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.

20 April 2017

‘Magic Table’ gets dementia patients moving

The Tovertafel (Magic Table) is a light-hearted product that helps those suffering from dementia to exercise whilst bringing them pleasure. The initiative is a fine example of how scientific research can result in valuable health care innovation in the outside world. Hester Anderiesen-Le Riche, who developed the Tovertafel, will obtain her doctorate from TU Delft on Monday, 24 April 2017 with research into this subject.

19 April 2017

Coincidence and Twitter lead to discovery new crack in Greenland’s largest glacier

Something caught the eye of Stef Lhermitte last week, while he was looking through satellite images of the Greenland’s Petermann Glacier. Almost by coincidence he saw a new thin line, as he was going through ESA Sentinel-1 images for research on melt. He checked other satellite images, and saw the line, apparently unnoticed until then, first appear on July 2016. In a series of five tweets, Lhermitte shared his discovery, hoping someone might be able to shed some light.

13 April 2017

Technical Medicine Master’s programme to start in September 2017

It is impossible to imagine the healthcare sector without medical technology. Innovative diagnosis and treatment methods call for a new type of medical professional; someone with both medical and technical knowledge, who can form a link between patients and technology. That’s why, as from September 2017, students will be able to start the Master’s programme in Technical Medicine, which is a collaboration between TU Delft and the university medical centres of Erasmus University Rotterdam and Leiden University. The Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO) gave the green light for this programme.

04 April 2017

Possibility of ‘hydraulic’ offshore wind farm

For his doctorate awarded on Tuesday, 4 April, TU Delft researcher Antonio Jarquin Laguna investigated the possibility of a ‘hydraulic’ offshore wind farm. It involves the direct drive mechanism of the wind turbine being replaced by a positive displacement pump, which is used to bring pressurised seawater into a hydraulic network.

29 March 2017

Henri Werij appointed dean of the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering (AE)

The Executive Board has appointed Dr Henri Werij as dean of the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering (AE), starting from 1 June 2017. Dr Werij is currently Director of Space and Scientific Instrumentation at TNO. Werij studied experimental physics at Leiden University, where he obtained his doctorate with honours in 1988. He then worked as a researcher at the Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics (JILA) in Boulder, Colorado (US) and at the University of Amsterdam. He has been connected to TNO since 1993, first as a scientist and subsequently in a variety of (management) roles.