Research at TU Delft encompasses virtually the entire spectrum of engineering sciences and it is this breadth that forms the basis for TU Delft's strong scientific profile. The research questions we tackle are strongly inspired by important future challenges facing society.
How the research is positioned is determined by the source of the research question and the way in which that question is approached. Is it motivated by curiosity or with a view to potential utility? Researchers are often driven by curiosity, whereas society and the business community tend to me more concerned with utility. Research questions can be approached in a fundamental or pragmatic way.
Most research at TU Delft is positioned in the lower right-hand quadrant of the diagram above. In other words, it seeks to answer utility-driven questions in a fundamental way. Most of the research has a long time horizon, greater than eight years.
Science, Engineering, Design
Three key dimensions play an important role in our research: science, engineering and design. But the degree of emphasis placed upon each of these dimensions varies from discipline to discipline.
The technical and scientific knowledge acquired through our research activities feeds naturally into the education and knowledge valorisation at TU Delft. Equally, interaction with inquisitive and critical students, businesses and government agencies also results in new and unexpected research questions. In other words, research, education and knowledge valorisation inspire one another.
Who funds the research conducted at TU Delft?
Central government funding
The Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science funds much of the scientific research at TU Delft.
NWO - indirect funding
The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) funds high-level research at TU Delft.
In order to qualify for this funding, leading researchers at TU Delft must successfully compete against others across the Netherlands for the funds provided by the NWO.
Contract funding from business
TU Delft also conducts contract research funded by Dutch and international businesses as well as the European Union. This funding takes the form of monetary or in-kind payments in return for the research conducted.