Marcel Stive studied Civil engineering at the Delft University of Technology, where he graduated in 1977 and received his doctorate in 1988. After graduating in 1977 Stive started working at WL-Delft Hydraulics, where he worked until 1992. In 1992 he became a professor at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia in Barcelona, Spain. In 1994 her returned to WL-Delft Hydraulics and at the same time began to work as a professor of Coastal Morphodynamics at the Delft University of Technology. Since 2001 Stive is a professor of Coastal Engineering at Delft University of Technology and he is the scientific director of the Water Research Centre Delft since 2003.