Martine Slob

Employee portrait

'You can’t tame nature, so we work with it'

Martine Slob is a designer working on integrated design challenges in water management. In 2019, she completed her graduation project – a stream diversion design – at Witteveen+Bos. Since then, she has worked at the company in the Water Management PMC. Recently, Martine has increasingly been filling the role of project manager.

Water authority youth representative

‘I grew up on a farm in Krimpenerwaard, a water-rich area where I spent a lot of time canoeing. When I was 15, the waterway next to our house was widened. This piqued my interest. Not long after, I got a job with the water authority as a youth representative. That’s how I discovered the hidden world behind the various waterways and diverse range of water systems in the Netherlands. In the west, a controlled polder landscape exists; in wooded, eastern areas, on the other hand, streams are afforded more space and allowed to overflow their banks. I ended up studying water management at Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences. I found the technical aspect and the diversity of water management in different areas most enjoyable. That’s why I ended up at Witteveen+Bos.’

Prosper Polder South

‘A technical design for a stream diversion – to give an example – involves many considerations. The surroundings are always an important aspect, as are ecology, morphology, water security, and maintenance. You can’t tame nature, so we work with it – we follow its lead. In 2023, I worked with colleagues from various disciplines on the design for Prosper Polder South, a planned tidal natural area. It’s ‘compensatory nature’ for the expansion of the port of Antwerp, so various stakeholders are involved. By clearly defining principles and requirements, you can avoid endless discussions and get to work on creating the design. A natural landscape is less straightforward and precise than a bridge, but ultimately there has to be a drawing that a contractor can work with.’

Water Framework Directive

‘Witteveen+Bos is a good place to work if you’re interested in water management, because a lot of engineering work touches on water in one way or another. There are also many design assignments to work on – for example, for the Water Framework Directive, which aims to improve the quality of surface water and groundwater in Europe by 2027. Water is a hot topic! Recently, I’ve increasingly been working in the roles of engagement and stakeholder manager, design lead, or project manager, rather than designer. I’m able to effectively apply the design knowledge I’ve accumulated over the years, but I also enjoy the roles. As a project manager, you’re even more concerned with the bigger picture.’

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