2023 Professor of Excellence Award goes to Just Herder

News - 03 July 2023 - Webredactie 3mE

The 2023 Professor of Excellence Award has been awarded to Just Herder, professor of Interactive Mechanisms and Mechatronics, for his exceptional ability to demystify complex concepts and for his special role as a mentor and an example to students and PhD students at home and abroad.

The Professor of Excellence Award is a career prize given annually to a TU Delft professor who excels in both research and teaching, based on nominations from the eight faculties. The selection committee considers, among other things, the impact that the candidates have had on the careers of their undergraduate and postgraduate students.

On Monday 3 July, Jack Pronk, chair of the selection committee, came to our faculty to announce that Just Herder, professor of Interactive Mechanisms and Mechatronics, would receive this year’s Professor of Excellence Award. In the selection committee’s report, colleagues, students and alumni describe him as a visionary scientist and an inspiring lecturer with an exceptional talent for demystifying complex concepts, whether in a lecture on compliant mechanisms or a lecture for children. The selection committee also greatly appreciates his active role as an inspirer and supporter of a host of successful new ventures.

Students inspire me every day.

Just Herder

Students describe Just Herder as dedicated and approachable. It was Just Herder’s idea to create a dedicated WhatsApp group that he would be part of as well. This would make it easier for students to exchange questions, feedback and information with each other and the lecturer before, during and after lectures. Many lecturers have taken up the idea since.

One of Just Herder’s student assistants believes the award is ‘absolutely deserved’. ‘He’s got such a busy schedule, but still he always manages to make time for us. And not just quarter of an hour but a full hour.’

Just Herder is approachable and dedicated.

3mE students

‘I feel privileged to have such a supervisor,’ says one of Just Herder’s PhD candidates. ‘He has strong soft skills and is very empathetic, which makes him a pleasure to work with. He’s not only interested in progress, he’s genuinely committed to the person and the subject.’

Fred van Keulen, dean of 3mE: ‘Just Herder is fully committed to both research and teaching, and he’s unique in the way combines his love of the two. I’m very proud of Just and the high standard of teaching at our faculty.’

The award will be officially presented in September, at which time a detailed report of the committee members’ deliberations will be shared.