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Dredging professionals focus on innovative dredging solutions in Rotterdam


Nearly 250 members of the dredging community gathered at Ahoy Rotterdam, the Netherlands, on 5-6 November, for this year’s CEDA Dredging Days. Dredging professionals, young, established and expert, assembled to exchange the latest ideas, knowledge and best practice, at a packed event. In keeping with CEDA’s remit, papers were of a high technical level however the event wasn’t all work and no play. There was reportedly a great atmosphere, both in the conference and the exhibition halls, and there were plenty of opportunities for delegates to network with their peers.

Anna Csiti, General Manager CEDA and a member of the Programme Committee, said “This is always an important event for CEDA members, and the dredging community, and this occasion has been no exception. There was a real buzz at the event. The conference rooms were packed, the exhibition floor was busy, and there was a really good crowd. We are very pleased with how CEDA Dredging Days 2015 has gone.”

There were many highlights in the packed programme which included 25 peer-reviewed technical papers by experts from a range of countries. “It was all very useful and relevant for us” said Teresa Sá Pereira from Port of Lisbon Authority.

Highlights of the conference sessions included an informative keynote speech, by Tiedo Vellinga, Professor of Ports and Waterways, Delft University of Technology and Director Environmental Monitoring Maasvlakte 2 - Port of Rotterdam, who kicked off the event with a discussion on implementing sustainable design solutions in port development.

In a featured presentation Gerard van Raalte, Hydrodynamic and Ida Brøker, DHI chairs of the CEDA working groups on Adaptive Environmental Management and Environmental Monitoring (respectively), highlighted the main messages of the two closely related CEDA papers on the subject. “It’s amazing how quickly the concept Adaptive Management is finding its way in the profession” said Gerard van Raalte after the conference. “What is needed now is guidance on how to apply it” he continued.

In addition in a lively and highly engaging session, working on the fictitious dredging case of the City of Loof, designed to mirror real-life challenges, the audience explored what makes a dredging project sustainable. “Everyone I talked to loved it” said Mark Bollen, IMDC, one of the members of the expert panel, as he reflected on the solutions offered by the audience to the City.

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The International Associations Young Authors’ Award was given to Rudy Helmons of the Delft University of Technology for his paper entitled Modeling the effect of water depth on rock cutting processes with the use of discrete element method”.

As part of the programme, young professionals were treated to the Young CEDA Pitch Talks. Chaired by A de Heer, Witteveen+Bos and Chairman of Young CEDA, the session impressed everyone. With an eye on the future of the dredging profession 60 promising graduate and post-graduate delegates were given funding to attend the event as part of the Young CEDA Student Programme.

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In addition to encouraging young entrants to the industry, CEDA Dredging Days is widely considered to be an invaluable forum for leading researchers and industry experts to discuss and share dredging challenges, solutions and experiences. Dredging and the management of sediments are key elements in the sustainable development and operation of most ports. By focussing on innovative dredging solutions for ports CEDA Dredging Days 2015 has gone some way to furthering the debate.

To complement the technical programme, the exhibition floor was a busy place during the session breaks and enjoyed by both delegates and exhibitors alike.  “We made lots of new contacts here” said exhibitor Markus Uhle, of admodus® Maritime Devices.

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This year’s technical visit was to two project sites of the Dutch Water Programme ‘Room for the River’ at Overdiep and Munnikenland. Pieter de Boer, from Rijkswaterstaat, and experts from the waterboards and contractors, were on hand to explain the various solutions used to protect people, and land, from extreme flooding while improving the overall environmental quality in the river region.

The technical sessions, dredging exhibition and the popular CEDA-Netherlands Reception, all combined to make it a successful event that will have far-reaching benefits for the industry. Delegate Roderik Hoekstra from Deltares said “I enjoyed it. I can’t wait for the next one...But I have to go home first…”

The conference proceedings, including all presented papers, are available from the CEDA Secretariat (€ 95 for CEDA Members and € 129 for non-members).  From 15 December 2015 CEDA members will get free access to all papers through the CEDA website: (Click Resources > CEDA publications online > Conference Proceedings)