Built Environment pleased with research assessment19 January 2017
The Department of the Built Environment has done well in the research assessment conducted at the end of last year. The quality of three of its four research programs was regarded as ‘excellent’: the best possible score. The Living Cities program was judged to be ‘very good’. No aspect of the department's research scored less than 'very good'. In addition to their quality, the programs were also assessed for their relevance and viability.
Vice Dean Bauke de Vries, charged with supervising the research assessment, is naturally pleased with the outcome. “It is an important assessment conducted by our colleagues from abroad. Important not only because we ourselves wish to know how good we are, but also because the committee's assessment serves as a measure within the university. Besides, you can learn something from it. That is why we made the deliberate choice to submit ourselves for review at program level rather than at department level. It results in a more detailed appraisal.”
Since the last research assessment held in 2011 much has changed at the department. Under the leadership of the new Dean Elphi Nelissen the research program Innovation in Building Technology has been scrapped, as has the related Master's of Building Technology, following a disappointing evaluation. The program Performance Engineering in the Built Environment was phased out, says De Vries, when the last cohort of students graduated, and Urbanisms has largely been subsumed in Living Cities. “This has left us with four research programs and, to my mind, a balanced offering. The positive outcome of this review suggests there is no reason to make any changes to that.”
An unusual feature of the assessment was the department's decision to include designs in the committee's scope. “The most important output of our design staff is not scientific articles, as it is in engineering disciplines, but designed objects such as models. Partly at the rector's request, we therefore created a version of the Standard Evaluation Protocol, as an experiment, using our own assessment criteria geared to designs. The committee responded positively to this, although it was critical of the fact that we had presented mainly graduation work. They saw that as being related mainly to education; that is something we'll need to think about for next time.”
The customized protocol may also be useful to Industrial Design, believes De Vries. “That department has already shown a great deal of interest in our approach.”
The full review report is available on the intranet (only within TU/e).
For a while now, TU/e student Guido Buntinx and his friend Christophe Westerveld (student of Zuyd University of Applied Sciences) have been attracting a lot of attention with their 'electric beer crates'. Limburg's regional TV station and the TV news program Editie NL also got wind of their creative initiative. The short internet videos showing them riding along on the public highways have been watched multiple times.
The Department of Applied Physics needs to make significant savings: one million euros on a total annual budget of nine million. This was announced last week Wednesday by Departmental Dean Gerrit Kroesen at a staff meeting. The draft reorganization plan must be ready by the end of November and, says Kroesen, compulsory redundancies cannot be ruled out. The Departmental Council is holding talks today with the Departmental Office.
The fourth day of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in Australia has come to an end and Solar Team Eindhoven is clearly leading the Cruiser Class. Despite earlier transport problems and the limited window for testing on site, TU/e solar car Stella Vie is performing in the outback “far beyond expectations”. With some 900 kilometers to go, a third world title seems almost a dead cert for the team from Eindhoven - but this is no time for complacency.
At this university there are students who are not taking any classes, but they are still forced to pay the full sum of their tuition fee. How is that? When you take a look at what they are doing instead of following courses, their reasons become clear. They form one of the most important cornerstones of the TU/e, they are the student board members and part of student teams.
TU/e has made a considerable leap in the prestigious international Times Higher Education World University Rankings that focus on the subject areas Engineering & Technology and Computer Science. TU/e belongs to the fifteen and eighteen best European universities on these subjects respectively. The THE ranking forms an important yardstick for government departments, policymakers and international students.