Crash site on campus

On April first, students checked out an apparent crash site of a ballooning accident on the TU Delft campus. Although fake, the set-up was nothing like April’s Fool stunt.

Instead, it was the practical part of the examination for the module Forensic Engineering that is open to LR master students. The 36 students were divided into groups, each of which was allotted one hour to inspect the site.

“The time limit purposely adds stress”, explains lecturer Michiel Schuurman from the faculty of Aeronautical Engineering. With so many clues that were planted in the field, students have a hard time to registering them all. Did the balloon still have sandbags attached to it? Was the attachment of the balloon to the basket intact? And what about this caravan on its side further down the field – was that related to the accident?

The field inspection was the first part of the examination. During this month, the students will have to write a report that will present a plausible explanation for the debris they found.

This set-up was the third yearly examination of the module Forensic Engineering from the LR faculty, and the first time there was a balloon was involved. Yearly, about 40-50 students participate in the module.

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