Every year the StuCo (Study tour Committee), a committee of Het Waterbouwdispuut, organizes a study tour for students of the Master Hydraulic Engineering at the Delft University of Technology. The study tour has a duration of about two weeks and always takes place during the summer holidays. The purpose of this tour is to give students the opportunity to get in touch with the practical side of their studies, to meet hydraulic orientated companies, and of course to learn from the different perspectives and visions on hydraulic related issues in foreign countries. Locations of previous tours were: China, Russia, Vietnam, Brazil and Indonesia.
During the tour the participants, accompanied by one or two representatives of the TU Delft, will visit companies (both foreign as Dutch), universities, construction sites and remarkable hydraulic structures. In addition to these study-related activities there will always be some time to experience the foreign culture and entertain themselves
Last summer ‘Het Waterbouwdispuut’ went to China for the yearly study trip.
The goal of the organization was to get a good impression of all different aspects
of hydraulic engineering in the Shanghai area, while also getting a taste of the culture and nature.
The trip started early, on Sunday 28th of July, at the railway station in Delft. With
sixteen students, professor Jonkman and Phd student Qian Ke, we travelled to
Shanghai. Our “rst destination was the city of Shanghai itself. After a day of getting
used to the extreme hot weather, we started on Tuesday with a trip to the
deep sea port. This port is connected to the land with a 32,5 km long bridge. It
was a special trip because a group of Chinese students joined us. With the same
group we visited the SKLEC university and had a fantastic diner that night. The
next day was, again, full of hydraulic engineering. First there was the Estuarine
research centre. Where the largest scale model of the world is located. It is a
model of the Yangtze Estuary. We also visited a sea dike, a very good plan of
professor Jonkman to walk with extremely high temperatures in the sun. The
afternoon of Wednesday we visited the Dutch embassy to listen what all the
Dutch people can do in China. It was very interesting to hear what the great
possibilities are in China. It was not only hydraulic engineering in China, we
explored the city as well, climbing the enormous skyscrapers. On our last day in
Shanghai we visited the Shanghai Water Authority to see what Shanghai is doing
against !ooding and how everything is controlled. We were in conference
nobody can imagine the size of it, it was very impressing.
The second city we visited was Nanjing. We arrived on Saturday. Nanjing was
very different from Shanghai and in our opinion much more Chinese. The first
day we settled, the second day we went sightseeing on the mountain and the
lake. The highlight of that day was the teppenyaki cuisine what was very successful.
Monday was the day to also get to know the hydraulic engineering in
Nanjing. First we went to the Nanjing Hydraulic Research Centre, this was an
enormous research centre with a variety of scale models. For us it was hard to
imagine such a thing in the Netherlands. After the research centre we visited
the Hohai university, a sluice and a museum about water in Nanjing. It was one
of the nicest days of the trip. Of course we had an excellent diner that night
with the head of the university.
Our last destination of the trip was in Hangzhou. We arrived on Tuesday morning.
In the afternoon we visited the Zhejang Laboratory where we, once more,
were impressed by the large size of the scale models of projects such as the
largest bridge in the World, the Jiaozhou Bay Bridge. At night we went to the
West Lake, a very nice park in Hangzhou where we watched the sunset. The
next day we visited the tidal bore. A phenomenon where we had only heard of
in our lectures, but this day we got to see it with our own eyes. And it was very
impressing, where you “rst heard the tidal bore, you saw it later on. Also seeing
and passing us was impressive.
On Thursday we headed back for the Netherlands. It was a very full schedule,
but we saw everything we want to see. The trip was a nice mix of hydraulic engineering
and culture. For most of us it was the “rst time in China and for sure
not the last time.
This year a group of 17 students are accompanied by Prof Wang and PhD te Slaa, to explore the fascinating hydraulic world of Vietnam.
