TU Delft presents eight Best Graduates 2021

News - 02 November 2020

Today, 29 October 2021, Delft University Fund announces the eight TU Delft Best Graduates 2021. Each year, TU Delft’s eight faculties nominate their Best Graduate. On 11 November, during the TU Delft Best Graduate Award Ceremony 2021, one of these eight nominees will receive the prestigious title TU Delft Best Graduate 2021:

Click the images below to read the stories of our Best Graduates:

Faculty of IDE
Faculty of CEG

Online Award Ceremony 2021

11 november | 16:00 - 17:30

Livestream link
Faculty of 3mE
Faculty of BK
Faculty of EEMCS
Faculty of AE
Faculty of TPM
Faculty of AS

TU Delft Best Graduate Award Ceremony 2021

The past year and a half has been an extraordinary time. Especially for our graduates. Every year we are proud of our eight best graduates, but this year even more. And that is precisely why it is important to continue to celebrate special moments. Will you share this pride with us online? You are welcome during the TU Delft Best Graduate Award Ceremony 2021 on Thursday 11 November,16.00 - 17:30hrs.  The ceremony will be live broadcasted from the TU Delft Aula, via this livestream link.

TU Delft Best Graduate Award Ceremony 2021

11 november | 16:00 - 17:30
Soon we will publish the livestream link here

Jury 2021

The jury will decide who will ultimately win the TU Delft Best Graduate Award 2021. The jury, consists of:

  • Prof. Rob F. Mudde, Vice Rector Magnificus/Vice President Education
  • Prof.dr.ir. Hans Hellendoorn
  • Cindy de Visser, Executive Director Delft University Fund
  • Prof.dr.ir. Max Mulder, Professor of Excellence 2021, Guest jury member 2021
  • Ir. Georgios Andreadis, TU Delft Best Graduate 2020, Guest jury member 2021

In addition, an extra prize will be awarded in the categories Best Design, Best Engineering and Best Science. All eight Best Graduates will receive the Best Graduate Medal and Certificate of Excellence in recognition of their master thesis work, their personal dedication and their overall study results and the manner in which they have achieved them. The ultimate TU Delft Best Graduate 2021 will be awarded with the statuette on the road towards a bright future and a new laptop, kindly sponsored by Dell. 

Stories: TU Delft Best Graduates 2021

TU Delft is proud to present the eight Best Graduates 2021. Each year, the eight faculties select their best graduate. Read below the stories of these eight brand new engineers and their impactful graduation research.

Design proposals for safer and more transparent and democratic online interactions.

