From 2002 Prof. dr. Suzanne J.M.H. Hulscher is head of the group Water Engineering & Management. She received her PhD-grade in 1996 at the faculty Physics and Astronomy, on the topic modelling of bed patterns in coastal seas. The research was conducted at WL|Delft Hydraulics and IMAU, Utrecht University. Hereafter she held several scientific positions within the Cluster Civil Engineering & Management at the University of Twente, from 2002 she holds the chair Physics of Watersystems. As guest scientist she stayed in Canada and Spain. In 2002 she won the Minerva-award of FOM (Fundamental Research on Matter). In 2003, she was awarded a VICI-grant of the NWO (Dutch organization of scientific research) to investigate roughness modelling for water management applications. Hereafter (2006-2011) she was invited to join the DJA (young senior scientists) of the KNAW (Dutch academy of sciences) and the KNAW council for earth and climate. From 2007-2010 Hulscher was part of the Dutch Innovation Platform, chaired by Balkenende (former Dutch prime minister). Prof. Hulscher acted 40 times as promotor and she supervises 15 PhD students. From 2009 till 2012 prof. Hulscher was member of the committee of sciences & innovation (Commissie van Wijzen). Hulscher chairs the scientific advisory board of the Waddenacademie. Hulscher was member of the committees on the Hedwige polder and the closure barrier IJsselmeer, advising the Dutch government. Hulscher is PI of many STW and ALW projects on sand waves, coastal dunes and river dunes, often collaborating with TUD, UU, WUR, NIOZ and RU in a multi-disciplinary setting. In particular, Hulscher chaired the STW-perspective programme RiverCare in which 5 universities and 29 non-academic partners collaborate. Hulscher is (co-)author of 163 papers in refereed scientific journals (Web of Science) and she chaired the

conferences MARID (2004) and RCEM (2007). During 2014-2016 Hulscher was member of the Board of NWO-ALW. STW appointed Suzanne Hulscher to Simon Stevin Meester in 2016, the highest award in the Technical Sciences in the Netherlands. From 2017 onwards Hulscher is elected member of the KNAW (Dutch academy of sciences). Suzanne Hulscher is kernel-member of the ENW (expertise network on watersafety) and chair the ENW-workgroup  Rivers. In 2019 Suzanne Hulscher started part-time as counsil member of the WRR (Scientific council for Governmental Policy).


  • M.Sc. Theoretical Physics, with Mathematics as a minor, University of Utrecht, 1991
  • Ph.D. Physical Oceanography, University of Utrecht, 1996


  • 2002-pres: Full professor in Water Engineering & Management, inparticular Watersystems, Group leader of Water Engineering & Management, Department of Civil Enigneering, Faculty of Engineering Technology, University of Twente (1,0 fte).
  • 2001-2002: Associate Professor in Marine Dynamics, Group of Water Engineering & Management, Department of Civil Enigneering, Faculty of Engineering Technology, University of Twente (1,0 fte). From April 1st, 2002 ad-interim Group leader of Water Engineering & Management (1,0 fte).
  • 1999-2001: Assistant Professor, Group of Integrated Modelling, Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Technology & Management, University of Twente (0.6 fte). Researcher (postdoc), Group of Integrated Modelling, Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Technology & Management, University of Twente (0.4 fte).
  • 1996-1999: Researcher (postdoc), Group of Integrated Modelling, Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Technology & Management, University of Twente (1.0 fte).
  • 1991-1996: Project engineer WL|Delft Hydraulics, Marknesse, The Netherlands (0.6 fte). Junior researcher IMAU, Utrecht University (0.4 fte).


  • Earth and Planetary Sciences

    • Model
    • Investigation
    • River
    • Flood
    • Bed
    • Wave
    • Dune
    • Sand Wave


Ancillary activities

  • Scientific council waddenacademieChair
  • WRR (wetenschappelijke raad voor het regeringsbeleid, scientific council for governmental policy)Council member
  • committee sectorplannen beta&techniekMember
  • RWSENW (expert network on flood saferty) kernel member and chair river group
  • raad civiele techniek Civil Engineering Council (raad civiele techniek)
  • technical university of viennamember Advisory Board Vienna Doctoral Programme on Water Resource Systems

In 2002, I became head of the group Water Engineering & Management, University of Twente. I hold the chair Marine and Fluvial Systems (MFS). Originally I was trained as a theoretical physicist (Utrecht University). During the PhD (partly at Physical Oceanography Utrecht University, partly Deltares) my focus was on physics of coastal seas. Nowadays, the research group I lead applies analytical and simulation techniques often supported by field or laboratory data to study the dynamics of rivers, coastal areas and offshore, from a civil engineering point of view. My research group gains knowledge of these water systems in order to predict the consequences of human interferences, including building with nature solutions as the sand engine and room for the river measures (flooding, sediment transport, etc.). This is done by analysis of field measurements, laboratory experiments, idealised modelling and complex modelling.

