Mengelers expresses concern about the work pressure

Work pressure among staff is a matter of increasing concern for Executive Board president Jan Mengelers. In his New Year's speech he called on his audience to keep a close eye on each other. He also announced that additional funds will be made available to attract scientific talent, and that collaboration with Utrecht University and the Utrecht UMC will be intensified. This year will also see the start of TU/e Innovation Space in the Matrix building.

TU/e Innovation Space will become, in Mengeler's words, "a lively melting pot, where students, student teams, student entrepreneurs, scientists and alumni will work hands-on in multidisciplinary teams." The Innovation Space will be housed in the Matrix building, where other facilities such as the ICT Service and the Communication Expertise Center (CEC) are currently to be found. New premises will be needed for both these services before the summer vacation. Where on campus that will be, is not as yet known.

The Innovation Space should become, says Mengelers, "an inextricable part of the education we offer. It will become a hotspot for prototyping, hands-on education and research, and for student teams who can develop and build their projects there." Preparations for this initiative included studying successful examples in Finland (Aalto University) and the United States (Stanford and MIT).

Together with a team, Associate Professor Isabelle Reymen of the Department of Industrial Engineering & Innovation Sciences has been working on these preparations for more than a year. Matrix will also become the home of the Equipment & Prototype Center (EPC), currently housed in the former TNO building. In time, these premises will be occupied by Fonty's technical programs. 

Work pressure

In his speech, Mengelers paid special attention to the increasing work pressure among staff. He called on managers to keep a close eye on their staff. He believes that TU/e staff are naturally inclined to work hard, "but there must also be time to relax, and to devote to your hobbies or your family. It is not a good thing if these are being neglected. As a university of technology, we know better than anyone that a battery can run out of power. If you don't regularly recharge it, eventually the battery will be completely flat. In the coming period, we need to pay close attention to that. All of us: as individuals, colleagues, managers. Together. "

In terms of the budget and finances, TU/e need not worry, says Mengelers. He also let it be known that the previously announced application of upper limits on student intake for four programs will definitely be introduced in September 2018, in order to control the growth in student numbers. "In terms of growth, we want to become a midsize (5,000 to 15,000 students, ed.) university. We certainly don't want to become much bigger than that.

Utrecht University

The new agreement with Utrecht University (UU) and the University Medical Center Utrecht (UMCU) is intended to boost joint research in fields such as regenerative medicine, imaging, porous materials and energy. "The three parties will together invest ten million euros to further intensify this collaboration," announced Mengelers.

"Research in the fields of health, energy and materials increasingly requires a multidisciplinary approach that depends on joint university involvement. It will be a major task to create this, especially considering how difficult it is to get interdepartmental collaboration going at TU/e."

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