Digital platforms have become an integral part of our lives. We use them for our social contacts, shopping and to follow developments around the world. However, they also have a dark side. We reveal a lot of personal data to be able to use online platforms. Industrial designer Aniek Kempeneers came up with design proposals to make our online interactions safer and more transparent and democratic. What are the component parts of a vacuum cleaner? How does a media platform work? Most people do not care at all as long as the ‘thing’ does what it is supposed to do. But from an early age, Aniek Kempeneers was interested in these sorts of questions. “I was always intrigued by how the things that we use every day work, so I could visualise the mechanism behind the objects.” So it was no surprise that she chose a study in which she could use both her technical interest and her creativity: Industrial Design Engineering. Context and details After her bachelor’s, she went on to do a double master’s in Strategic Product Design (SPD) and Design for Interaction (DfI). “It was a logical choice for me,” she says. “In SPD you use a wider context to create your designs. You take a helicopter view and look at market trends, future visions, and the strategic objectives of an organisation. In DfI you zoom in on the interaction between the end user and the product or service. I believe that a good designer should be able to both zoom in and zoom out and this is why I wanted to learn the relevant methodologies and skills.” Cookies Swinging between zooming in and out features clearly in Aniek’s graduation project entitled Consent practices and disclosure interactions in the context of digital platforms. It earned her a cum laude in a double masters and the title of Best Graduate 2022 at the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering. Aniek’s starting points in her research were current societal issues: the increasing use of digital platforms and the personal data that we exchange on them. “Online platforms such as Instagram, Flickr, Zalando, Spotify, Booking and Yelp have become an integral part of our daily lives,” Aniek explains. “To use their services, we are asked to accept cookies or to agree to the small print. In doing so, we barely think about all the data that these platforms are collecting on us.” To use online services, we are asked to accept cookies or to agree to the small print. In doing so, we barely think about all the data that these platforms are collecting on us.” Aniek Kempeneers Best Graduate 2022 of the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering Concerns about privacy People do not know precisely what is done with that data, but they are concerned about it. Aniek discussed the issue with friends and fellow students, and this led her to choose her graduation research topic. “Everyone was concerned about their privacy, the increase of fake news, and the growing polarisation between groups of people. We already know that digital platforms do not only use that data for personalised content, but also to predict our online behaviour and, in the worst case, to influence our world view. But what can you do about it? People believe that they can’t change anything so they accept it.” No free choice According to Aniek, this illustrates the unequal relationship between digital platforms and users. “The organisations behind these platforms usually comply with the law through privacy policies, asking permission (consent), and sharing information on the cookies used. At the same time, that consent is far from democratic. Users do not really know what they are giving their permission for and there is no freedom of choice: if you do not agree, you cannot buy something or use a certain service. In my graduation project I looked into how this digital interaction could be improved. I looked at how giving permission and exchanging data can be designed in a way that would make them safe, transparent, accessible and democratic.” Matches and clashes In doing so, Aniek interviewed both end users and experts from organisations behind digital platforms. With them she designed an image of desirable digital consented interactions in the future. She then analysed the fundamental values that underpinned this image. “This gave me an understanding of what users and organisations really consider important, and where expectations and values coincide and where they don’t. In other words, the matches and the clashes. As an example, users mostly want cooperation and facilitation while organisations assume that they want control and autonomy. Furthermore, a good image is essential for the organisations, particularly when it concerns consent.” Creating your own path The next step was to answer two questions. How can you use the ‘matches’ between the user and the organisation in designing their interaction? How can you stop values clashing or solve them should they clash? These are tricky questions as there were few proven design methods or tools to answer them. “The consent and data exchange practices between users and digital platforms are new fields for designers,” explains Aniek. “I had to create my own path along the way. At each step I had to think about the methods and tools that I needed to take the next step. I did creative sessions with fellow designers to gain an understanding of how to design digital interactions based on values.” The end result is a means for digital platforms to conceptualize consent as a relationship/process rather than as a very brief interaction. This includes also a list of 88 ideas covering various topics such as working with people and consent managers, and 21 ideas for design, and a proposal for a real-life design case for Flickr to check and validate these. Raising awareness Aniek did not choose an easy option in her graduation project. “I wanted to do and learn things that I had no experience in. Setting up and carrying out a detailed qualitative investigation, for example, and designing and facilitating creative sessions on speculative design. “There were risks attached as you also want to show what you are good at.” But it all worked out in the end, as transpired in the evaluation of the Board of Examiners that named her Best Graduate of the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering. Her thesis supervisor, Professor Elisa Giaccardi, says that she is impressed by Aniek’s intellectual and design achievements. “She is driven to make people aware of their digital rights and how they can be more careful in their interaction with digital platforms.” The future In the meantime, Aniek has written a number of papers about various parts of her project and jointly published a conference paper with her mentor, Lianne Simonse. She is also currently working on publishing an article. And further? “On the one hand I would like to continue working on this subject in a Doctoral Programme. But I’d also love to work in design consultancy on digital rights, data ethics, and consent practices. I am open for whatever the future brings.” TU Delft Best Graduate Award Ceremony 2022 Aniek Kempeneers is one of TU Delft Best Graduates, nominated by the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering. The TU Delft Best Graduate Award Ceremony 2022 will take place on 22 November. Eight brand new engineers tell their personal story behind their innovative research and present the results of their graduation thesis. Join the award ceremony online or on campus. Award Ceremony 22 november 2022 TU Delft Best Graduates Meer verhalen

