Our research vision

TU Delft is the largest university of technology in the Netherlands. The university covers virtually the entire spectrum of engineering sciences, divided across 41 departments in 8 faculties. From a strong tradition for over 175 years in the field of civil engineering, we have developed our research portfolio into a broad array of research areas. Currently, we contribute recognised global research leadership in fields as diverse as quantum-nano, bio-nano, maritime technology, architecture, transport, water management, aerospace technology and robotics.

Below we outline three core elements of Delft research. How can the Delft approach be characterized?

Interconnectedness of science, technology and design
Science, technology and design: these are the cornerstones of the research conducted at TU Delft. Although the emphasis placed on each of these aspects can vary per field, the research profile of TU Delft as a whole is characterised by a combination of these three mutually reinforcing approaches. The integration of science, technology and design already begins with the design of a research project, and continues throughout the research process, up to the potential implementation of its outcomes. 

Interconnectedness of research, education and valorisation
At TU Delft, research, education and valorisation cannot be considered in isolation. On the contrary; these cornerstones enhance one another. The technical and scientific knowledge acquired through our research activities feeds naturally into 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. Research, education and knowledge valorisation inspire one another and come together in our motto ‘Impact for a better society’.

Impact for a better society
One important characteristic of TU Delft is that we not only strive to be good at what we do, but also that we want to be good for something. At TU Delft, we strive to balance our pursuit of world-class academic excellence on the one hand and providing high-quality education and expert-solutions to societal problems on the other hand. Although this appears to be a dichotomy, that is not necessarily the case. We have demonstrated in a variety of areas that societal impact and academic excellence can be mutually reinforcing.  ‘Living labs’, ground-breaking initiatives in which we play a key role – including the Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS) and Medical Delta – offer many possibilities for making education and research integral elements of working to address societal challenges. In these and other areas, teams within the university are developing new strategic partnerships with other universities and with civic and private sector partners. In the coming years we intend to further develop these partnerships and to further increase our involvement in societal challenges and international developments.