YP-Com Activities


With the support of PIANC International and the National Sections, YP-Com has developed numerous activities targeted for young professionals. The purpose of these activities is to encourage participation in PIANC among its newer members and facilitate networking among those industry peers. While these activities are advertised for Young Professionals, all members of PIANC are welcome to join any of the activities listed below regardless of experience level within their profession.


Please note the activities listed below are for the International body only. For activities specific to your National Section, please visit your National Section website. Visit the YP-Com Members page for your National Section Young Professional webpage link or the National Sections page for your National Section website link.



Biennial YP-Com Technical Visits


On alternating years between COPDEC conferences and PIANC Congresses, YP-Com plans technical visits to unique navigation projects targeted for participation by Young Professionals.


1. Venice Locks, July 2007


The 1st Biennial YP-Com Technical Visit was held in Venice, Italy on July 5-6, 2007. The event was orchestrated by PIANC Italy with the support of the Venice Water Authority. Twelve Young Professionals from Germany, France, Italy, and the Netherlands visited the MO.S.E. project and Experimental Centre for Hydraulic Models.

The aim of the MO.S.E. project is to defend Venice against ‘high waters’ using a system of manoeuvrable barriers at the lagoon inlets. An introductory talk and video were followed by a boat tour to the inlets of Malamocco and Lido, where the works are under construction. At the Experimental Centre for Tests on Hydraulic Models at Voltabarozzo, participants enjoyed a brief presentation of the laboratory’s activities and a tour of the facility including some model tests of the MO.S.E. project, such as the operation and control performances on a full size gate (the Electromechanical Experimental Module, MO.S.E.).


2. Danube River Integration System, September 2009



The 2nd Biennial YP-Com Technical Visit was held at the SMART Rivers Conference in Vienna, Austria on September 10, 2009. In addition to Young Professional conference participants, YPs not attending the Conference were invited to join one of the two confer-

ence tours (Port of Vienna and Danube Power Plant Freudenau and Visit at Industry Logistics Linz) offered at the Conference.



Young Professionals from Austria and United States toured the Port of Vienna, the largest good distribution centre in Eastern Austria and the Freudenau Hydro Power Plant, including the 4th largest lock on the Danube. In addition, while aboard the Vindobona vessel, attendees enjoyed

a presentation of the Danube River Information Services and the Integrated River Engineering Project – two projects geared towards the modernisation and improvement of inland navigation including the incorporation of ecological impacts. Additionally, introductory conference announcements highlighted the importance of young professional involvement to the future of PIANC.


3. Maasvlakte 2, October 2011



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In October 2011, the 3rd Biennial YPCom Technical Tour was held in Rotterdam, Netherlands.  The event was organized by the Netherlands delegation (Alice Clijncke) and sponsored by Port of Rotterdam Authority, PUMA (van Oord and Boskalis), and PIANC the Netherlands.  Twenty Young Professionals from seven countries (the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, Hungary, UK and Australia) visited Maasvlakte 2, an extension of the existing Maasvlakte, which will create 1,000 hectares of space for deepsea-related container transshipment, distribution and chemical industry.  The tour included presentations by the planners and designers of the

project on the master planning process and the environmental, navigation, shore protection, and land creation aspects of the project. The Young Professionals set foot on the contours of this new part of the Dutch coastline and were given a close look on the breakwater works with a view on the Blockbuster, an E-crane, with a reach of 63 metres for concrete blocks up to 45 tonnes. The fall YP-Com meeting was held the day prior, which also included a tour of Deltares facilities in Deflt and enjoyed dinner in the city of Deflt that evening courtesy of Deltares.


4. Panama Canal – July 8-9, 2013


The 4th Biennial YP-Com Technical Visit took place 07-10 July 2013 in Panama. More than 60 Young Professionals representing 10 countries (Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Hungary, Mexico, Panama, Spain, The Netherlands, UK and USA), including 31 students and one professor from TU Delft Panamérica Study Trip, toured the Panama Canal from Gatun Lake to the Pacific entrance on the 8th and 9th of July. The main days of the 4BTV closed with a reception at the residence of Ambassador Wiebe De Boer (Embassy of the Kingdom of The Netherlands in Panama).  A smaller group, approximately 25 PIANC YPs, continued for another 2 days to visit the Port of Balboa and the Atlantic side of the Canal.


