Daniël is a 28-year-old and holds a dual Dutch and Rwandan nationality. He grew up partly in Kenya and the Netherlands which has strongly influenced his interests and academic journey, particularly focusing on Food security.
Daniël's academic journey began with a bachelor’s degree in Earth Sciences at the University of Amsterdam. It was during this time that he was introduced to the fascinating world of Earth observation and its practical applications. For his bachelor's thesis, he developed a GIS-based model designed to trace coral reefs and potential Marine protected areas using seafloor geodiversity data.
During his Bachelor studies, he expanded his horizons by participating in a one-semester exchange program at Tecnológico de Monterrey in Puebla, Mexico. This experience exposed him to a range of courses related to hydropower, sanitary engineering, and irrigation design, all within the unique context of Mexican environmental issues. These experiences sparked his enthusiasm for Environmental Engineering.
Daniël is currently pursuing a Master's in Water Management and Environmental Engineering at BOKU, the University for Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna. In his program, he explores diverse aspects of water management, including water treatment, hydraulic engineering, irrigation design, and soil physics. One of Daniël's ongoing projects focuses on empowering small-scale farmers by using remote sensing data and machine learning algorithms to help them make informed decisions on irrigation.
His interests extend to broader topics in the field of water resources. He is particularly intrigued by issues surrounding water allocation in water-scarce regions and the prevention of conflicts related to water resources. A pivotal moment in his journey for understanding occurred during a program at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he gained valuable insights into the complexities of water scarcity and conflicts in the Israel-Palestine-Jordan region. The program explored the multifaceted challenges posed by climate change, population growth, and water scarcity, as well as innovative solutions like advanced wastewater treatment and seawater desalinization.
Daniël's deep appreciation for Earth Observation lies in its capacity to observe and monitor many environmental parameters. In an era marked by complex global challenges such as resource scarcity, food security, the energy transition, conflicts, and poverty, he recognizes the interconnectedness of these issues and the role that Earth Observation data can play in addressing them. Daniël's overarching goal is to understand the world better and utilize data from tools like remote sensing to inform intelligent decision-making in matters related to climate, natural resources, and food security.
Outside of his studies, Daniël's passion for connecting with people from diverse backgrounds shines through. He's passionate about learning languages and speaks Dutch, German, English, and French fluently. In his free time, you can find him exploring the hills around Vienna on his road bike. Occasionally, he embarks on longer bikepacking trips with just a tent and minimal gear, allowing him to unwind and fully enjoy the natural surroundings.