MAE engaged in Massive Open Online Courses!

Published on
March 8, 2017

MAE has contributed to the ecological module of the Building with Nature MOOC from the Technical University of Delft. The focus of this MOOC is on the technological context of utilizing nature to build structures. But it is also important to acknowledge and study the effects BwN structures have on the environment. Therefore, MAE is now working on making a second MOOC on BwN, where the focus will be on ecological and socio-economical aspects of Building with Nature. Below you can find more details on these MOOCS.

Engineers are often asked to create hydrolic infrastructure solutions to protect our land against flooding and erosion. However, these safety precautions can have substantial impact on natural ecosystems. But what if we could use nature to protect us?

TU Delft, Ecoscape and the Marine Animal Ecology group of Wageningen University & Research have bundled their knowledge to teach you how to integrate natural systems in hydraulic engineering design. During this MOOC, you will learn the basics of engineering and ecology. The derived principles will offer insight on what it takes to successfully 'Build with Nature'.

Content of the course

If you’re interested in the concept of building with nature, then this is the engineering course for you. This course explores the use of natural materials and ecological processes in achieving effective and sustainable hydraulic infrastructural designs. You will learn the Building with Nature ecosystem-based design concept and its applications in water and coastal systems. During the course, you will be presented with a range of case studies to deepen your knowledge of ecological and engineering principles.

You’ll learn from leading Dutch engineers and environmental scientists who see the Building with Nature integrated design approach as fundamental to a new generation of engineers and ecologists.

What you'll learn

  • Basic engineering design principles, and basic ecological principles, relevant to the Building with Nature approach.
  • How to assess which principles are applied in several case studies, and so form your own opinion on whether the hydraulic infrastructure is meeting engineering, ecosystem and societal goals.
  • How to apply your new knowledge in assessing the potential for Building with Nature solutions where you live.

Coming up soon: A second MOOC on Building with Nature

The current MOOC on Building with Nature has a strong focus on engineering. MAE-WUR is currently creating an alternative MOOC on Building with Nature, in which the ecological aspects of engineering will get more emphasis. TU Delft will contribute to this new MOOC by adding a module on hydraulic engineering principles. The Social Science group of Wageningen UR will also contribute to the new MOOC by adding a module on societal aspects of Building with Nature, such as stakeholder involvement, governance, legislation and economics, thus making this MOOC a fully multidisciplinary course.