Day 1: Group photo at the PAC-4 observation point with the Centennial Bridge in the background


Day 2: Group photo at Goethals Monument with ACP Headquarters in background


Day 3: PIANC YPs at the Port of Balboa


Day 4: PIANC YPs at the new Atlantic Locks Construction Site


Click on images to enlarge


Thank you to our hosts for organising the 4 days of tours and closing reception, in particular Ilya de Marotta, Executive Vice-President for Engineering and Program Management, ACP; Vivian Perez, Executive Management Secretary, Dredging Division, ACP; Rogelio Gordon, Executive Manager, Dredging Division, ACP; John Langman, Projects Administration Executive Manager, ACP; Johnny Wong, Project Manager, Pacific Third Set of Locks, ACP; Jan Kop, Project Director and Coordination Manager, GUPC/JDN; Mike Newbery, Director of International Projects and Executive Director, CICP/MWH; Greg Hillebrenner, Vice-President, Senior Project Manager and Design Manager, CICP/MWH; Adan Buitrago, Business Performance and Communications, Latin American Operations, Maersk and Jennie Haren, Commercial Attaché, Embassy of the Kingdom of The Netherlands in Panama. And to our sponsors, your support made this opportunity a reality for our young professionals!


plus TU Delft Panamérica Study Trip, PIANC HQ, PIANC Argentina, PIANC Netherlands, PIANC UK & PIANC USA


For a more detailed summary of the technical visit, check out the main page of YP-Com on the PIANC website.



PIANC Sponsored Conferences


At each international PIANC conference, YP-Com plans events tailored to Young Professionals.


PIANC Congress, Estoril Portugal, May 2006


The PIANC Congress in Estoril, Portugal hosted the 1st designated YP events at a PIANC conference. Young professionals and their more senior counterparts attended an YP-session moderated by YP-Com members during the conference. Young professionals presenting at the conference were invited to participate in the PIANC YP-Award which evaluated both the conference presentation and the technical paper prepared by the young professional. Three submissions were selected for award:


·         Wouter Bijman – Netherlands/Serbia : ‘Restoration of the River Danube in Serbia’

·         Oliver Stelzer – Germany : ‘Investigation of the bearing capacity and deformation behaviour of Hohenwarthe lock, based on geotechnical measurements and numerical calculations’

·         Stéphanie Poligot-Pitsch – France : ‘Repairing and modifying existing locks or navigation dams’


Additionally, a non-sponsored social event was held at a local establishment to encourage networking among the Young Professionals at the Congress. 


COPEDEC Conference, Dubai, February 2008


At the COPEDEC conference in Dubai (February 2008), YP-Com embarked on a joint effort with CoCom with the objective of increasing the number of Young Professionals in Countries-In-Transition (CiTs) and encouraging the formation of YP-groups in these countries. YP-Com and CoCom held a session and organised a social event during the conference.


PIANC Congress: Liverpool, United Kingdom, May 2010


YPCom Postcard thank you

YP-Com embarked on a new venture at the MMX Congress – postcards. Seven companies were highlighted on the postcards and available free to all Congress participants. The generous contributions of each company were used to create the postcards and to fund YP networking receptions at PIANC events. YP-Com extends thanks to our sponsors – bremenports GmbH & Co. KG, DHI-WASY GmbH, INCA Engineers, Inc., Moffatt & Nichol, Port of Rotterdam Authority, Van Oord Dredging and Marine Contractors bv, and Witteveen + Bos.


Young Professionals were well represented at the MMX Congress. More than 30 Young Professionals authored and presented papers during the technical sessions. Two award competitions were offered to Young Professionals with papers accepted for the Congress, one sponsored by PIANC and one sponsored by the International Association of Dredging Contractors (IADC), both with monetary prizes. Quality of both the paper and presentation, on any topic at the Congress, was considered for the PIANC YP-Award. The IADC YP-Award recognised excellence of a paper on a dredging-related topic. Congratulations to the four Young Professionals honoured with these awards! 


