Company Cases

Every year Het Waterbouwdispuut organizes several company cases too our sponsors offices. The main goal of these company cases is to introduce the students to the business world of hydraulic engineering.

The company cases are organized at the company’s Main Office. After a short introduction of the company, the students have to design a solution for a case about a project issue the company is/was dealing with. This way the student will get to know the company in an interactive way. After the best presentation has received its prize.

Van Oord (2014)

On the 23rd of May, the Hydraulic Engineering Student Association and contractor Van Oord organised a very exciting case.

Directly at the edge of the river Meuse, Van Oord created a brand new building with an amazing view of the water. Huge vessels sail along and the adjacent gigantic Van Brienenoord Bridge opens up every now and then to let them through. The majestic stadium De Kuip is located on the other side of the river, together creating an incredible
scene. The meeting room “North and South America” who was used the entire day gave away this spectacle for free and thus it became clear why a large part of the curtains were closed in this room.

Kees Peerlkamp, lecturer, and Joyce Moens, recruitment advisor at Van Oord, welcomed us in the morning and mr. Peerlkamp gave an explanation of his long and outstanding career. Since his retirement in 2008 he still likes to give inspiring lectures.

Hereafter all hydraulic students were asked to introduce them selves, including a short argumentation about why they subscribed to this company case.Four groups were formed to execute the case, pretending to be companies that joined the bidding. The four groups in the tender were Purple Dredgers, Delftsche Bagger Maatschappij, Dredge Masters and Dredging 4 Sustainability.

The fictitious case was about Purple Harbour, a decayed harbour that was going to be redeveloped because of urbanization. Fishery was going to be replaced for a container terminal and recreation possibilities were needed as well. All data to calculate the final bidding price was provided. It was necessary to dredge the harbour and the access channel to the depth needed for container shipping, but many obstacles had to be dealt with. Different types of material had to be dredged, which meant that specialized equipment had to be mobilized. This brought additional costs, because the equipment needed was located on the other side of the world.There were different types of equipment, with different properties. The ideal combination had to be sorted out. The lowest price was calculated that had to perform the job.

During the day, Van Oord provided an incredible lunch with nice sandwiches and interesting discussions. After the lunch we were able to use the simulators where Van Oord employees train. We tried the amazing equipment ourselves and realized that it is quite a hard job to operate such machinery; fortunately some of the simulating equipment had a button to switch it in automatic mode.

Mr. Peerlkamp discussed the separate assignments in of the case thoroughly during the day, with a lot of enthusiasm. Eventually all four companies came to their bidding price. This was evaluated with the whole group. Comparing the results with his calculations, differences were clearly noticed. Some of the tender prices were much too low and he clearly expressed his doubts, whether it would be possible for that kind of amount.

At the end of the day we went to the central lobby of the building for some nice drinks and delightful snacks. A couple of trainees of Van Oord joined us and mr. Peerlkamp awarded the project to the Purple Dredgers. Obviously the project didn’t exist, but to compensate this, all team members of the Purple Dredgers received an incredible 1,000-pieces
puzzle with the Palm Jumeirah project of Van Oord on it.

Van Oord (2012)

Van Oord invited us to their new head office in Rotterdam for a company case. After a welcoming cup of coffee, we got a presentation about the company Van Oord. An overview of their dredging equipment and the recent activities of van Oord was given.  It was nice to see how a huge dredging company as Van Oord actually works so well and what the different aspects of this company were.

The case we had to solve was about an imaginary harbour development, called Purple Beach. We had to find out how all the different aspects of a project have an impact. Subjects like different stakeholders, materials and equipment were treated.

Afterwards, Van Oord organised some drinks. This was a great way to discuss the final matters of the case, to talk about what we had done and learned that day and to connect with the employees. After all this had been a nice