ir. M.R.A. Gensen (Matthijs)

PhD Candidate

About Me

In 2014 I attained my Bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering at the University of Twente. I performed my BSc thesis at the University of Tasmania on the topic of flood risk in eastern Australia under climate variability and climate change. In march 2017 I attained a Master's degree in Hydraulic engineering from the Technical University of Delft. Since September 2017 I am employed at the University of Twente as a PhD candidate. I am working in the Marine and Fluvial Systems group of the Water Engineering and Management department. My research is on large-scale uncertainties in river water levels.



El Nino-Southern Oscillation
Pacific Decadal Oscillation


My research focusses on the modelling of water level uncertainty in river systems. Water levels determine the main dynamic load on the 1430 km river dikes in the Netherlands. In January 2017, the new risk-based flood protection policy was adopted by the Dutch government. This policy implies that flood defence safety no longer depends on a single water level. Instead, the full range of possible water levels now control flood defence safety. This requires new insight in the probability of occurrence of water levels in the Dutch rivers. Large-scale river interventions have been carried out, but their hydraulic effects were studied only deterministically, in spite of inherent uncertainty. This uncertainty is dominated by the discharge distribution over the river branches at bifurcation points, which is in turn influenced by regulation structures, large-scale roughness of river branches due to bed form dynamics and river interventions. Knowledge of their effects on water levels is essential in future planning of river interventions for flood defence reliability.

The goal of this project is to quantify and possibly reduce the water level uncertainty in a bifurcating river system for a range of water levels to support more accurate and robust dike designs and improved management strategies for the river system. Uncertainty analysis methods are applied to quantify and propagate the main uncertainty sources to the water levels. This project focusses on the combined effect of natural processes and large-scale river interventions to improve river maintenance strategies.


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Visiting Address

University of Twente
Faculty of Engineering Technology
Horst Complex (building no. 20), room W202
De Horst 2
7522LW  Enschede
The Netherlands

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Mailing Address

University of Twente
Faculty of Engineering Technology
Horst Complex  W202
P.O. Box 217
7500 AE Enschede
The Netherlands

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