MFS devised a method for modelling human interferences in a morphodynamic setting. This opened perspectives for a new approach towards modelling large-scale sand mining in shallow seas. We have been studying the use of morphodynamical models in a societal context. This resulted in cooperations with social scientists, e.g on safety of coastal dunes, from physical as well as economical perspective.

I first tested earlier theoretical results against real-life observations and showed that bed patterns in the North Sea can be explained as free instabilities. Next, I initiated extended modelling of sandwave dynamics, so that we were the first in developing a fully nonlinear model of finite-amplitude sandwaves, taking a process-based simulation approach as well as a complex modelling approach.

In rivers we made idealized models for river dunes, as well as modelling the transition from dunes to upper stage plane bed, in which river dunes are washed out, which increasingly might occur in rivers due to climate change. I initiated working on modelling biogeomorphology in seas, estuaries, and rivers. We pioneered in modelling the effects of benthos in the marine sea bed and MFS is the first with a fully coupled biogeomorphological model for offshore sand waves and benthos.

Based on laboratory experiments we derived sediment transport formulations for rivers and coastal areas which are used all over the world.

I initiated writing (inter)national research proposals resulting in strong involvement of, and collaboration with, coastal and river managers, engineers and scientists from various disciplines, e.g. biologists, social scientists, mathematicians. I largely invested in creating a good research atmosphere in my group, stimulating internal cooperation, international research exchange, initiating several series of research talks, organising (inter)national conferences and involving MSc-students in our research. We have a highly diverse team (gender, continent, scientific specialisation).


Practical modelling of sand transport and beach profile evolution in the swash zoneCoastal engineering, 191, Article 104514. Chen, W., van der Werf, J. J. & Hulscher, S. J. M. H. of free surface modelling and wave-breaking turbulence on depth-resolved modelling of sediment transport in the swash zoneCoastal engineering, 191, Article 104519. Kranenborg, J. W. M., Campmans, G. H. P., van der Werf, J. J., McCall, R. T., Reniers, A. J. H. M. & Hulscher, S. J. M. H. estuarine sand dunes. University of Twente. van der Sande, W. M. Form Roughness Induced by Tidal Sand WavesJournal of geophysical research: Earth surface, 129(5), Article e2023JF007610. Portos‐Amill, L., Roos, P. C., Damveld, J. H. & Hulscher, S. J. M. H. and forecasting low flow river dune dynamics in a highly engineered lowland river. University of Twente. Lokin, L. importance of time-varying, non-tidal currents in modelling in-situ sand wave dynamicsCoastal engineering, 189, Article 104480. Overes, P. H. P., Borsje, B. W., Luijendijk, A. P. & Hulscher, S. J. M. H. the Cross‐Sectional Dynamics of Tidal Sandbanks in Sediment‐Scarce ConditionsJournal of geophysical research: Earth surface, 129(4), Article e2023JF007308. van Veelen, T. J., Roos, P. C. & Hulscher, S. J. M. H. experiments of vegetation-induced sediment resuspension under combined wave-current flows. van Veelen, T., Nepf, H. M., Hulscher, S. J. M. H. & Borsje, B. W. of sand, silt, and clay in the morphodynamics of mixed sediment environments. Miranda, P., van der Werf, J. J. & Hulscher, S. J. M. H.Modelling in-situ sand wave dynamics for offshore engineering activities: the role of slope-induced transport. Overes, P. H. P., Borsje, B. W., Luijendijk, A. P. & Hulscher, S. J. M. H. sand wave-induced form roughness:: The complexity of a tidal setting. Portos - Amill, L., Roos, P. C., Damveld, J. & Hulscher, S. J. M. H. entrainment from bathymetric depressions:: A CFD analysis from a laboratory cavity to a scour hole in the Haringvliet estuary. Almohagry, A. A., O'Mahoney, T., Ebrahimierami, F., Kitsikoudis, V. & Hulscher, S. J. M. H. Influence of Estuarine Sand Dunes on Salt Intrusion. Geerts, S. J., van der Sande, W. M., Hulscher, S. J. M. H., Geurts, B. J. & Roos, P. C. sand dunes as a nature-based solution against salt intrusion:: an idealised morphostatic model approach, 55-56. Geerts, S. J., van der Sande, W. M., Hulscher, S. J. M. H., Geurts, B. J. & Roos, P. C. mesh set-up increase accuracy of discharge capacity representation for water level prediction, 62-63. Khorsandi Kuhanestani, P., Bomers, A., Booij, M. J., Warmink, J. J. & Hulscher, S. J. M. H. computation of dike breach growth and outflow, 64-65. Besseling, L., Bomers, A., Warmink, J. J. & Hulscher, S. J. M. H. the long-term dynamics of scour holes in lowland rivers, 86-87. Oldenhof, M., Bomers, A. & Hulscher, S. J. M. H.Action perspectives on climate extremes in the Dutch river system: system-level impacts and mitigation strategies, 120-121. Welsch, N., Warmink, J. J., Augustijn, D. C. M. & Hulscher, S. J. M. H.Large-Scale Sand Extraction on the Netherlands Continental Shelf: a Surfacial Wound or a Deep Scar?. Ploeg, W., Roos, P. C., Borsje, B. W. & Hulscher, S. J. M. H. variation in Dutch Wadden Sea salt marshes and nature-based coastal flood protection by Living Dikes, 94-95. Sipma, E. B., Warmink, J. J., Duong, T. M. & Hulscher, S. J. M. H. vegetation altering currents in the Scheldt estuary. Bootsma, J., Borsje, B. W., van der Wal, D. & Hulscher, S. J. M. H. we really have the right tree in our freshwater floodplain forests?, 109-110. Saccon, E., Hulscher, S. J. M. H., Bouma, T. J. & van de Koppel, J.Action perspectives on climate extrems in the Dutch river system: system-level impacts and mitigation strategies, 120-121. Welsch, N., Warmink, J. J., Augustijn, D. C. M. & Hulscher, S. J. M. H.