Finding the best site to build more safely and cheaply

In determining the ideal location to build structures like skyscrapers, wind farms or bridges, expensive boreholes are usually drilled in order to define the structure and solidity of the subsurface. Master’s student Teus van Dam researched a different method that requires fewer boreholes. This earned Teus the title of Best Graduate 2022 at the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences. Less CO2 emissions The research of Teus has the potential to help make the world a better place. “About percent of all CO 2 emissions on earth comes from cement production. Having a clearer picture of the subsurface could possibly avoid the production of unnecessary concrete foundations and this would indirectly positively affect the climate. Limiting the number of holes to be drilled also avoids CO 2 emissions. Every little bit helps in the end.” Accurate subsurface and soil surveys indirectly contribute to reducing CO2 emissions from cement production. Teus van Dam Best Graduate 2022 of the faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences Advanced technology for subsurface and soil research Using mathematical methods co-developed by TU Delft, Fugro, a geodata specialist, developed an advanced technology for subsurface and soil surveys: Ambient Noise Seismology which has been used since 2016. Teus van Dam says that “This technology can be used by project developers to do things like decide where to put the foundation piles to ensure a the safest and most sustainable construction possible. Fugro saw the potential of further developing this technology with TU Delft, and I got the opportunity to do this research. I had read about SWANS TM before and thought it would be wonderful to bring this technology a step further in a way that meant it could be applied straightaway. It was also a great ending to my two year master’s in Applied Geophysics which involved 20 other master’s students and myself at TU Delft, ETH Zurich and the RWTH Aachen University.” How does SWANSTM work? Before Teus talks about his research, in which he was supervised by Assistant Professor Kees Weemstra , he explains how SWANS TM works. “The technology measures the speed of seismic S-waves in the ground. By measuring the speed at which the seismic waves spread and ‘recalculating’ them to depth, using a mathematical formula, you collect information about the ground. You can then decide where it is safe to build.” It can be done more smartly He continues. “Research into the ideal site for construction is expensive and takes time because of the boreholes that are needed. My research was to see if there was a way to reduce the number of boreholes.” High resolution Teus used this new code in an existing algorithm. He adjusted the code so that the properties of the ground could be determined in an efficient manner: high quality and speed to process the information. A hard pill to swallow He makes it all sound really easy, but Teus unexpectedly had to learn a completely new programming language to be able to actually use the code. “I worked with Python during my bachelor’s and with Matlab during my master’s. But halfway through my thesis I discovered that I had to write parts of the code in Fortran. That was a hard pill to swallow. Luckily it was not that bad and I quickly learned how to use Fortran. The biggest calculation that I did ran for three solid weeks on my computer. It was a very tense time! I didn’t know if it would do what I expected and if not, what the problem would be. You only need to make one typo while inputting hundreds of numbers and it wouldn’t work. Luckily, three weeks later the right result rolled out. And yes, I then had a little beer with my fellow students.” A ten The Board of Examiners praises the speed in which Teus was able to comprehend, implement and expand the current theory on ground vibrations so quickly. He earned an exceptional 10 and the Best Graduate of his Faculty title. “When I heard that, it seemed so unreal and it took a while before it finally sank in. Of course I’m really happy with it.” Supervising new masters For now, Teus has plenty of challenges in the next chapter of his career within his job at Fugro. He started working as a Borehole Geophysical Logging (BGL) Engineer on a research vessel owned by Fugro Netherlands Marine in October. “I am doing geophysical research on the best location for a wind farm on the west coast of Ireland. Apart from that Fugro also asked me to supervise new master students in two follow-up research pieces that build on my master thesis. I’m looking forward to it. The research looks at how you can take account of the topography, such as valleys, hills and dams, in the calculation methodology. “It would be nice if, in the future, we could identify weaknesses in a coastline more quickly through subsurface and soil surveys” Teus van Dam Best Graduate 2022 of the faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences Going abroad “If I want to continue working in this niche in geophysics, I will probably have to work abroad a lot,” says Teus. “Much research is being done in countries like Canada, Australia and the United States. By coincidence my girlfriend is Canadian. I met her two years ago at TU Delft and she will graduate in geosciences this year too. That makes it even more attractive to go and work there.” TU Delft Best Graduate Award Ceremony 2022 Teus van Dam is one of TU Delft Best Graduates, nominated by the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences. The TU Delft Best Graduate Award Ceremony 2022 will take place on 22 November. Eight brand new engineers tell their personal story behind their innovative research and present the results of their graduation thesis. Join the award ceremony online or on campus. Lees ook Award Ceremony 22 november 2022 TU Delft Best Graduates Meer verhalen