Wilco serves as director of the Netherlands eScience Center, a center that connects ICT (big data, computational science) with applications in scientific domains. Wilco has a chair in Climate Dynamics at Wageningen University.
At Wageningen University and Reading University, he studied meteorology. Wilco received his PhD in 1999 in physical oceanography from Utrecht University, after which he went to Columbia University in New York to conduct research on decadal climate variability.
In 2002 Wilco started working at KNMI (Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute) on climate dynamics, climate and sea level scenarios and development of global Earth system models. Wilco’s climate and sea level scenario work is directed toward climate adaptation issues. Wilco initiated and led the EC-Earth project, a European Earth System modeling consortium bringing together 22 universities, knowledge institutes and high performance computing centers from 11 countries. The consortium develops a state-of-the-art earth system model based on numerical weather prediction model of ECMWF.
From 2006 to 2014 Wilco led a division at KNMI on Global Climate research, and he was Acting Head of Regional Climate Division in 2013. In 2013 Wilco also served as Acting Director of a research department on Climate and Seismology Research at KNMI.
Wilco authored and (co-)authored over 80 refereed publications on climate variability, predictability, climate change and adaptation to climate change. Wilco serves on a number of international and national science committees. Wilco is involved in a large number of national and European climate science projects.