After a long flight to Ho Chi Minh City and a short night sleep we started our first day with a visit to the Cu Chi tunnels. The narrow tunnels and fierce traps gave us an impression about how life was in the Vietnam War. The propaganda video they showed us how proud they are on their victory over the USA. After some of us fired at the shooting range we headed to Witteveen+Bos. We were welcomed by Hans Kriele who gave us a presentation about the difference between working abroad and working in the Netherlands. He also told us how to set up a company and how the acquisition works in Vietnam. Although he wasn’t always optimistic he assured us working abroad would be a great experience for anyone.
The next day we visited Vung Tau with a group of Vietnamese students. The fieldtrip was organized by Royal Haskoning in cooperation with DHV and Deltares. After a very fast boat ride with a hydrofoil, we climbed up a steep hill to visit a Jesus statue and to watch the beautiful view from there. After the exhausting climb we were treated lunch, in Vietnam it’s a custom to drink at business lunches, so before we could make a choice the whole table was full of beers at eleven in the morning. After several ‘Một hai ba yo’ with the Vietnamese students and professors we visited the SSIT (a container terminal). After a short presentation we went up the cranes, to our surprise the operator of the crane said ‘yes’ when we asked whether we could operate the crane ourselves.
Our third day in Ho Chi Minh City we had a company case, we teamed up with same student as the day before and made some very interesting plans for HCMCAfter the company case we visited the consul general’s residence, met the whole Haskoning office staff in HCMC, went to a karaoke bar with an exclusive performance from prof. Wang and partied in the Apocalypse Now.
After these days of study it was time for some cultural highlights, we went to the war remnants museum, where we saw the horrific consequences of Agent Orange. At the end of the day we took the night train to Nha Trang.
Very early in the morning and far too late on schedule, we arrived in Nha Trang, were we went on a boat trip to several islands and had a very cozy happy hour/floating bar with sexy dancer (which in fact was a dancing fat guy with cups of water vacuumed on his nipples). After this show we could finally have a good night sleep and while most of us slept till late some students managed to squeeze a diving trip in the schedule. The rest of the day we took the train to Hoi An.
In Hoi An Steven te Slaa guided us through the old town, after a short but hot walk some of us fitted some clothes or went to the beach. In the evening Steven celebrated his birthday.
The second day in Hoi An we went to the My Son temples on motor bikes, the temples were used as a weapon depot/hide-out by the Viet Cong and where therefor bombed by the Americans, now only ruin remain. On the way back we took a detour with our motor bikes, we crossed a river on a tiny ferry, went to a waterfall and we ended up in a sandstorm. In the evening a bus took us to Hue.
In Hue the best way to travel was on the water, so we took a Dragon boat to a pagoda, a Buddhist temple and we were dropped off at the forbidden palace. We had to take the night train again, but this time we were well prepared, we bought some coolers, ice and things to drink. The night train arrived at six in the morning at Hanoi, so after a breakfast we went to the mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh. In the afternoon we visited the Water Resources University (WRU), after a presentation about the curriculum we headed to their water lab and library.
The next day we got up early and took the 2-day boat trip in Ha Long Bay, it is one of the 7 natural world wonders. We discussed on how the limestone islands were formed and only agreed it was not like local legend says; carved by dragons. Ha Long Bay is beautiful and after the wrecking two weeks we had two days of relaxing on the boat.
In our last full day in Vietnam we, together with Ms Hue, Mr Cong and Trung from the WRU, visited the Hao Binh Dam. We got a tour about how the dam was constructed, why they made these choices and the plans they have for some several new dams upstream. We burned some incense for the employees who died during the construction and then headed back to Hanoi. Early in the morning we flew back to HCMC where the group split up, some of us going back home, some of us staying.
Het Waterbouwdispuut wants to thank, the two mentors who have put up with us for two weeks (prof. Wang and Steven te Slaa), all the students who made it such an success and of course a special thanks to the study tour committee (the Stuco: Linde de Jongh, Thijs Lukkezen, Kevin Watte and Jonas Harding) for putting together such an awesome trip.