Research profiles

Master's (Doctoraal)

University/College of Higher Education: Utrecht University, Faculty of Physics and Astronomy
Date: June 24th, 1991
Main subject: Theoretical Physics, Field Theory

Extra first year certificate (Propedeuse)

University/College of Higher Education: Utrecht University, Faculty of Languages
Date: August 30th, 1988
Programme: Dutch Language and Literature


University/College of Higher Education: Utrecht University, Faculty of Physics and Astronomy
Date: November 20th, 1996
Supervisors (Promotors): Prof. De Ruijter, Prof. De Vriend, Dr. De Swart
Title of thesis: Formation and Migration of large-scale, rhythmic sea-bed patterns: a stability approach


For a list of MSc projects please visit our department's website:

Affiliated study programs

Courses academic year 2023/2024

Courses in the current academic year are added at the moment they are finalised in the Osiris system. Therefore it is possible that the list is not yet complete for the whole academic year.

Courses academic year 2022/2023

Current projects

2020-2024 Efficient modelling of ecomorphodynamcis in estuaries to evaluate salt-intrusion solutions

Siemes (PhD), Hulscher (Promoter), Duong, Borsje

2021-2025 Salt accumulation at floodgates and salt-water intrusion in rivers

Ebrahimierami (PhD), Hulscher (Promoter), Vermeulen (Co-promoter), Kitsikoudis

2018-2022 Sand transport in the swash zone

Dionisio Antonio (PhD), Hulscher (Promoter), van der Werf, Vermeulen

2018-2022 Numerical modelling of cross-shore sand transport in the swash zone

Kranenborg (PhD), Hulscher (Promoter), Reniers, van der Werf, Campmans

2017-2021 Experimental study on wave-overtopping erosion for flood defence reliability

Chen (PhD), Hulscher (Promoter), Warmink, van Gent

2017-2021 Large-scale uncertainty in river water levels for flood defence reliability

Gensen (PhD), Hulscher (Promoter), Warmink

2017-2021 Modelling of wave overtopping erosion for flood defence reliability

Van Bergeijk (PhD), Hulscher (Promoter), Warmink

2017-2021 WADSnext! Morphodynamic modelling tools for the sustainable management of barrier coasts

Reef (PhD), Hulscher (Promoter), Roos, Schuttelaars

2016-2020 Towards sustainable nourishment strategies; How environmental processes determine benthic species distribution in the shore face and ebb tidal delta

Holzhauer (PhD), Hulscher (Promoter), Borsje

2015-2019 Floodplain rehabilitation: Linking processes to landscape patterns

Harezlak (PhD), Hulscher (Promoter), Augustijn

2019-2023 Idealized modeling of estuarine sand dunes

Van der Sande (PhD), Hulscher (Promoter), Roos

2018-2022 Airflow and sediment transport patterns across urbanized beaches

Pourteimouri (PhD), Hulscher (Promoter), Wijnberg, Campmans

2020-2024 River dune dynamics under high and low flows

Lokin (PhD), Hulscher (Promotor), Warmink, Bomers

2021-2025 Mapping and modelling ecosystem engineering activities and their response to salt intrusion in estuaries

