Women dominate academic year prizes TU/e5 July 2013
At the closing of the academic year, which TU/e celebrated officially for the first time on Friday, July 5, the TU/e Academic Awards 2013 were presented. With the awards, the university wants to put the best thesis, best design report, and the best doctoral project in the limelight. This year for the first time, the awards ceremony was a women’s affair entirely.
A total of eleven candidates were nominated for best thesis. Natasha Holz Amorim de Sena, MSc, of the Department of Built Environment won the academic award for her graduate thesis ‘Ilhas: filling the gaps’. The project ran in Porto and focused on the ‘Ilhas’, the Portuguese name for the tiny homes that were built in the nineteenth century. There are still some thousand left, housing approximately 13,000 people. De Sena developed a plan that allowed the people living in Ilhas to improve their housing situation, and their social, financial, and physical situation on their own.
Eight were nominated in the category best design report. The prize was awarded to Si Zeng, MSc PDEng of the Department of Chemical Engineering & Chemistry. Her report ‘Separation of Carbonates from Alcohols in Alternative DMC Synthesis Routes’ was realized under supervision of prof.dr. Jan Meuldijk (Process and Product Design). Dimethylcarbonate (DMC) is a versatile and environmentally friendly product that can be used as a solvent for coating material, for example. However, DMC has its downsides as well, including high energy consumption and tricky separation processes. Zeng focused on a Rotating Disk Contractor (RDC) and the use of Phenol, resulting in the separation processes requiring demonstrably less energy.
In the category best doctoral project there were sixteen nominees. Maartje Bastings won. Five years ago she wrote a research proposal that landed her an NWO top talent grant of €180,000. In the group of prof.dr. Bert Meijer (Molecular Science and Technology) she researched medical implementations of biomaterials, especially ways to add protein clusters to biomaterials to improve cell interaction.
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.
Some rooms in De Plint in Luna are not yet ready to use and so the associations are having to put the brakes on some of their activities. The building contractor has run into delays and current expectations are that everything will be ready by early November. There is evidently so much stuff in the Bunker that it can't all be stored in Luna. Bar Potential hopes to open its doors around New Year's. The cultural associations have just moved from the Bunker to Luna.