After today access to buildings will be extremely restricted

As of Tuesday, March 17, 18.00 hours until Tuesday, April 7, 07.00 hours, all TU/e buildings will have extremely restricted access. Access is only possible with the explicit permission of the (managing) director. After permission has been obtained, the security department provides a so-called VIP authorisation. The IMS desk in MetaForum and the Spar supermarket will be open daily. According to Robert-Jan Smits, chairman of the Executive Board of TU/e, the university is also looking at what can be done for the internationals. He hopes that students are also organizing things themselves.

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According to the update of the Central Crisis Team of TU/e the presence on campus is required for a limited number of people in service departments. Managers will determine who this concerns. The CCT says that this is a far-reaching measure for everyone. 'We hope you understand this decision and we expect everyone to respect it.'

Professor Emiel Hensen, dean of the department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry, says that there are a few laboratory installations in Helix, for example, that need some maintenance on a regular basis. “My group works with a very powerful magnet, and to keep it sufficiently cooled, we need to add nitrogen and helium once a week. I will see to that, together with a few people from technical support. I’m sure that similar actions will need to be taken at other departments. Some installations simply can’t be shut down. We switch them to standby now, as it were, and run the same protocol for the next three weeks as during the Christmas break. The consequences for researchers are very drastic, of course, but in general, it’s quite manageable.”

Help desks and supermarket

Exceptions to the rule of restricted access are the help desks and the Spar supermarket in Luna. For IT questions that cannot be solved online, the IMS desk in Metaforum will be open daily. Borrowing of books is still possible, send an email to the library desk: Details and opening hours will follow. The Spar supermarket in Luna will also remain open from 10:00 till 18:00 hrs. The supermarket at Flux is closed.

Chairman of the Executive Board Robert-Jan Smits says he also extensively discussed the crisis with the partners within the VSNU, the umbrella organization of Dutch universities. “Different aspects came up during that discussion: from closing buildings and online education, to calling students who are studying abroad back home. We also talked about making sure that our international students won’t get lonely. In addition, we discussed the need to get higher education on the list of ‘vital professions,’ so that our employees can send their children to childcare facilities and perform the processes that are of critical importance to the universities. We have now succeeded in doing this.” Smits says the next teleconference with the other board presidents and VSNU president Pieter Duisenberg will be held on Thursday.

Smits is worried, however, about the IT systems, “and not so much those at our university, but in general. The whole world is currently online, and the pressure on the systems will be enormous. On Saturday 14 March, our bachelor program Computer Science & Engineering was able to successfully hold its decentralized test online for students who pre-enrolled. This makes us very hopeful that we will be able to offer the bulk of our education online as well next week.”

Today, Tuesday March 17th, the Central Crisis Team will bring out a new update with more details, with student information but also on how to safely work from home etc. Smits says he’s very proud of the approach and dedication of the CCT. “The CCT approaches everything very professionally, and everyone collaborates very constructively and is willing to help where possible. Of course, I’m also very proud of the university as a whole; it’s great to see all the solidarity and collaboration.” Incidentally, starting today, the members of the CCT and the Executive Board will also hold their meetings online.

The latest information can be found at Here you can also find an extensive Q&A. These overviews will constantly be updated. Is your question not listed in the Q&A? You can reach the TU/e crisis team at or whatsapp 06 41683406.

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