The Chair is funded over a three-year period. Besides BESIX, other companies including the Port of Zeebrugge, Jan De Nul, Deme Group, Tractebel-Engie and Artes-Depret also support the project. This large number of partners is unique and illustrates their common ambition to increase the appeal of the sector as a place to work as well as a study and research object.
Through their financial support, the partners hope to attract more students to the engineering programme at KU Leuven, Bruges Campus in general and get engineers involved in the coastal and marine engineering sector in particular.
Patriek Depuydt, Senior Projects Manager Engineering for BESIX: "At BESIX, we are convinced that the collaboration of the private sector with the academic world is essential in the formation of engineers, in general and specifically in areas such as Coastal Engineering. Belgian companies, like BESIX in the marine works sector, enjoy a world-renowned reputation in this field. Making this branch of engineering more visible needs the cooperation of major players in this sector, which will lead to a greater recruitment potential, necessary to continue to excel in creating sustainable solutions in marine works."
Professor Pieter Rauwoens (KU Leuven, Bruges Campus): "The organisation of the chair with leading companies from the marine engineering sector will be an encouragement for our current and future students of industrial civil engineering, who will thus become immediately acquainted with state-of-the-art technologies that make our Flemish companies global frontrunners. In terms of research, too, I anticipate a boost in socially and industrially relevant projects to cope with the challenges of tomorrow: climate change, shore protection, offshore energy, port development, and so on."