In memory of Gerrit J. Klaassen (1941-2024)

Gerrit J. Klaassen Obituary


It is with great sadness that we have learned of the death of our member Gerrit J. Klaassen on 25 June 2024.

Internationally renowned expert on River Morphology, River Engineering and River Management. MSc Civil Engng (distinction) from Delft Univevrsity of Technology in 1970. After working at WL Delft Hydraulics (nowadays Deltares), Delft University of Technology and Netherlands Min Public Works, Gerrit J. Klaassen rejoined WL Delft Hydraulics in 1974 and worked there until 2002. From 1974 till 1985 doing theoretical and experimental investigations into morphological behaviour of alluvial streams (including sediment transport, roughness and morphological changes). Through this work and many assignments both inside The Netherlands but in particular abroad on a project-to-project basis, Mr. Klaassen gained a wide experience as river morphologist and river engineer. Since 1976 he has worked on some of the major rivers in the world, notably the Ganges, Brahmaputra, Padma and Meghna Rivers in Bangladesh (responsible for all modelling and field studies for Jamuna Bridge and involved in Padma Bridge studies), Nile River in Sudan and Egypt, Euphrates and Tigris Rivers in Iraq, Indus River system in Pakistan, Koshi River in Nepal,Mekong River in Thailand and Vietnam and recently Zambezi River in Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mozambique. He also worked in projects on smaller rivers in The Netherlands and abroad in countries like Italy, Trinidad, Surinam, Marocco, Georgia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Iran, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Burma, Indonesia, Philippines, etc.

In period 1991 - 2006 lecturing and guiding MSc students as Associate-Professor at IHE Delft on part-time basis.

Specialities: River problems (flood control and drainage, bank erosion and bank protection, bridges and pipelines, dredging for different purposes, navigation improvement, water intakes, diversion canals, reservoir management/sedimentation, bed degradation, nature restoration and watershed management), River Management and associated Environmental Impact Studies. In these projects he used mathematical and physical models, satellite imagery and field studies.

We express to his family, friends, and relatives our deepest condolences for the loss of one of the greatest international river engineers who inmensively contributed to the field of river morphology and management. 

Funeral card

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Funeral card 1

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