General description

Deltares ( is an independent institute for applied water research. Throughout the world, DEL works on smart solutions, innovations and applications for people, environment and society. The main focus is on deltas, coastal regions and river basins. Managing these densely populated and vulnerable areas is complex, which is why we work closely with governments, businesses, other research institutes and universities at home and abroad. As an applied research institute, the success of Deltares can be measured in the extent to which our expert knowledge can be used in and for society. Furthermore, we believe in openness and transparency, as is evident from the free availability of our software and models. Open source works; this is our firm conviction. Deltares employs over 800 people and is based in Delft and Utrecht.

Key Persons and Expertise

Dick Vethaak current research interests include fate and effects of emerging contaminants, chemical mixtures, and plastic debris of all sizes. He was recently involved in various national and EU-funded projects on marine and riverine litter and microplastics. He is a member of GESAMP WG 40 on microplastics and assists the UN in their Second World Ocean Assessment on marine litter. Currently, he supervises several PhD students on microplastic research and works in projects funded by ZonMw on Microplastics and Health.  He is advising and briefing on risks of plastic pollution for national governments, NGOs, and international organisations. Dick’s work is frequently mentioned in national and international media.

Frans Buschman combined insights from field data and model results to maximize the understanding of the dynamics in an Indonesian estuary with several junctions during his PhD research. He is working on projects about salt intrusion in (river) channels, such as the ‘Noordzeekanaal’ and ‘Amsterdam-Rijnkanaal’ around Amsterdam, and on the transport and fate of macro- and microplastics in rivers. He aims to understand the processes that are responsible for the transport and the distribution of plastics in a river. Considering the removal of plastics from rivers, he advised where in a river a device can be placed best in order to remove the most plastics.

DEL will co-supervise one ESR, organize a training workshop on microplastic transport modelling and is secondment host.


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