Dangel Hickstra graduated suma cum laude from Technische Universiteit Delft with a Masters in Offshore Engineering in 1983, and has worked on various projects, including the Delta Works to protect Rotterdam. He was hired as chief engineer for the Batavian Kingdom's Frisian Islands Project which has hence come to be known as the "Plan-Hickstra".
Dangel Hickstra was born and raised in Zaandam, but was always interested in the polders of Floveland. As he grew up, he was captivated by the beauty of the Frisian Islands, and dreamed of enlarging them and restoring the land to its ancient glory.
He attended Delft University of Technology, graduating cum laude with a degree in engineering.