Hackathon InfraTech 2019
What solutions can you think of for renovating a network of 13 bridges?
Rijkswaterstaat (Public Works and Water Management) is tasked with building and maintaining bridges, tunnels and roads in the Netherlands, so the daily busy traffic can reach it destination safely. Currently Rijkswaterstaat is facing a major challenge: bridges that were built in the ‘50-’60 need to be renovated, and there are dozens of them. Rijkswaterstaat has to renovate and rebuild a large number of infrastructural projects before the end of 2030. By renovating and rebuilding, Rijkswaterstaat guarantees a safe and smooth traffic flow.
But renovating is not just a matter of closing down the road, pouring some concrete and painting some steel. These bridges are important traffic junctions in a complex environment. Closing a bridge should not lead to major traffic disruptions. In addition, these bridges have to be renovated in a sustainable way, preferably as circular and energy neutral. There is political pressure and time pressure to renovate these bridges. And finally, there is a shortage of available professionals trained to do this work, on the client’s side as well as with the construction companies.
This is a major challenge, with a specific need for:
A better understanding of new techniques that are available for sustainable renovation or replacement
A better understanding of new organisational processes and structures and forms of cooperation
To find solutions, we will be examining the database of nature, which has been filled for over 3.8 billion years with precious knowledge to solve these types of challenges, and we are going to do this together with you. Our goal is to apply useful and inspiring solutions to real life situations. Are you with us?
When will this hackathon take place?
15 and 16 January 2019
At what exact times?
Tuesday 15 January from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday 16 January from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Where will this hackathon take place?
The hackathon takes place at the InfraTech 2019. InfraTech is held at Ahoy, Rotterdam. We will work in a spectacular glass greenhouse in the middle of the Plaza.
Why does this hackathon take two days?
Rijkswaterstaat submitted two challenges: one on a specific movable bridge, and another on a network of 13 bridges. Both assignments will be hacked separately and the solutions will be brought together in the end. Because of the complexity of this process we will need two days.
Why should I join?
– Unprecedented opportunity: working in a multidisciplinary team of students and start-ups towards a solution for society’s main challenges
– Business opportunity: as a start-up this is your chance to pitch your concept to a leading client
– Instructive: You will be trained to apply design thinking based on Life’s Principles (Biomimicry) to complicated challenges
– Inspiring: Free access to an interesting seminar of event.
In short: an inspiring experience!
What will be organised?
There are hotel rooms available at the Stayokay Hotel in the cube houses. Please note that these are shared rooms. If you prefer a private room, we suggest you book your own room. We will take care of the necessary food and beverages.
Do I have to participate both days?
Yes, you are. In case it is absolutely impossible for you to join us for two days, we can discuss the possibility to participate for one day only.
Is there some sort of remuneration for students?
Are you a student and can you show us your student card? Then a remuneration of 135 euro will be available for participating in the two-day hackathon.
How do I apply?
Register by clicking the link at the bottom of this page.
What are your solutions for renovating a network of 13 bridges?
We split the renovation challenge in two sub-challenges that need to be solved. These challenges have different levels of scale: one movable bridge versus a network of 13 bridges in Zuid-Holland and Zeeland (Dutch provinces). We will combine the solutions into one action plan, which will be presented to Rijkswaterstaat.
Challenge network of 13 bridges
There are 13 bridges in Zuid-Holland that need renovation. A standard approach will not work, since each of them has a unique technical design. In addition, the degree of wear varies. Not all of them are equally important to their surroundings, some of them are heavily used while others are located in quiet parts of the country. Plus there is a shortage of technical experts.
The only thing we know for sure is that society wants these bridges renovated in the near future. 13 bridges have been selected in Zuid-Holland and Zeeland for renovation together in the first phase. The objective is to design a method that can be scaled up subsequently for similar projects throughout the Netherlands. The renovation has to be sustainable and circular, with a minimum of disruption for shipping, traffic or disturbance to residents.
Challenge How can we design a scalable method or system for renovating bridges? How can the designed system be scaled up to a nationwide solution? What can we learn from nature with regard to renovating bridges as a system?
Rijkswaterstaat is responsible for the maintenance of a large number of bridges, tunnels and roads in the Netherlands. Some of these bridges, tunnels and roads in Zuid-Holland were built in the ‘50s/‘60s. Traffic has increased tremendously since and trucks have become much heavier. Therefore, Rijkswaterstaat will renovate and rebuild a large number of infrastructural projects before the end of 2030, making the bridges, tunnels and roads much safer and more sustainable. With this renovation and rebuilding, Rijkswaterstaat enables a safer and smoother traffic flow. For now and for the future.
In order to achieve groundbreaking and sustainable solutions, we use nature’s knowledge in our design process. Nature is full of ingenious design. Animals and plants have become perfectly adapted to their circumstances in these 3.8 billion years. Did you know that the wings of an owl are designed in such a way that allows it to fly without making any noise?
