In the Strategic Directions Distinguished Lecture webinar series, the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) brings together professionals, educators, and students to discuss the important issues that affect all of our communities around the world. The meeting this past Friday focused on adaptation and highlighted different ways communities may adapt to rising sea levels, and which potential solutions offer the most plausible long-term benefits.
The first part of the meeting consisted of an in-depth presentation from our speaker, Bas Jonkman. Jonkman is a professor at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, and he joined us to provide an overview of his own research on this issue. The presentation mainly focused on The Netherlands and how the country is rethinking its methods of flood control and prevention. Many possibilities of dams and gates are already in existence today, so the main concern is whether they will continue to function properly under increased use and strain due to the rising oceans. Additionally, Jonkman explored how existing structures could be improved, the financial projections for the expansion projects, and a rough estimate on the timeline for each to be constructed.
The second half of the meeting was a Q&A section with the panel guests. The panel consisted of Louis Armstrong, the president and CEO of Kleinfelder; Jane McKee Smith, Emiratis research scientist for the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering; and Okey Nwogu, the president of Omega Hydrodynamics Research and recently retired from serving as a professor at the University of Michigan Department of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering. The panel discussion consisted of questions that were submitted in advance of the webinar. Each panelist provided different perspectives on each issue or inquiry.
U-M CEE is proud to host the Distinguished Lecture series and looks forward to more discussions in the future with students, staff and faculty. We appreciate all the information and guidance our special guests provided. The next Distinguished Lecture series webinar and panel discussion happens on Feb. 8 and will focus on the Human Habitat Experience. Registration links will be made available soon. We look forward to joining everyone in the next meeting.