|Born||22 February 1939|
|Alma mater||Delft University of Technology|
|Occupation||professor in Fluid Mechanics at Delft University of Technology|
Battjes was born on 22 February 1939 in Winschoten. He studied civil engineering at Delft University of Technology, earning his M.Sc in 1962. Battjes subsequently spent four years as an assistant professor at the Laboratory of Coastal Engineering at the University of Florida, in the United States. He started working as a professor at Delft University of Technology in the late 1960s, where he held the chair of fluid dynamics. In 1974 Battjes obtained his Doctor title in technical sciences at Delft University under Johan Schönfeld, with a thesis titled Computation of Set-up, Longshore Currents, Run-up and Overtopping due to Wind-generated Waves. Battjes retired in 2004.
In October 2005 Battjes was hired to help analyse the causes of the 2005 levee failures in Greater New Orleans that were caused by Hurricane Katrina. Battjes was member of the External Review Panel, charged with checking the work of the taskforce investigating the functioning of levees in Greater New Orleans. He was the only non-American on this panel.
Battjes became a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1975. In 1990, he won the International Coastal Engineering Award of the American Society of Civil Engineers. In 2009, Battjes was elected as a foreign member of the United States National Academy of Engineering in the section of civil engineering.