Our students always have a lot of stories to tell: about their projects, internships, research, start-ups, student associations. They discover, collaborate and create solutions for society. Discover here every month new Student Stories.
Looking into the earth with soundA student is hitting a metal plate with a hammer while another is looking at a computer screen in a nearby tent. What (on earth) is happening here? ‘We’re studying the earth’s interior,’ PhD and geophysicist Myrna Staring says.
A bit of math to constrain epidemicsMost people like to keep both mathematics and epidemics at a distance. But a little bit of the former can do wonders in limiting the latter. Supervised by professor Kees Vuik, two high school students modelled a recent outbreak of cholera in Ghana. He also has a bachelor student investigating the new corona virus.
A meaty trick: plant-based deception for goodEating meat is deeply rooted in habits, status, culture, and identity, so it is difficult to reduce our meat consumption. What if instead of viewing the ubiquity of meat in our meals as a problem, we see it as the key to the solution? Just by using a couple of tricks that are already found all around us. Charlotte de Wit, recently graduated student of Industrial Design Engineering at TU Delft, accepted this meaty challenge.
Digitization and storage of health records using blockchainIf ever there is a story about overcoming tremendous odds to succeed, it is Nima Salami’s. A refugee from Iran, he was inspired to create a secure online platform to give ownership of medical records back to the people, after his mother’s records were lost when they fled religious persecution. Thus, was born OASYS, a startup which is currently being validated at YES!Delft and which was the subject of his talk at TEDxDelft 2019. Nima is also working for Wavyr, a company developing conversational AI for customer interactions, is a member of the TU Delft Student Council via Lijst Beta, and is pursuing a BSc in Computer Science at the same time. He agrees to let me question him in the library to find out what makes him tick!
No hydrofoils, yet still the fastestThe TU Delft Solar Boat team became world champion in the offshore long race in Monaco in 2019. This triumph for the team exceeded all expectations, since before and during the race everything seemed to go wrong.
Building homes with recycled plastic bricksRushabh Chheda is a man who has a way with words. For one, he was the winner of the TEDxDelft 2019 Award for his talk at the event. For another, he has convinced audiences worldwide of the merits of UniBrick, his idea to solve two major problems faced by humanity in a single stroke – affordable housing and plastic waste. “Interlocking bricks made from discarded plastic that can be used to assemble houses without the need for cement or skilled labor. You can think of it as a LEGO brick”, he says proudly, “Just as tough but bigger and cheaper so that anybody can afford it!” He aims to better the lives of people in slums the world over through his product. An alumnus of the Faculty of Architecture and founder of the startup Conscious Designs in Delft, he gladly agrees to meet with me in the TU Delft library to tell me all about it.
The future of transitDelft Hyperloop, TUM Hyperloop, Swissloop and EPFLoop – these university student teams were the finalists of the Hyperloop Pod Competition 2019. While most of us were a spectator to the finals, Rieneke Van Noort was in the midst of all the action. I sit down with the 21-year-old Civil engineering Master’s student and captain of the Delft Hyperloop (2019) team to talk about leading a group of 40, the work that goes on behind the scenes, California and much more.
Bacterial extraction of graphene and iron from Martian soilBenjamin Lehner is a man with quite the résumé. He began his PhD in Synthetic Microbiology & Material Science at TU Delft in 2016. Soon after, he conducted research for NASA on the utilization of bacteria in space. He also worked with ESA on bacterial applications for a moon outpost. Currently, he is researching the use of bacteria in the extraction of minerals from Martian and lunar soil. He also plans to join the startup IntuAir that uses microbes to purify air in cities like Munich. “There is much that can be achieved by using bacteria and space technology to solve problems here on Earth, and I want to be a part of that”, he says. Benjamin’s work combines efforts to protect our environment and enable the future colonization of other worlds in our solar system. Despite his busy schedule, he kindly agrees to talk to me about his research, his recent talk at TEDx Delft and his love for the outdoors.
