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Meet the young researchers behind MYRIAD-EU: Julius Schlumberger

Several young researchers will complete their PhDs as part of the MYRIAD-EU project. This time, we are introducing you to Julius Schlumberger, a civil engineer and flood expert. Julius, the floor is yours!

Hi, I am Julius. I am a PhD researcher at Deltares and the department of Water and Climate Risk of the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM) at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. I have a background in civil engineering, and obtained my MSc degree from TU Delft in hydraulic engineering with the track ‘flood risk’.  Before that I studied Environmental Engineering at RWTH Aachen in Germany where I started to get interested in the interactions between society and natural hazards (in my case farmers’ vulnerability to flooding).

What do you do on MYRIAD-EU? Is it the first project you’ve worked on? 

I am mostly working on Work Package 6 (‘Risk-informed decision-making’), which focuses on developing methods and tools to support collaborative processes to collect and combine knowledge and to support the development and evaluation of strategies (so called pathways) to reduce risks and adapt in the decades to come. I am still new to the world of research projects which makes it still very exciting and a great opportunity to learn how to manage and collaborate in such large, international projects.

 What is the most interesting thing you learned working on MYRIAD-EU? 

Valuable knowledge, expertise and perspectives are various, their elicitation because of many reasons including communication a challenge, but rewarding and necessary if we want to look at decision-making in complex contexts such as multi-risk.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

One funny side-effect of my PhD topic to support decision-making is that I realized that there is not just one optimal pathway into the future. Depending on external (still unknown to me) factors, there are a large variety of places I could end up in over 5 years. I enjoy the job as a researcher and could see a future, where I continue in academic research after my PhD.

What did you want to be when you were growing up? 

I wanted to become a marine biologist. I tried it during a gap year and it was interesting, but not really a thing for me (too much time in the lab…)

Who is your science idol?

I would have liked to meet and talk with Alexander von Humboldt. His data-driven way of seeing the world, identifying connections between processes across various disciplines makes him a bit of a forefather of the work we are doing in MYRIAD-EU.

If MYRIAD-EU held a party, which song would you request from the DJ?

Before everyone goes home, would ask for Glen Hansard’s ‘Song of good hope’. Because even if we don’t know what future brings, it is step by step how we will reach what we as MYRIAD-EU and society want.