The Faculty of Applied Sciences has two awards: the J.B. Westerdijk Prize and the H.I. Waterman Sustainability Award. Read more about these prizes and about the employees who have already received them.

The J.B. Westerdijkprize

The J.B. Westerdijk prize is awarded to a person who has shown exceptional dedication to the education provided at Applied Physics. The prize is named after Mr. Westerdijk, a much-loved former professor. He taught physics at various faculties within TU Delft and did so with such dedication that even students who had not chosen physics as their primary subject tremendously appreciated the subject.

At the time Mr Westerdijk retired, he did not want a parting gift, but chose to use this money to establish the J.B. Westerdijk Foundation, and so the J.B. Westerdijk prize was born.

The board of the J.B. Westerdijkfonds Foundation consists of:

  • J.T. Pronk, chairman
  • Dr. M. Blaauboer
  • Ir. K.M. van der Laan, secretary and treasurer

The Westerdijk Prize has been awarded to the following persons and association since 1982:

  • Dr. T. Idema (2020)
  • C.R. Kleijn (2019)
  • S. Heijnen (2016)
  • Dr. M. Blaauboer (2012)
  • Ing. E. Balsma (2010)
  • Dr. E. Lagendijk (2007)
  • Dr. J.M. Thijssen (2005)
  • Vereniging voor Technische Physica (2002)
  • J.J.J. Kokkedee (1999)
  • Dr. H. Bavinck (1987)
  • Prof.dr. I.T. Young (1986)
  • Prof.dr. G.J.C. Bots (1985)
  • Ir. P.E. van der Leeden (1982)

The history of the J.B. Westerdijkfonds

Prof. dipl. Ing. J.B. (Jan Berend) Westerdijk, the name giver of the fund, born in 1917 in Amsterdam, graduated in 1940 from the E.T.H. in Zurich. From 1951 to 1980 he was full professor of theoretical and applied physics at TH- (later TU) Delft.

Prof. Westerdijk had great didactic qualities. In the classrooms where he gave lectures there were often more students than there should have been. Prof. Westerdijk has given many lectures to students from other disciplines than technical physics. He liked it, while most physics teachers considered it to be a “corvee”.

Prof. Westerdijk did not want any gifts when he said goodbye in 1980. He eventually agreed that people who wanted to give a gift could do so by transferring money to the account of a fund to be established, which would bear his name and from which a prize would periodically be awarded to a lecturer or employee of the TU, who gives or has given a special contribution to education. The J.B. Westerdijkfonds Foundation was established in 1982.

The H.I. Waterman Sustainability Award

The H.I. Waterman Sustainability Award is presented to a scientist who, in the previous two years, according to the jury, 'has demonstrated merit in the development and implementation of methods that simultaneously improve the environment and strengthen the economy, with an emphasis on biochemistry, biotechnology and chemical engineering (in the broadest sense of the word)'.

The H.I. Waterman Sustainability Award is presented every two years to a scientist from the departments of Bionanoscience (BN), Biotechnology (BT) or Chemical Engineering (ChemE) of the Faculty of Applied Sciences. The award thus provides a link between the departments in the Applied Sciences building. The first presentation of the H.l. Waterman Sustainability Award took place around the inauguration of the building Applied Sciences (58).

Selection of candidates is not based on nomination, but takes place by comparison of the scientific staff of the three departments by a jury. The H.I. Waterman Sustainability Award, consists of a sum of money of € 2,000 to be spent at one's own discretion and a plaque, the Waterman medal, placed in a perspex plate with an inscription.

Dr. R.E. Waterman
The initial amount of €10,000 has been made available by Dr. R.E. Waterman and is managed by the Delft University Fund.

Who has so far received the Waterman Award?

September 1, 2016
The first winner of the Waterman Sustainability Award was Yuemei Lin (BT), for her research into wastewater as a cheap source of large amounts of valuable biomaterials.

June 21, 2018
In 2018 David Vermaas (ChemE) won. In addition to his academic work in the field of electrochemistry, the jury attached great value to David's involvement in AquaBattery, where the state-of-the-art knowledge is directly applied. 

November 26, 2020
In 2020, the Waterman Award was presented to Marie-Eve Aubin-Tam for her work on bio-inspired materials. As an example, she recreated mother-of-pearl in the lab using different types of bacteria.