Emmanuel (PhD), Hulscher (Promoter), Van der Wal (Co-promoter), Borsje

Finished projects

2013-2017 Aeolian and hydrodynamic sand exchange across beaches

Duarte Campos (PhD), Hulscher (Promotor), Wijnberg

2012-2016 Safety assessment of multifunctional flood defences [PhD thesis]

Aguilar López (PhD), Hulscher (Promotor), Warmink , Schielen

2012-2016 Sand Transport under Breaking Waves

Van der Zanden (PhD), Hulscher (Promotor), Ribberink

2011-2015 Sand Extraction and coastal safety (SEACOS)

Chen Wenlong (PhD), Hulscher (Promotor)

2010-2014 River bed form evolution modelling for flood management purposes; River dune evolution and the transition to plane beds

van Duin (PhD), Hulscher (Promotor), Dohmen, Ribberink, Sterlini, Paarlberg


Hommes (PhD), Hulscher (Promotor), Bressers, Otter, Krol

2004-2009 A semi-analytical modelfor form dragof river bedforms

van der Mark (PhD), Hulscher (Promotor), Hoeijmakers, Blom, Ribberink

2004 - 2009 Coastal zone management of Banda Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia

Meilianda (PhD), Dohmen-Janssen, Hulscher (Promotor)

2003 - 2007 Dynamic roughness in rivers during floods

Paarlberg (PhD), Dohmen-Janssen, Hulscher (Promotor)

2003 - 2007 Modelling vegetation roughness for river basin management

Huthoff (PhD), Augustijn, Hulscher (Promotor)

2003 - 2007 Geographical information system of the North sea

van der Veen, Knaapen, Buijsrogge, Hulscher

2002 - 2005 European marine sand and gravel resources: evaluation and environmental impact of extraction

Idier, Knaapen, Hulscher

2001 - 2005 Appropriate modelling for river basin management

Huang, de Kok, Hulscher

2001 - 2005 Methodology for validation of integrated systems models

Giang (PhD), de Kok, Hulscher (Promotor)

2001 - 2005 Sediment transport processes in the ripple regime on the shoreface

van der Werf, Ribberink, Hulscher

2000 - 2005 Flood waves in the Dutch Meuse River [PhD thesis]

Gerretsen (PhD), Hulscher (Promotor)

2000 - 2004 Decision support systems for river basin management

Xu, Booij, Hulscher

2000 - 2004 Offshore sand extraction – morphodynamic effects in relation to seabed patterns

Roos (PhD), Hulscher (Promotor), de Vriend

2015-2019 Floods of the past – Design for the future

Bomers (PhD), Hulscher (Promoter), Schielen

2010-2014 River bed form evolution modelling for flood management purposes; On the influence of suspended sediment transport on dune evolution

Naqshband (PhD), Hulscher (Promotor), Dohmen, Ribberink, Sterlini, Paarlberg

2010-2014 Turbidity Dynamics in Lake Naivasha Ecosystem

Ndungu (PhD), Hulscher (Promotor)

2009-2013 Short term biophysical interactions in coastal mangroves

Horstman (PhD), Hulscher (Promotor), Dohmen, Bouma, Herman, Webb, Friess, Galli, Balke

2008-2012 Process based modelling of sediment transport under waves in the sheet-flow regime

Kranenburg (PhD), Hulscher (Promotor), Ribberink, Uittenbogaard

2008-2012 Applying Dutch water expertise abroad; how to contribute effectively in the Romanian context

Vinke (PhD), Hulscher (Promotor), Augustijn, Bressers

2007-2012 Uncovering inherent dynamics in coupled bio-geomorphodynamic systems offshore

Borsje (PhD), Hulscher (Promotor), Herman

2005-2010 Congruent scales in economics, coastal engineering and coastal morphology

van der Burgh (PhD), Hulscher (Promotor), Wijnberg

2015-2019 Improving river management by estimating model uncertainty

Berends (PhD), Hulscher (Promoter), Warmink

2014-2018 The dynamics of side channels as rehabilitation measure: linking theory and practice

Denderen(PhD), Hulscher (Promotor), Schielen

2014-2018 Beach-dune systems near inlets: linking subtidal and subaerial morphodynamics

Galiforni Silva (PhD), Hulscher (Promotor), Wijnberg

2014-2018 Modeling the effect of storm events and wind waves on sand wave dynamics

Campmans (PhD), Hulscher (Promotor), Roos

2015-2019 Smart and sustainable design for offshore operations in a sandy seabed

Damveld (PhD), Hulscher (Promoter), Roos, Borsje

2015-2019 Uncertainty in long-term bio-geomorphological dynamics for vegetated foreshores

Willemsen (PhD), Hulscher (Promoter), Borsje

2015-2019 Optimizing operational water management with sentinel-1 satellites

Pezij (PhD), Hulscher (Promoter), Augustijn, Hendriks


University of Twente

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De Horst 2
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