Two winners receive Marina van Damme Grant 2023

News - 11 May 2023

On Thursday 11 May, Delft University Fund organised the 2023 Marina van Damme Grant Award Ceremony. Three female Delft alumni stood the chance to win the coveted grant of €9,000. After three impressive pitches and a short jury meeting, Prof. Marina van Geenhuizen, chair of the jury, announced that it was a "roaring" 20th edition with a surprising result: both Mei Ling Tan and Oleksandra Ivashchenko were declared winners of the Marina van Damme Grant 2023.

This grant is made possible by Marina van Damme and enables young female engineers to develop and boost their personal career. This year, out of 18 applications, the jury nominated three candidates: Ludovica Cassina, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, Mei Ling Tan, Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management and Oleksandra Ivashchenko, Faculty of Applied Sciences. As the jury was impressed by all three applications and presentations, it was decided to award the grant which was not awarded last year, this year as well. Although Mei Ling Tan and Oleksandra Ivashchenko were declared winners, both winning €9,000 each, Ludovica Cassina did not go home empty-handed either. Her presentation was so appreciated that she received a double runner-up prize worth €5,000, of which one is provided by alumnus Allerd Stikker via the Fortuna Fund and one by Delft University Fund.

Van Geenhuizen on behalf of the jury: We were enormously impressed by the scientific career of Oleksandra. We realize management takes different skills and we think she made a good choice to follow the MBA course in healthcare management at Amsterdam Business School. That's why she is one of the grant winners. The other grant winner is Mei Ling, not only because of her idea to start another business, but also for her plan and dedication to change the current broken financial system and improve the access to capital for female entrepreneurial engineers."

Winning the Marina van Damme grant will support me to pursue my MBA. I am convinced that the MBA will help me achieve my goal faster and accelerate my career growth by broadening my horizon and gaining a better understanding of the business side of healthcare.

― Oleksandra Ivashchenko

I am very happy with this award. It will allow me to follow the Oxford Private Equity Programme and fulfil my personal mission: to improve access to capital for women entrepreneurs.

― Mei Ling Tan

Read more about the nominees 2023