News in Brief – Delta 24

ThinktankFour TU Delft students are participating in this year’s National Thinktank, joining eighteen other students from Dutch universities in an attempt to find an answer to the question: how can the government, private companies and scientific research institutes once again create trusted relationships with ordinary citizens.

According to the National Thinktank, recent research has revealed that people are increasingly losing their trust in government institutions, private contractors and corporations. Scientific authorities are also no longer automatically trusted, according to Thinktank’s website. The TU Delft students participating in the National Thinktank are: Roel Dobbe (systems and control), Céline Gaffel (sustainable energy technology), Michiel Jol (applied physics) and Erik Roebeek (mechanical engineering). They have three months to figure out how all these organizations can regain the public trust and will publish their finings in late autumn.  

Drink up
Students rejoice: a new study published in the journal ‘Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research’, has found that nondrinkers have higher mortality rates due to their overall lower social and mental well being. The study found that moderate drinkers — one to three alcoholic drinks a day — have the lowest mortality rates. Moreover, moderate alcohol use (especially when the beverage of choice is red wine) is said to improve heart health, circulation and sociability. A six-member research team found that over a  twenty year period mortality rates were highest for those who had never been drinkers, second-highest for heavy drinkers, and lowest for moderate drinkers. The authors were however careful to note that even if drinking is associated with longer life, it can be dangerous: it can severely impair your memory severely and lead to falls and other drunken mishaps.

Science centre
The new Science Centre Delft opened its doors for the first to the public on Thursday, September 2. Housed in a grand building on the Mijnbouwstraat that was once home to the university’s Faculty of Mining Engineering & Petroleum Extraction, the new Science Centre will serve as a place where science and society meet, allowing visitors to experience the same concepts as scientists and students, in the same rooms and with the same equipment. 


Housing shortage
According to the National Student Union (LSVb) there is a shortage of between 20-30,000 student rooms this year. The student housing shortage is worst in Amsterdam, Leiden, Delft and Nijmegen. The LSVb says the government underestimated increases in student enrolments: from 2002-2010, the number of new students increased twice as fast as predicted. The LSVb is now calling on the government to create a new action plan, ‘but this time one that includes realistic estimates of student enrolment figures’.

Sporting partners
TU Delft has signed a partnership agreement with InnoSportNL, aimed at promoting scientific developments and innovation in sports. TU Delft and InnoSportNL have previously collaborated on other sports-related projects. The Dutch Olympic Federation and TNO, a leading Dutch research institute, set up the InnoSportNL foundation in 2006 as a means of bringing sport, science and private enterprise together and encouraging sports innovation. The Netherlands aims to become one of the world’s top ten sporting nations, and developing new materials and techniques, while helping to prevent injuries, is seen as a key to improving sports performance. TU Delft is the first university of technology to partner with InnoSportNL. The university has many specialist areas with which to contribute knowledge and expertise to sports innovation, including, aerodynamics, hydrodynamics, ergonomic design, movement control and human-product interaction.

Help wanted
Freelance jobs available writing for Delta’s English Pages. We seek foreign students/staff to write articles in English, for payment, on a freelance basis. No experience necessary. We’re looking for enthusiastic, creative foreign students/staff to contribute articles, cartoons, illustrations and photographs. Interested, please send a brief introductory email to: d.mcmullin@tudelft.nl

The first international version of Buddyfuse was released last week. Buddyfuse is a free extension for Windows Live Messenger, seamlessly integrates chat and social networks into Windows Live Messenger, the world’s most widely used instant messaging service. Buddyfuse currently enhances Windows Live Messenger by adding support for Google Talk, Twitter and the Dutch social network Hyves. The technology behind Buddyfuse was co-developed by Yousef El-Dardiry (20), a TU Delft computer science student who completed an internship at Microsoft last summer. “The vast amount of chat and social networking services available today causes people to be ‘online’ on different services at different times,” El-Dardiry explains. “By adding interoperability to Windows Live Messenger people can use an application they’re already familiar with to stay in touch with all their friends, regardless of the network they are on.”  


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