Franz Edelman Award

I led a Dutch consortium that won the 2013 Franz Edelman Award for Achievement in Operations Research and the Management Sciences in San Antonio on April 8, 2013, with our submission Economically Efficient Flood Standards to Protect the Netherlands against Flooding.

Our consortium consisted of Deltares, the Dutch Delta Commissioner, the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis, Delft University of Technology, Tilburg University, and HKV lijn in water.

We won the award with a new calculation method developed and used to calculate the economic optimal dike heights for the protection of the Netherlands against flooding. Application of this method leads to greater efficiency. The method can be used worldwide in determining optimal dike heights, by comparing the cost of the dikes with the damages avoided. The final report ‘Cost-benefit analysis for flood protection for the 21st Century‘ was completed in 2011 (Kind, 2011) .

Delta Commissioner Wim Kuijken congratulated our team: “Almost 60 percent of the Netherlands is vulnerable to flooding,” he said. “The objective of the Dutch Delta Approach is not to respond to a flood disaster but to avoid it. This innovative project has contributed significantly to improved flood protection in the Netherlands while at the same time steering public funds in the most efficient way.”

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