Also on a more systemic level, there is so much inspiration to be found. Take for example the cohesion among elements in a food chain, or the cooperation of ants; when studied in detail these examples are highly inspirational and lead to groundbreaking new designs. We will teach you to use this gigantic database of technical knowledge and experience, in order to develop products, processes, systems and strategies that fit within a natural ecosystem. This science is called Biomimicry, and the design tool Design Lens.
With the ongoing debate on sustainability and all the possible sustainable solutions it is sometimes difficult to keep an overview. The sole focus of sustainability is usage of materials and reduction of energy consumption. By applying biomimicry, however, sustainability becomes an integrated and logical story. A story with infinite opportunities and possibilities.
I have two passions: First, I love to solve analytical and mathematical issues. And second, what really appeals to me is that this field of work is all about sustainability. Take for example food made from algae, bio-ethanol made from the residual flows of maize, and the production of all sorts of derivatives, normally made from fossil fuels, but now produced by bacteria. I am looking forward to participating in this interesting challenge because the issue is very complex and demands a sustainable, future-proof solution. I think I can contribute, since my studies in Biotechnology trained me to solve complex issues.
Niek van Oorschot
This hackathon provides me with a unique opportunity to work with a diverse group of people on a complex issue, something that will definitely lead to new insights. I started working about a year ago, so quite new to the labour market, I expect to contribute a fresh perspective. In addition, this is a great opportunity to expand my professional network and to broaden my horizon.
My motivation to participate in this hackathon my studies, Technische Bestuurskunde and my master is Transport and Logistics. Therefore I am very interested in the logistics of traffic and I am excited to participate in this brainstorm session today.
I am very interested in sustainability and the improvement of our complex infrastructure. Bridges are an example of connecting different parts of the country that were previously hard to reach. Maintenance of these pieces of art has been proven difficult with current resources. I would like to contribute to this study, participate in the hackathon and get some inspiration for my master thesis.
I studied History for four years at the Radboud University in Nijmegen, even though I graduated my high school in every beta course on the curriculum. I am looking forward to solve a current and practical issue together with other young people. I am also curious to learn how I can contribute with the knowledge and skills that I acquired during my studies.
In my field of work, bridges play a major part, there are some interesting tenders at the moment about the replacement / renovation of existing bridges. Furthermore, I think it is very interesting to explore possible solutions.
I like to participate in this challenge because of my passion to keep the Netherlands mobile.
The Netherlands are currently facing the largest replacement task ever and I am looking forward to contributing with my knowledge and perspectives!
The interaction between nature and technology is what is inspiring me, and I use this to come up with creative solutions for everyday problems. To be able to do so on a nationwide level is a challenge and I am excited to accept it!
Babette den Hollander
The reason why I am interested in participating in the hackathon is because I study Civil Engineering. This has made me quite curious about this kind of issues. I would like to work on challenges like this in the future and what is better than just start doing so today! Rijkswaterstaat is an institute we come across quite often in projects of seminars. And I think is it quite interesting to hear the opinion of people who are usually not involved in these dilemmas.
I would like to be part of the hackathon because I think I can contribute when it comes to sustainability.
I am a second year student at the Haagse Hogeschool in Spatial Development and Climate Management. Our starting point is sustainability and its application in spatial development.
Our main focus is working with sustainable techniques and how to incorporate these in everyday life.
Nowadays, we build a lot of new things, but we also renovate.
Especially when it comes to bridges, buildings etc, it is important it is done in a sustainable way. Many factors play a role in this. The actual challenge is to execute the renovation as sustainable as possible, not only with regard to the process but also to the product and the purpose.
In this process, you work with all different kinds of people with different backgrounds. It is important to communicate well and that everybody is in tune with each other, despite their different ways of thinking.
These challenges are very appealing. I hope to be able to use my knowledge and learn from the others.
Bente van der Bijl
I would like to participate in this Hackathon because I am very interested in public space and I would like to learn more about solving issues in a sustainable way (while applying lessons from nature). At this moment, I am an intern at Royal HaskoningDHV in the Sustainable Mobility Department, and I am looking forward to expand my knowledge of roads and bridges.
Henrie van Buuren
I want to be part of the solution to this social challenge.
I think this issue will cost society so much (tax) money and anything that can help to lower these costs or the disruption caused by the renovation is welcome.
In addition, I work in a sector that is not known for being very innovative or open to change, and by participating I want to show that there are in fact people working in the infrastructure sector that are willing to change.
I am very eager to learn and curious, and I am able to challenge others and make them enthusiastic, leading to better resultss.
My motto: Multiple things by ten and then by two, and then you do have a challenge!
I am convinced that I have to contribute something and leave my own small footprint to the world.
This hackathon could very well be a start to that.