Bringing Light to Rural CommunitiesDiego Quan Reyes, along with his colleagues from TU Delft (Avishek Goel) and Rotterdam School of Management (Sanne Wassink), won the Dutch CleanTech challenge and were runners up at the International CleanTech Challenge held in London. They proposed a novel product – GETI, a smart kettle which uses waste heat from cookstoves (flat metallic plate over wood-fire) to generate electricity that can be used to light up rooms, charge phones and most importantly, has zero emissions. This year they launched their start-up, Quantum Energy and Engineering, with a mission to alleviate the needs of rural communities around the world by developing sustainable and culturally acceptable clean energy solutions.
Acid etching of cold-rolled annealed steel for PVD zinc coatingSix months ago, Manikandan Balasubramanian came across an opportunity to carry out a graduation project in material science at Tata Steel through a professor. Being thoroughly interested in research about steels and automobiles, he was only too glad to accept and move to IJmuiden. “I relish the opportunity to work alongside some of the best minds in the field”, he says. Now, halfway into his assignment, he sits down to share his experiences on working in a professional environment and doing what he loves for his thesis.
Working towards steady sources of renewable energyVeronica Torri started her Master’s in Chemical Engineering at TU Delft two years ago. For her thesis, she decided to work with the university’s e-Refinery, a project aimed at promoting the use of renewable energy and its storage. “The issue lately is with greenhouse emissions and the focus is on how to re-invent carbon dioxide into something useful.” Her research combines Process Engineering and Policy Analysis to industrialise the procedure of carbon capture and usage. It provides a mechanism to use greener sources of energy. Here, Veronica talks about her thesis, her rain jacket, Bollywood dancing and more.
'Hartige Samaritaan' - helping with refugee integrationTwo years ago, when Eva van der Kooij heard about a pop-up restaurant being organised by Hartige Samaritaan, a foundation that helps refugees integrate into Dutch society, she decided to volunteer. “I really like cooking, I’m passionate about the refugee integration and also wanted to improve my soft skills and this seemed like the perfect place to begin.” This year Hartige Samaritaan organised another pop-up restaurant for one month and Eva became the chairwoman of the management team for the project. The restaurant raised over 30000 euros for the Dutch Council for Refugees. Here, the Environmental Engineering master's student shares her experiences.
Graduation project on the Kath-kuni architecture in IndiaOn a trip to India, Marloes van der Zanden came across something that would prove inspirational for her graduation project: traditional Kath-kuni architecture, used for housebuilding in the Himalayan mountains: “Virtually everything is now being built in concrete, but according to hearsay, the traditional houses were much more resilient to earthquakes, although no-one could tell me exactly why.” Having now completed her thesis on the subject, she intends to stay in India for at least a year to conduct further research.
BEST Delft spring course; nine days learning about roboticsDavid de Gruijl and Rémi Fourcoual organised the 2018 BEST spring course at TU Delft. In May, 24 participants from 17 different countries spent nine days learning all about swarm robotics. David and Rémi meanwhile learned everything there is to know about organising such an event. They now hope to encourage more TU Delft students to visit similar courses abroad.
Project MARCH taking steps in exoskeleton technologyIn October 2017, paraplegic Ruben de Sain took less than seven minutes to complete an obstacle course using a special Project MARCH exoskeleton. This is a major triumph for the student project, explain Marise de Baar and Donald Dingemanse. “Overcoming the four obstacles was much more important than coming first,” says De Baar.
Quieter airports and wind turbinesSalil Luesutthiviboon is passionate about noise reduction. Having completed an Aerospace master’s in 2017, his research aims to contribute to a sustainable and quiet future by reducing noise at airports and also at wind turbines.
Flash floods in PeruHaving started a master’s degree in the fall of 2016, Luisa Torres Duenas always knew that she wanted to work for Deltares on flood risk. Now working on her thesis, the Colombian native shares how she created a flash flood risk index for Peru.
Students of Delft University of Technology are working on clever solutions,
impactful projects and innovative research every day. And they have
amazing stories to tell.
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