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RoboCup success, sporting medals, five VENIs, an honorary doctorate and a challenge for our racing drivers

For a couple of weeks you've had to go without our reporting, so a few TU/e news items may have passed you by. Time then for a short update – with news of the TU/e student who came second in the 800 meters at a National Athletics Championships, our care robot and soccer-playing robots who came first at the RoboCup, and university professor Bert Meijer, who for the second time in his life received an honorary doctorate.

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Marissa Damink second at national championship – and secures European selection

Marissa Damink, a TU/e student of Human Technology Interaction, won second place in the 800 m event at last week's Dutch Athletics Championships, which were held in The Hague. “This is the first year that I've set my sights on gold, and so I was actually a little bit disappointed to come away with silver,” says Damink. “But all in all I'm very pleased, especially with the progress I've made yet again this year.”

This coming Saturday Marissa will also compete in the European Athletics Team Championships in Norway's Sandnes. Again, her event will be the 800 meters. “With my PB I'm ranked ninth, but I hope to finish in a position higher than that, and besides I'd like to run a faster PB this season. It would be fantastic to do that at the European Championships.”

Last year Marissa gave us a great interview for our column In the Hot Seat.

URE unexpectedly misses the driverless competition

University Racing Eindhoven had set itself the aim of competing in at least one driverless competition during the current racing season. The event the team had in mind was held July 24 through 28 at Italy's Riccardo Paletti race track. After Formula Student Netherlands (FSN), the team had just one week to convert the car from electric to self-driving. Disappointingly, a malfunction occurred in the Accumulator Management System (AMS), which meant the team's participation was out of the question. URE then set to work again, converting the car back in time to participate in the electric class at Formula Student Germany, which is being held this week. The team is determined to improve the car's self-drive systems and to come back stronger next year. In the Netherlands (at FSN) the team won third place in the electric class .

Why not track how they performed this week at Germany's Hockenheimring. Their social media has all the info.

Five Veni grants

Five talented TU/e researchers have received a Veni grant worth up to 250,000 euros. This was announced 16 July by the Dutch Research Council (NWO). The winners are Antoni Forner-Cuenca, Lenneke Kuijer, Erik Bekkers, Weiming Yao and Anat Akiva.

They perform research on large-scale energy storage, anticipating on technological developments in the design process, Artificial Intelligence to better analyze blood vessel networks, photonics in artificial neurons and the development of ‘bone-on-a-chip’ to investigate bone formation. 

This year, NWO has awarded a total of 166 Veni’s. With the annual Veni grant, NWO encourages promising young researchers to further develop their research idea during a period of three years. Read more on the TU/e-site. Source: Press team TU/e


Lisa Scheenaard wins bronze at world championship

Lisa Scheenaard, a TU/e student of Architecture, Building and Planning and a member of Thêta, our student rowing association, took the bronze medal on July 14th in the Women's Single Sculls event at World Rowing Cup III. Held in Rotterdam, this World Cup was the third and last of the World Cup competitions. Lisa also medaled back at the first World Cup, when she took gold.

The excitement of the race is captured in this (Dutch) report by student rowing association Thêta.

Bert Meijer awarded second honorary degree by leading university

Distinguished TU/e professor Bert Meijer has been awarded an honorary degree by the Freie Universität Berlin. With the distinction the faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Medicine of the leading German university honours the excellent quality of Meijers scientific work. The award is the second honoris causa degree for the organic chemist. He earlier received a similar distinction from the University of Mons in Belgium.

Bert Meijer is considered one of the world’s leading scientists in the field of supramolecular chemisty and polymers, according to a statement by the Freie Universität. He is also lauded for his work on the so-called dendritic box, which is seen as the first example of a unimolecular nanocarrier, which can release its load (e.g. drugs) triggered by external stimuli.

Meijer feels honoured by the award. “Freie Universität Berlin is a leading university, and very strong in organic chemistry. Over the last eight years they have honoured two other chemists: George Whitesides of Harvard and Caroly Bertozzi of Stanford, both absolute world class scientists. It’s a great honour to be now listed among them”.

Meijer will receive his honorary degree during the International Symposium on Polyvalence in Chemistry and Biology on September 30th at the Freie Universität.
Source: Press team TU/e. Read more on the TU/e-site.  

Soccer-playing robots and care robot become world champions

It was a while ago now but in early June Tech United pulled off quite a feat: they returned from the RoboCup in Sydney with two world cups. This is the first time that both the care robot and the soccer-playing robots have reached these giddy heights.

In the extra time of a very exciting final, the robot soccer team beat China, and in its own category, Eindhoven's care robot won the most points. This achievement was down to care robot HERO, a Toyota HSR whose software was developed by the students themselves. HERO beat the robot placed second by a wide margin.

The RoboCup, held this year in Sydney, is the international tournament of the year for autonomous (self-guided) robots. Source: TU/e Press Team

Read more on the TU/e-site

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