Special Announcement – New EcoShape Director, Stefan Aarninkhof

On Wednesday afternoon September 21st 2022 the EcoShape Participants Council met at Hotel de Wageningse Berg in Wageningen. The meeting covered updates on EcoShape projects, like the Brede Groene Dijk, Clay Ripener and table activities, but the highlight of this meeting was the transfer of the Director position from Henk Nieboer to Stefan Aarninkhof. 

Participants Council Meeting September 21st 2022

“Over the years, EcoShape has been one of the highlights of my career. The broad partnership, the multi-disciplinary cooperation, the positive atmosphere and the continuous strive to link high-profile research to innovative applications make EcoShape a unique environment to work in. I truly look forward to my renewed engagement with this partnership. In my new role as Program Director, I hope to build on the enthusiasm and commitment generated over the years and to develop the knowledge needed to mainstream Building with Nature and to enable implementation of Nature-Based Solutions worldwide.” — Director Stefan Aarninkhof

Director Stefan Aarninkhof and Preceding Director (2015-2022) Henk Nieboer

Get to know Stefan Aarninkhof

Presently, Stefan Aarninkhof is a Professor of Coastal Engineering at TU Delft, and also head of the Hydraulic Engineering Department of the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences. In earlier years of his life he worked at Deltares (or actually Delft Hydraulics, as it was called then) for 10 years and another 10 years he worked at Boskalis. As part of the latter engagement, he became involved in EcoShape-I. He was involved in many activities, including program manager, member of the management team and case manager of Holland Coast. He was also greatly involved in the early stages of EcoShape-II. He contributed to multiple cases and pilots, including the Sand Engine on the Holland Coast, Ecological Sand Mining, the Houtribdijk sandy reinforcement and the case Singapore. Between his vast experience and clear passion for Building with Nature, Stefan will confidently and comfortably step into his new role as Director of EcoShape.

Final Note from Preceding Director, Henk Nieboer

“It’s been seven years since I assumed the role of director of EcoShape. Now that I am stepping down, I look back with great satisfaction and pride. During these 7 years we have carried out an innovation program researching Building with Nature, via physical pilots, such as the Kleirijperij and Restoring eroding coastlines in Demak, Indonesia. This program has resulted in beautiful and interesting objects and landscapes created, in knowledge developed and published and a great book on Building with Nature.

Over the years I have seen the interest in the concept of Building with Nature growing in the Netherlands and internationally. I have worked with many interesting and nice people. People in the Nature-Based Solutions community are really a special, forward looking, energetic and diverse crowd! The position of director of EcoShape has given me the opportunity to engage with so many of you!

Now that I will be no longer be director, I intend to remain active in this field. We need to further the cause of Nature-Based Solutions, preferably be developing realistic action perspectives for societal challenges in the water sector. I have full confidence and high expectations of Stefan Aarninkhof, who will succeed me.

I am sure we will meet again; I am looking forward to it!” — Henk Nieboer

Director Stefan Aarninkhof, Supervisory Board Members Marjolein van Wijngaarden and Frank Heezen and Preceding Director Henk Nieboer