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Tanya Sancisi-Vellekoop

Mobility Director

Much of the Netherlands' infrastructure stems from the post-World War II reconstruction period and is now urgently in need of replacement. The Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management alone estimates that decades of work are required to renovate, improve and make sustainable more than one hundred bridges, tunnels, locks and viaducts, not to mention the many other structures at province, municipality and water board level, for example. Here at Arcadis, we have plenty of vacancies for new engineers and newly qualified technical specialists keen to help us tackle this challenging and varied task.

I am one of those people whose vacuum cleaner always breaks three months after the warranty ends. When I try to have it repaired, I am told that buying a new one is cheaper than a repair — even if all it needs is a replacement fuse. I find this both shocking and quite irresponsible. Our desire for new, new, new everything is casting a huge shadow over our planet. I think we should be more careful with our things, giving them a second chance at life where possible, rather than just discarding or destroying them.

Intensive Collaboration and Creative Solutions

Fortunately, this is the approach being taken to renovating our outdated infrastructure. The first step in tackling this huge sustainability project is to take stock of what we already have, so we can then look at how we can future-proof these assets. The challenge is to do it in a modern way, finding intelligent circular or modular solutions and not simply throwing concrete around. As an industry, it gives us the opportunity to be even more innovative and calls for even more intensive collaborative working relationships. For engineers and technical specialists, it is enjoyably challenging to be involved with professionally, precisely because there is so much scope for creative solutions. After all, giving assets a sustainable new life is far more satisfying than simply demolishing them.

Variety and Sustainability Ambitions Deliver a Great Challenge

The Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management's V&R program (in which V&R stands for replacement and renovation) is both extensive and very varied. It covers more than one hundred bridges, tunnels, locks and viaducts, all crucial assets in the national infrastructure. It is therefore important to carry out renovations with as little traffic disruption as possible. This makes it a great challenge, not only for newly qualified specialists, but also for the seasoned heavyweights who have to inventory and plan the work. How do we get this job done with fewer materials and in the shortest possible time, while taking traffic flow, energy consumption and nitrogen pollution into consideration? It's a great puzzle to solve, partly because of our sustainability ambitions. This fascinating task will provide a wide range of work for engineers and technical specialists over the coming years. Of course, this work isn’t restricted to the Netherlands. Arcadis is working on these and other projects worldwide, so anyone wishing to work abroad will find an opportunity to do that with us.

If you want to know more about the challenging V&R program and why Arcadis needs you, then send me a message or visit our website!

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