·         1st Prize PIANC YP-Award: Paulo Osório (Luxemburg), ‘Structural Reliability Analysis of Quay Walls with Steel Sheet Piles’

·         2nd Prize PIANC YP-Award: Catrina Cofalla (Germany), ‘FloodsearchHydrotoxic Investigations of Contaminated Sediments in an Annular Flume’

·         3rd Prize PIANC YP-Award: Marieke Kaarsemaker (The Netherlands), ‘Evaluation of Flow Fields and their Impact on Maneuvering

·         Winner IADC YP-Award: Suze Ann Bakker (The Netherlands), ‘Geo-morphological and hydrodynamic risks for dredged channels – A practical approach’


Additionally, YP-Com hosted a social event for Young Professionals the Wednesday evening of the Congress at the Pumphouse on Albert Dock. This successful networking event was attended by more than 40 Young Professionals representing 10 countries; as a result, the interaction of Young Professionals continued throughout the Congress. Thank you to our sponsors for helping fund this event!


SMART Rivers 2011, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, September 2011


In an effort to enhance the conference experience for YPs, the SMART Rivers Conference organisers organised several YP events, including a networking happy hour at the Red Fish Grill on the legendary Bourbon Street and travel scholarships for seven students. Over 60 YPs participated in the conference with 7 students receiving travel scholarships.


Mediterranean Days, Valencia, Spain, May 2012


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At the Med Days conference in Valencia, Spain, YP-Com arranged an informal meeting among YP conference participants and an evening in the old part of the city with members of the Spanish YP group. The main objectives of the meeting were increasing and improving the communication within PIANC YP; sharing ideas, challenges and experiences in each country to strengthen YP activities; and achieving a better understanding among the different national groups.


Dredging 2012, October 2012 in San Diego, California, USA


PIANC USA, together with ASCE COPRI, hosted YP designated events – YP reception, student scholarships and poster session, and downtown YP happy hour during the Dredging 2012 conference. On the eve of the conference, Young Professionals networked with the Technical Organising Committee and boards of COPRI and PIANC USA during the YP reception. Later during the conference, Young Professionals enjoyed happy hour in downtown San Diego. To encourage student participation in the conference, PIANC USA included a student poster session. Additionally, 12 of these students received travel scholarships from PIANC USA to attend. 


ICOPMAS 2012, November 2012 in Tehran, Iran


IMG_0054IMG_5611At the ICOPMAS 2012 conference held in Iran in November, YP-Com delegates introduced Young Professional opportunities in PIANC to attendees, primarily from countries in Asia. 









Upcoming 2013 conferences with PIANC YP events:


·         Mediterranean Days, May 2013 in Marseille, France

·         PIANC-SMART Rivers, September 2013 in Liège, Belgium & Maastricht, The Netherlands



YP Exchange Programme


The goal of the YP Exchange Programme is facilitate information exchange and networking among two or three neighbouring countries. The participating National Section YP groups would enter into an agreement to each host a technical visit in its country inviting young professionals from each to attend. This effort encourages the international aspect of PIANC while utilizing the proximity of member nations to its advantage. In co-operation with CoCom, this mechanism may also be employed to assist Countries-in-Transition with the formation of a PIANC section through the nation’s young professionals.



De Paepe-Willems Paper Award


All PIANC Young Professionals are invited to submit technical papers for the De Paepe-Willems Paper Award (DPW). Submissions are due end of August of each year. The DPW award is given for the most outstanding technical paper prepared on an aspect of waterborne transport, including policy, management, design, economics, integration with other transport modes, technology, safety, public involvement, and the environment. For more information on the DPW award and a list of winners, visit De Paepe-Willems Award on the PIANC website. Some National Sections host separate DPW Awards within the national organization as well; visit your National Section website for more information.





The 1st PIANC Young Professional Award was given at the 2006 Congress in Estoril, Portugal. This tradition continues at each Congress, held every four years. The PIANC YP Award is given for outstanding technical paper and presentation authored and presented by a Young Professional at the Congress. Three awards with monetary prizes are given to the top three scores for paper and presentation combined. For more information on the PIANC YP Award and a list of winners, visit PIANC YP Award on the PIANC website.