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.

2019
In 2019, several of these specific distinctions within the beta and engineering sciences were awarded to TU Delft scientists. For example, The Dutch Royal Insititute of Engineers (KIVI) awarded the KIVI Academic Society Award 2019 to Prof.dr.ir. Andy van den Dobbelsteen, professor of Climate Design & Sustainability and Prof.dr. Kobus Kuipers received, as one of the founders of “nanophotonics”, the Physica Prize 2019, a prize awarded annually to an eminent physicist working in the Netherlands. Additionally, Prof.dr. Elmar Eisemann received the Dutch Prize for ICT Research 2019, Dr. Dion Gijswijt was awarded the N.G. De Bruijn Prize by the Royal Dutch Mathematical Society for his influential paper on combinatorial optimisation, Dr. Menno Veldhorst has been awarded the Nicholas Kurti Science Prize 2019 for his ground-breaking work on silicon- and germanium-based electron spin quantum bits, and Prof.dr. Dariu Gavrila has received the Outstanding Research Award 2019 from the IEEE Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Society.

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

Related articles

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01 October 2020

TRUST PV Project

The Photovoltaic Material and Devices (PVMD) group at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) has been granted funding by the European Commission Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA) under the Horizon 2020 framework programme for the TRUST-PV project.

24 September 2020

Ajay Seth receives Chan Zuckerberg grant for Open Source Software

Ajay Seth, assistant professor at the Department of BioMechanical Engineering, has received a grant of US$190,000 from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative DAF for his research on the development of Essential Open Source Software for Science. Ajay Seth is receiving the grant specifically for his ‘OpenSIM’ project, an open source biomechanics simulator to study movement to improve the usability, computational performance, maintenance and outreach of the OpenSim open source software and to support the education and training of its users around the world.

10 September 2020

50.000 euro NWO grant for four researchers of Applied Sciences

The Board of NWO Domain Science has awarded four researchers of Applied Sciences in the NWO Open Competition Domain Science – XS. Xiaozhou Ma, Dimphna Meijer, Caroline Paul and Toeno van der Sall will all receive 50.000 euros for their various projects.

03 September 2020

ERC Starting Grant for TU Delft researchers

ERC has awarded its 2020 Starting Grants to early-career researchers. Two of them are scientists from TU Delft. This European funding will help individual scientists and scholars to build their own teams and conduct pioneering research.

03 September 2020

ERC Starting Grant for Peyman Mohajerin Esfahani

The European Research Council has awarded an ERC Starting Grant to Peyman Mohajerin Esfahani, researcher at Delft Centre for Systems and Control. The grants (1,5 million euros for a five-year programme) are intended to support scientists who are in the early stages of their career and have already produced excellent supervised work.