Alumna Lefki Loverdou winner Marina van Damme Grant 2020

News - 13 May 2020

On Wednesday May 13th, Delft University Fund organised the Marina van Damme Grant Award Ceremony 2020. The ceremony was different this year, namely online. Friends, family, former and fellow students and colleagues called in to attend the ceremony online. After two impressive video pitches and a short jury deliberation prof.dr. Marina van Geenhuizen, chair of the jury, announced that Lefki Loverdou is the winner of the Marina van Damme Grant 2020.

This grant is made possible thanks to Marina van Damme and enables young female engineers to develop and boost their personal career. This year, the jury nominated two candidates from seventeen applications for the prestigious award (€9,000): Lefki Loverdou, alumna Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, MSc. Water Management and Martina Cuschieri, alumna Faculty of Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering, MSc Biomedical Engineering. Although Lefki Loverdou was awarded the Marina van Damme Grant, Martina Cuschieri did not go home empty-handed either. She received the runner-up award of € 2,500, offered by alumnus Allerd Stikker via the Fortuna Fonds.

Challenging and ambitious career switch
Van Geenhuizen on behalf of the jury: “the jury particularly appreciates her systematic reflection and her determination to fulfill her ambition; developing to become a general (multidisciplinary) innovation manager after a period of working as a technical engineer.”

It is a great honour for me to receive this grant. I see this award as a recognition of my plan for the coming years. I want to thank all my friends, family, colleagues and of course the jury members. I am also looking very much forward to meet dr. Marina van Damme in person and I feel privileged to become part of the Marina van Damme network.

― Lefki Loverdou

About Lefki

After her graduation in 2013, Lefki has gained a couple of years of working experience in both the gas & oil industry and water industry.

“Currently, I am working as an advisor/researcher at Deltares. Deltares is a knowledge institute advising the Dutch ministry of infrastructure, water authorities and international clients on water-related issues. It is very fullfilling to know that my work has a positive effect on the world around me. I aspire to combine my technical background with my interest in developing innovation from a broader perspective.” 

Lefki now aims to further develop from her current position as a technical expert into an innovation advisor on water and energy-related topics. “I realize that what I really enjoy is solving new challenging problems on a conceptual level in multidisciplinary diverse teams.”

With the help of the Marina van Damme Grant, she will participate in the Innovation Excellence programme of the Erasmus Business School. During this programme, she aims to learn more about the process of developing and facilitating innovation in her organisation.

“The leadership modules of this programme will help me grow as a person by gaining more awareness of my strengths and weaknesses. It will challenge my people skills and it will improve my self-confidence as I will go outside of my comfort zone. At the same time, it will bring me in contact with high achieving professionals from other industries. Through this interaction, I aspire to learn from their skills and gain more insight into other industries that could be used in my own working environment.”