On the 14th of February 2018,  the Civil Engineering symposium ‘Bridging the Gaps – Connect, Collaborate & Construct’ was held.


Bridging the Gaps – Connect, Collaborate & Construct

Globalization gives rise to a society on a universal level, in which unity plays an increasingly bigger role. These developments are also evident in the field of Civil Engineering. Problems are no longer confined to a certain area or country, but are borderless and have impact on all of us. During projects, civil engineers will have to deal with a wide range of stakeholder interests and requirements. Besides, future problems are often more complex and very knowledge-intensive. These developments ask for extensive collaboration between engineers, companies, citizens, the government, and other parties. A cooperation in which the exchange of knowledge, mutual agreements and connecting different perspectives take center stage. The goal is to efficiently reach better and more sustainable results that are satisfying for all parties involved.

As mentioned above, civil engineers must overcome the gaps between people. ‘Bridging the Gaps’ is the central theme of the Symposium 2018. The focus will be laid on three aspects of bridging the gaps, namely: Connect, Collaborate and Construct.


Cooperating is all about people. Therefore, the first important step towards bridging the gaps is bringing people together. Civil engineers will have to recognize different needs for collaboration and connect with the right people.


After connecting, collaboration can take place. A good cooperation is not self-evident but involves good organization, mutual agreements and leadership. Engineers will have to decide upon what methods and tools to use, how to share their expertise, how to deal with a large range of different needs, and much more.


Often, the goal of collaboration is to increase the quality and efficiency of a project and to end up with a result that goes hand in hand with all the different needs of the parties involved. Moreover, collaboration is becoming much more a necessity. For example: to solve the problems of the future or to control resource depletion.


The 25e symposium was organized by the committee below:

  • Bas Leijser – Chairman
  • Lianne Cortenbach – Vice Chairman & Secretary
  • Henri Mauritz – Treasurer
  • Tom Diks – Chief of External Affairs
  • Ruben White – Chief of External Affairs
  • Jop Keja – Chief of Planning

From left to right: Jop, Henri, Bas, Lianne, Ruben, Tom

Day’s Chairman

Cécile Cluitmans – Arcadis                                                                   


Menno van der PloegProRail                                                        
Marijn BuursWitteveen + Bos                                                            
Hans de Wit – TEC                                                                                       

Teacher Panel

Dr. T. (Tom) Thomas                                                                                           
Transport department
Dr. S.R. (Sergei) Miller                                                                            
Construction department
Dr. M.S. (Maarten) Krol                                                                                 
Water department

Identification Committee

college-onno-van-veldhuizen Dr. G.O. (Onno) van Veldhuizen                                                 
Mayor of Enschede
prof. Dr. T.T.M. (Thomas) Palstra
Rector Magnificus. University of Twente                                            
Dr. S.R. (Sergei) Miller
Programme director Civil Engineering Department                   
ir. (Gerald) J.M. Schotman                                                                         
President KIVI