IADC bestowed the Young Author Award to Liesbeth De Keukelaere, R&D Professional at VITO in Belgium.

IADC’s Young Author Award is given annually to “stimulate the promotion of new ideas and encourage younger men and women in the dredging industry”. The award is granted at industry-leading conferences, with a winning young author selected from the proceedings of the CEDA Dredging Days 2019, held on 7-8 November in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.


Ms De Keukelaere was selected as the Young Author Award winner for the co-authoring of the research paper “Mapping water quality with drones – test case in Texel. A pilot test case at the Prins Hendrikzanddijk project in Texel, The Netherlands, was organised end October 2018 to demonstrate drone technology for water quality monitoring. Jan De Nul was working on creating a new dune area seaward of the existing dyke. This dune takes over the coastal protection function of the existing dyke and combines it with nature development, public services and recreational appeal. For the demo, an octocopter drone platform was used with a multispectral camera underneath. During drone flights, a base station shows real-time information on the location of the drone, a projected true colour image captured by the camera and the position of neighbouring boats through Automatic Identification System (AIS). Thanks to this information it is easy to adapt flight missions according to the situation. The drone’s data was processed with dedicated software into turbidity maps. This was done independently from in-situ observations. Water samples, collected simultaneously with drone flights, were used for the validation of the derived products.


The purpose of the IADC’s Young Author Award is to stimulate the promotion of new ideas and encourage younger men and women in the dredging industry. At selected conferences, the IADC recognises the best paper written by authors younger than 35 years of age. The Conference Paper Committee recommends a shortlist of qualifying papers that make a significant contribution to the literature on dredging and related fields. Winning authors receive € 1,000 and a trophy of recognition as well as publication of the paper as an article in the IADC’s quarterly journal Terra et Aqua.


The Central Dredging Association is responsible for the organisation of the CEDA Dredging Days which is held every two years and is the primary international dredging conference in the CEDA region. On 7 and 8 November 2019, experts and peers in the waterborne transport infrastructure sector convened to present, discuss and exchange knowledge regarding the most current and relevant topics, trends and practices.

Photo caption: IADC’s Secretary General René Kolman (right) bestows the Young Author Award to Ms Liesbeth De Keukelaere (left)

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