Researchers of TU Delft contribute globally recognised research in fields as diverse as quantum nano, bio-nanotechnology, civil engineering, maritime technology, architecture, transport, water management, aerospace technology and robotics. Some of them have been awarded an honorary distinction or prize for their academic achievements, or received a substantial research grant. We are proud to present a selection of these prizes and the scientists that won them.

On this page, we have included both the excellence programs of the ERC and NWO, which are seen as important indicators for scientific excellence (see for example the national ‘Balans van de Wetenschap’ (Science balance sheet), as well as important accreditations that focus specifically on engineering sciences.  

Fotocredits header: NWO, fotografie: Bram Saeys

Excellence programmes

The European Union grants, through the European Research Council (ERC) scholarships to scientists doing fundamental and ground-breaking research. The ERC awards five types of grants. There are personal grants for early-career scientists (Starting Grant), grants for more experienced scientists (Consolidator Grant) and grants for established researchers leading in their field (Advanced Grant).

The ERC Proof of Concept Grant helps ERC grant holders to bridge the gap between research and commercial or societal potential. In addition to the personal grants, ERC also awards a grant to ground-breaking, interdisciplinary partnerships: the Synergy Grant. ERC grants granted to TU Delft scientists, are included in the ERC Timeline.

The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) is one of the main funders of science in the Netherlands. The organization awards, among other prizes, the Spinoza Prize - the highest award in the Netherlands for fundamental science. The Stevin Prize can be considered as the equivalent of this within the applied sciences. In addition, NWO awards the main, national personal excellence subsidie: the Talent Scheme (Veni, Vidi, Vici) for researchers conducting innovative research. Excellent teamwork can be distinguished with a Gravitation (Zwaartekracht) grant, intended for scientific consortia that have the potential to be among the world leaders in their field.

For an overview of grants awarded by NWO, see the overview with related news items on this page. 

Apart from general prizes and grants, there are specific distinctions within the beta and engineering sciences that can be regarded as a proxy for excellence. Important recognitions include the Prins Friso Engeneering prize, which is awarded annually to the Dutch engineer of the year: an engineer who distinguishes his or herself in expertise, innovative capacity, social impact and entrepreneurship. Once every five years, the Christiaan Huygens science prize is dedicated to physics and likewise once every five year the prize is dedicated to information and communication technology.

In 2018, several of these specific distinctions within the beta and engineering sciences were awarded to TU Delft scientists. Dr. Nima Tolou, for example, was awarded the Prins Friso Engineering prize as Dutch Engineer of the Year, prof.dr. Mark van Loosdrecht received the prestigious Stockholm Water Prize, Hans de Jonge has been awarded the Hudig Medal – a medal only awarded once every five years - for his efforts in the fields of Housing and Urban Planning, Sybrand van der Zwaag was the first Dutch scientist to receive the Grande Médaille of the French Society for Metallurgy and Materials SF2M (Société Française de Metallurgie et de Matériaux), prof.dr. Jack Pronk was honored with the International Metabolic Engineering Award for his contribution to metabolic engineering and Jan Dirk Jansen received a Distinguished Membership and Distinguished Achievement Award from the Society of Petroleum Engineers.

Science, engineering and design: these are the cornerstones of research at TU Delft. Sometimes, researchers of TU Delft are awarded design prizes. A new grab design, developed by transport engineer Dingena Schot and her team in cooperation with the Dutch grab manufacturer Nemag, has won an international design prize in 2018, the Red Dot Award. Previously, the design received an Innovative Technology Award.

For more prizes and grants, see the overview with related news items on this page.