Build your own coastal defence and visit the Netherlands

Do you want to win a trip to the Netherlands to visit HZ University of Applied Sciences and the world-famous Storm Surge Barrier on the Eastern-Scheldt? All you need to do is take part in this civil engineering project with your physics class by building your own coastal defence. Who knows it may be yóu going on this trip in early 2019!
Coastal defence? What’s that you may ask yourself? Well, the largest part of the Netherlands lies below sea level, so we need to defend our coasts by embankments. That’s how we became so good at building them and now we transport our civil engineering knowledge around the world. As sea levels are rising and hurricanes are becoming more powerful, lots of countries are now threatened by floodings. We’ve seen the devastating pictures in the news. Ireland will not be spared, so you’d better be prepared.

What do you have to do?
1. Design a coastal defence together with 10 of your classmates and your physics teacher (more groups per class may send in their contest)
2. Create this embankment by using a container of water. Pump or empty out one side of the container so half of it falls dry. You can use a larger mortar tub, an inflatable swimming pool, a ditch, a pond. Use your imagination!
3. Make a video (no more than 5 minutes) in which you show how you created your embankment. Explain how it works and how it stops the water.
4. Upload the video to YouTube before 15 January 2019.
5. Fill in the form on this webpage.
6. Sit back and relax.

Based on your entries from all the secondary schools in Ireland, the HZ Civil Engineering lecturers will choose the winners. Originality, technical details, enthusiasm are the aspects they will look for.

HZ University of Applied Sciences
You are offered this challenge by HZ University of Applied Sciences, a university located in the South-West of the Netherlands nearby the Storm Surge Barrier. Some 4,800 (international) students are studying at HZ, which makes us a small university with a personal approach. We offer seven Bachelor programmes and one Master in English. For the past six years we have been in the top three of Dutch multidisciplinary universities of applied sciences so our study programmes are of excellent quality.

Civil Engineering Programme
Are you interested in contributing to the construction of the largest lock project in the world? In determining how high and how strong embankments should be to ensure flooding does not take place? Or would you like to make sure that people and animals can continue to live safely near coasts and rivers despite climate change? If your answer is ‘yes’ to the questions above, the Civil Engineering programme at HZ may be the right choice for you!

The programme focuses on practice-based education and research opportunities. Our close cooperation with the (international) business world, various research centres, and our global network of partner universities is very important. During your classes you work on real-life problems so that you provide practical experiences and skills. After graduation a world of opportunities will open up to you, also because the Dutchies are world famous because for their delta technology knowledge! Want to know more about HZ and the Civil Engineering Programme? Visit for more information and the Open Days. 

Join the challenge