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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16 March 2020

Millions of euros to improve to improve the Rhine-Alpine freight corridor

Container ships that aren’t fully loaded, congested locks resulting in long waits for vessels, suboptimal navigation of ships on rivers and fully loaded ships that cannot cope with low water levels. These are common problems on inland waterways. The Horizon 2020 programme ‘Novel inland waterway transport concepts for moving freight effectively’ (NOVIMOVE) is going to use a European grant of almost 9 million euros to conduct research on how to improve the logistics of this transport system.

25 February 2020

‘Uncertain’ ice shelves in Antarctica in NWO-Large collaboration

TU Delft is joining forces with Utrecht University, the KNMI, NIOZ and the ULB (Brussels) to investigate the role of ice shelves in the Antarctic in sea-level rise.

24 February 2020

Two Delft projects obtain funding within NWO – GROOT

TU Delft is in the lead in two of the projects: HiRISE, aimed at charting the current state of Antarctica’s ice shelves, and CURE, which looks at sustainable management of waste management sites.

21 February 2020

Millions of euros to improve the Rhine-Alpine freight corridor

The European Commission has granted almost 9 million euros to the Horizon 2020 research programme ‘Novel inland waterway transport concepts for moving freight effectively’ (NOVIMOVE).

06 February 2020

NWO grants research proposal On the Move: Transition towards Sustainable Mobility

NWO has granted the research proposal “On the Move: Transition towards Sustainable Mobility”. This is a joint project of Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen and TU Delft. In collaboration with public stakeholders and private companies, this project develops and tests an innovative approach that systematically deals with uncertainties in a mobility system that needs to become more sustainable.