrastructure design

  • What deep uncertainty is and how it confronts probabilistic uncertainty

  • How to develop a fit for purpose systems model

  • How to use the EMA workbench to explore your design space

  • How to arrive at a robust design

Who should join?

This course is relevant for professional engineers and policy makers working with water boards, municipalities and national government; project engineers with institutes for applied research and consultancies. The approaches presented in the course are applicable to numerous infrastructures (assets), water systems, pumping stations, flood defence systems, waste water infrastructure and treatment, water supply systems etc.Prior knowledge of Python, Excel (advanced) and/or VenSim is required.

We do not avail of a budget to support international participants.

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  • Information
    The program can be taught in English on request.
  • Program

    Concept program

    Day 1

    Jos Timmermans, Delft University of Technology

    Theory 1: Uncertainties in infrastructure systems design
    Jos Timmermans

    Real work case 1: Pumping station design under deep uncertainty. Pumping station Vissering
    Emiel van Druten, Witteveen+Bos

    Theory 2: Developing a fit for purpose simulation model
    Jos Timmermans

    Theory 3: Determining relevant uncertainties
    Jos Timmermans, Erik van Berchum, Delft University of Technology

    Theory 4: The EMA workbench – introduction and demo
    Jan Kwakkel, Delft University of Technology

    Exercise 1: gearing an existing EMA-workbench application to your application
    Jan Kwakkel, Jos Timmermans

    Day 2  

    Adaptive Delta Management
    Marjolein Haasnoot, Delft University of Technology / Deltares

    Real work case 2:  Flood protection Houston Galveston Bay
    part 1: case description and development of simulation model
    part 2: exploring the design space

    Erik van Berchum, Delft University of Technology

    Exercise 2: developing and using the EMA workbench
    Jan Kwakkel en Erik van Berchum

    Plenary evaluation of the exercise and discussion