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Research internship collision forces on bridge piers

RWS Major Projects and Maintenance

  • Stand­plaats Vianen of Utrecht
  • Uren per week 32 - 40
  • Vergoeding €616
  • Niveau Master/doctoraal
  • Vakgebied Techniek / productie
  • Reageren voor 29 november Nog 9 dagen
  • Vacaturenummer STAGE-GPO-014
  • Plaatsingsdatum 24 oktober 2019
  • Dienst­verband Afstudeerstage / scriptie


Rijkswaterstaat is part of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and responsible for the design, construction, management and maintenance of the main infrastructure facilities in the Netherlands. Are you a student in civil engineering or marine technology looking to write your master thesis? Here is a unique chance. In collaboration with Rijkswaterstaat, Nobleo Bouw & Infra offers you the opportunity to do research on collision forces on bridge piers.

Nobleo Bouw & Infra is a Dutch consultancy and engineering firm, specialized in road design and structural design of civil structures. Due to the misalignment between initial kinetic energy and collision force as a result of the general equation, Nobleo Bouw & Infra, in collaboration with Rijkswaterstaat, would like to investigate the development of a new set of equations to determine the collision force exhibited by inland vessels on (rigid) bridge piers. By focussing your master thesis on this particular subject you can make a key contribution to the development of new Dutch guidelines and the safety of bridges.

In case of a collision, a ship can exhibit massive forces on bridge piers. These forces can cause serious damage to bridge piers and bridge decks and can potentially cause a bridge to collapse. Therefore, collisions should be prevented, or the collision forces should be taken into account in the design of the bridge.

In the Netherlands, rules to determine the collision forces from inland vessels on bridges have been determined by Rijkswaterstaat and are published in ‘Richtlijnen Ontwerpen Kunstwerken’. In this guideline one general equation is presented to determine the collision force exhibited on bridge piers, based on the initial kinetic energy of the ship, prior to the collision. A preliminary study performed by Nobleo indicates that the general equation to determine the collision forces of inland vessels may overestimate the collision force of small inland vessels and may underestimate the collision force of big inland vessels, as visualized in the graph.

The master thesis may comprise the following topics:

  • a literature study of collision forces on rigid bridge piers according to European codes;
  • a literature study of the structure of inland vessels on (Dutch) waterways;
  • a calculation and 3D FEM simulations of the structural capacity of the hull and bow of inland vessels;
  • a determination of the maximum force exhibited on rigid bridge piers in case of a collision;
  • a determination of a suitable set of equations to determine the maximum collision force on rigid bridge piers.


  • University Master/Doctorate
  • You are enrolled in a university programme in the area of civil engineering or marine technology.
  • You have a high degree of independence, which you use when planning and performing the assignment and when gathering knowledge, understanding and skills.
  • You recognize yourself in our core values: result-oriented, approachable, service-oriented, principled, enterprising and connecting.


  • Dienst­verband Afstudeerstage / scriptie
  • Minimaal aantal uren per week 32
  • Maximaal aantal uren per week 40


  • The start date of your internship is determined in consultation with the parties concerned.
  • You can only intern with us if you are currently enrolled at an educational institution.
  • For more information on the application procedure, please contact the customer contact centre via 088 – 797 07 88.

RWS Major Projects and Maintenance

Rijkswaterstaat is the executive organisation of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management. We manage and develop national highways, waterways and waters and promote a sustainable living environment. In cooperation with others, we work to achieve a country that is protected from flooding. With sufficient nature, and sufficient clean water. And where you can travel from A to B quickly and safely. Working together to guarantee a safe, liveable and accessible Netherlands. That is Rijkswaterstaat. 

Major Projects and Maintenance

Shaping the Dutch infrastructure through iconic projects; that is what you do if you work for Major Projects and Maintenance (GPO). We are responsible for construction and maintenance projects with values of over € 65 million. Examples include the construction of the Koning Willem-Alexandertunnel and the sustainable IJmuiden Sea Lock, the renovation of the Velsertunnel and the road expansion around Schiphol/Amsterdam/Almere.

In our projects, sustainability, innovation and the balance between people, economy and nature are important base principles. By generating and storing sustainable energy, we strive for a 20% reduction of CO2 emissions in 2020. Another important focus of GPO is the circular economy: in 2030, Rijkswaterstaat and its infrastructure projects will be energy-neutral. This way, we aim for projects which add value to society together with our partners, which include municipalities, provinces, water boards and market parties.

Our managers and professional advisors are active in the areas of technology, purchasing and contracts, project management and operational management. Collegiality, enthusiasm and room for personal development and professional growth are what characterise GPO.


Voor meer informatie over deze vacature:

Jan Willem Vreugdenhil, civil engineering consultant

Matthijs de Hertog, specialist civil structures at Nobleo Bouw & Infra


Digitaal solliciteren

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