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.  

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.

Related articles

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24 May 2019

Three EEMCS scientists receive Vidi's

The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) has awarded Vidi grants to three scientists from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS). The fortunate ones are Jan van Gemert, Martijn Caspers and Sicco Verwer.

24 May 2019

Jan-Willem van Wingerden receives Vidi

The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) has awarded Vidi grants to seven TU Delft scientists. From the 3mE faculty Jan-Willem van Wingerden, professor Data Driven Control at Delft Center for Systems and Control, was honoured with an award.

21 May 2019

Tacit knowledge in architecture

Tacit knowledge is a specific type of knowledge that architects employ when designing. The Communities of Tacit Knowledge (TACK) will for the first time combine the expertise on tacit knowledge that has been developed at ten different research centres in Europe. The research project is an ITN-Marie Curie networking project, with BK Bouwkunde as one of the ten research centres involved.

21 May 2019

BK alumna Hanneke Stenfert wins Marina den Damme Grant

Not one, but two TU Delft alumni received the Marina van Damme Grant 2019. Andrea Mangel Raventos and Hanneke Stenfert were both awarded € 9.000,- to achieve their goals.

11 April 2019

Integrating online education with on-campus classrooms

A broad international debate is paramount for urban planning education. To this end, the Bridge DOCS research project aims to connect students from online courses with students in on-campus classrooms. Igor Tempels Moreno Pessoa and Roberto Rocco received a Comenius Teaching Fellowship grant of € 50.000,- to develop the necessary platform. They will start with connecting first year Urbanism students with students from the MOOC ‘Rethink the city’.