Bert van Wee receives Professor of Excellence Award 2020

News - 01 June 2022

On Wednesday 1 June, Delft University Fund awarded Bert van Wee the title of Professor of Excellence 2020. The prize was officially awarded with some delay due to corona restrictions.
The prestigious Professor of Excellence Award has been awarded annually by Delft University Fund since 1994.

The criteria for awarding this prize are captured in its Dutch name “Leermeesterprijs”. Excellence in a domain of science and technology and in education, but also and in particular an exceptionally strong and lasting impact on the professional development and careers of students and colleagues.

Professor van Wee was nominated by prof. drs. Aukje Hassoldt, Dean of Faculty Technology, Policy and Management (TPM), Study Association Curius, (current and former) PhD students and a large number of internal and external colleagues from the transport community, including organisations such as Oxford University, Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, Institute for Road Safety Research (SWOV) and TRAIL - Research School for Transport , Infrastructure and Logistics.

With a unique mix of research, educational and administrative qualities, Bert makes a unique scientific and social contribution to his field that is difficult to overestimate. With a broad palette of methodologies at his disposal, he has time and again developed new, integrated viewpoints that in turn inspire others. The faculty is privileged to have someone like Bert, with his high scientific caliber and engaging personality, as a key member of our community.

Prof. Aukje Hassoldt, Dean Faculty TPM

What makes Bert van Wee a true Professor of Excellence

During the ceremony prof. Jack Pronk, member of the selection committee, explains what makes Van Wee a true Professor of Excellence.

In research, the international appreciation for Bert van Wee’s work is beyond dispute and evident from many commissions of trust and awards. Time and again, the broad scope and depth of his knowledge and his creativity enable him to formulate novel, highly relevant questions which he addresses by a wide range of approaches and techniques. Many of his papers, including a number of authorative reviews, are ‘classics’ in the field and contribute to him being one of highest cited professors at TU Delft.

Pronk also emphasizes that as few if any others at TU Delft, Bert van Wee makes his knowledge and experience available in high-impact advisory roles, including multiple key roles as advisor for the Dutch government. In addition, he gives over a hundred interviews per year, including frequent appearances on tv in programmes such as the evening news and Nieuwsuur.

In these settings, Bert van Wee draws on a unique capability to clearly and transparently address complex subjects. He convincingly communicates the necessity to critically evaluate long-term impacts of proposed policies – instead of just focusing on apparent short-term gains. Based on his contributions to informing and educating the general public, Bert van Wee is also  a “Leermeester” in his interaction with society.

Pronk says the recommendation letters the jury received consistently describe Van Wee as a highly respected top scientist and supervisor with an inspiring curiosity, optimism and enthusiasm. “Bert is described as a mentor who approaches students and early-career colleagues on an equal level and is genuinely interested in and responsive to their personal situation and personal development.” 

About Bert van Wee

Bert van Wee holds a master’s degree in Human Geography at the University of Utrecht and a PhD in Economy and Econometrics from the University of Amsterdam. After a career outside academia, already with a strong emphasis on transport and land use, which included senior roles at the National Institute of Public Health and Environmental Protection (RIVM), Bert rejoined academia, first as part-time professor in Utrecht and, in 2003, as Professor of Transport Policy in the Faculty Technology, Policy and Management of TU Delft.

The prize

Van Wee received the Professor of Excellence silver medal presented by Vice-Rector Magnificus and Vice-President of the Executive Board, Rob Mudde. He also received a grant of €15.000, presented by Michael Wisbrun, chairman of the board, Delft University Fund. Furthermore, two KLM intercontinental business class tickets were presented by KLM.

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