A big welcome for new IO professors

For the first time in university history, TU Delft inaugurated five new university professors on the same day.
On November 11, 2016, the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering (IO) welcomed five new professors to its staff: Catelijne van Middelkoop, Deborah Nas, Jeroen van Erp, Jos Oberdorf and Roland van der Vorst.

All five have joined the faculty in the previous year and all were hired to further the objective of bringing design practice into the faculty.

“We wanted the faculty to know what is going on in the world,” said IO Dean Ena Voûte. The new additions are all spending 1-2 days per week in IO with a focus on education. According to Voûte, the push to hire more staff affiliated with industry was a push from the bottom.

Given the uniqueness of the occasion, Rector Magnificus Karel Luyben opened the event and noted that perhaps IO had ulterior motivations for combining the five inaugurations into one.

“With the inauguration of one professor, you can only throw a modest party. But with the inauguration of five professors, it’s a good excuse to throw a big party,” he said in his address.

The theme of the event Panta Rhei, meaning “everything flows”, was taken from Greek philosopher Heraclitus. It refers to how things eternally and constantly change. And the theme was heavily referenced by the professors. Nas, in particular, focussed on how the perception of technology changes and closed her talk by a wish that mothers such as herself would be more open to their children using new technologies.

Although the new professors did not shy away from weighty discussions, they all brought a sense of entertainment to their presentations. Van Middelkoop opened her talk by piling a seemingly unrelated group of objects together on stage and Van Erp included a clip of Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

Around 700 people attended the event and it was followed by a reception at the faculty.

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