Willem II

History of the university

Although the University only received its current name in 1986, it has been providing technical education for over 170 years.

Royal academy: 1842 - 1864

On January 8, 1842, King Willem II founded the 'Royal Academy for the education of civilian engineers, for serving both nation and industry, and of apprentices for trade'. The Academy also educated civil servants for the colonies and revenue officers of the Dutch East Indies. 

Polytechnic school: 1864 - 1905

An Act passed on May 2, 1863, imposing regulations on technical education as well as bringing it under the influence of the rules applying to secondary education. Then, on the 20th of June, 1864, a Royal Decree was issued, ordering that the Royal Academy in Delft be disbanded in order to make way for a new 'Polytechnic School'. The School went on to educate architects, and engineers in the fields of civil works, shipbuilding, mechanical engineering and mining.

Institute of Technology: 1905 - 1986

On May 22, 1905, an Act was passed, acknowledging the academic level of the School's technical education - it became a 'Technische Hogeschool', or an 'Institute of Technology'. Queen Wilhelmina attended the Institute's official opening ceremony on  July 10, 1905. The Institute's first Rector Magnificus was the professor of hydraulic engineering ir. J. Kraus. The Institute was granted corporate rights by an Act passed on June 7, 1956.

Delft University of Technology: 1986 - present

It was an Act which took effect on 1st September, 1986, that officially transformed the Institute of Technology into Delft University of Technology, also known as 'TU Delft' (from the Dutch name Technische Universiteit Delft).

The significance of the TU Delft logo
The essence of the TU Delft logo is Prometheus' flame. Prometheus brought the flame from the Olympus to the people, against the will of Zeus. People’s knowledge then had not yet developed. They did not know of the course of the stars and the cause of the seasons, nor did they know about construction. They could not wield the power of fire either.

Prometheus (he, who looks ahead) was an innovative Greek god and became their first professor of engineering. He taught them to manage fire, to observe the stars, to sail the seas, to bake bricks and to build houses. Prometheus also taught the people to esteem the beauty of nature.

TU Delft can follow in Prometheus' footsteps by developing innovative, durable and environment-friendly technology. Prometheus' flame thereby makes a worthy symbol for TU Delft.

Name author: Webredactie
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