Clean drinking water, waste water, water shortage or too much water: the issue of water in cities is becoming an ever-increasing challenge because of urban spread and the fact that much of the world’s population lives in cities. So what’s your solution? Enter the TU Delft Urban Water Movie Contest by sending in your film, lasting up to 3 minutes. The best three entries (deadline May 15) will be premiered exclusively during TU Delft’s Water Week, during the Gala première Urban Water Movie. The best film will also win 1000 euros.
Win an e-bike
TU Delft is not only the oldest, but also the largest university of technology in the Netherlands, which means commuting – preferably sustainable commuting. Some 48% of all TU staff members regularly bike to work. To encourage even more people to travel by bicycle, May 10 is ‘Bike to Work’ day in the Netherlands. By registering at fietsnaarjewerkdag.nl, staff members who bike to work on May 10 are eligible to win a Pick-up Electric bicycle.
On May 8, in Epe, Dutch Crown Prince Willem-Alexander will open the first waste-water treatment plant to use a new water treatment technology called Nereda. This innovative technology, developed by TU Delft, consultancy and engineering firm DHV and six water boards makes it possible to treat domestic and commercial waste water in a sustainable, energy efficient manner. Thanks to this new technology, waste-water treatment takes up a much smaller surface area, resulting in significant savings in energy use and building costs for new plants.
Summer in China
Thirty top students from every university in the Netherlands have been selected for the 2012 Netherlands–Asia Honours Summer School. This summer school, funded by a public-private partnership between Dutch universities, companies and government ministries, acknowledges China’s increasing importance and the urgency of acting together immediately to benefit from China’s growth. The first student group will attend two four-week courses at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, with courses varying from international business to Chinese culture and society. The students will also meet Dutch companies and entrepreneurs based in China.
The housing market needs help to recover, but now that Prime Minister’s Cabinet has fallen, it could still be some time before measures are adopted. Peter Boelhouwer, professor of housing systems and the director of the OTB research institute, isn’t overly concerned by a possible delay of a few months. “It’s strange that the Cabinet fell while the plans were already in place, but it is good news. The measures devised in the Catshuis (the Dutch Prime Minister’s residence, ed.) were too weak or even counterproductive.”
A vertical underground osmose filter for making drinking water not only saves 40 percent of energy, it may also push back salination. Reverse osmosis (forcing water at high pressures through micro membranes) is an established yet energy-hungry way of making drinking water from brackish or even salt water. Dr Bas Heijman (CEGS) designed a vertical filtering unit called Puro, which makes use of hydrostatic pressure to force the water through the membranes and thus needs less energy to function. Even better: ground water expert Professor Theo Olsthoorn (CEGS) has shown in animations that Puro pushes the salt water back deeper in the ground and thus fights progressing salination of groundwater and agricultural land. (See article on Page 13: ‘Zoethouder tegen verzilting’)
Summer Dutch course
This summer, the Centre for Languages and Academic Skills will again be offering interested parties the opportunity to follow an extremely intensive Dutch language course. The course is designed for employees and students who already have a strong command of German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish or Icelandic, because these languages have points in common with Dutch and thus quick results are possible. The Delft Method allows course participants to acquire large amounts of vocabulary in a very short time. They learn words through texts covering wide-ranging subjects pertaining to Dutch society. During the lessons, all focus is on conversation. Dutch is the only language spoken.
Dave Wisler is visiting TU Delft from 25-26 April. Wisler, who works for GE Aviation, collaborated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to develop a model for academic engineering programmes to ensure that their graduates are ideally placed to meet the needs of industry. His presentation on 25 April was broadcast live via Collegerama.