Brand bij UvA

Op het dak van een te slopen gebouw van de Universiteit van Amsterdam heeft vrijdag een flinke brand gewoed. De rookwolken waren in de hele stad te zien.

Volgens een woordvoerder van de politie ontstond de brand rond acht uur ‘s ochtends tijdens sloopwerkzaamheden. Hoe precies is nog niet duidelijk. Pogingen van de slopers om de brand zelf te blussen mislukten, waarna ze de brandweer alarmeerden. Die rukte met groot materieel uit.

Er zijn volgens de politie geen gewonden gevallen. De brand is niet overgeslagen naar andere UvA-gebouwen. Foto’s van de brand zijn te zien bij onder andere en bij de lokale tv-zender AT5.


Smart cars
“Cars should be taking over more of our tasks”, prof. Bart van Arem said last week during his inaugural address as professor of transport planning at TU Delft. “Because no matter how good we think we are at driving, we’re no match for technology when it comes to reaction time and alertness.” Van Arem used his speech to examine the future of mobility, including such technological innovations as cooperative vehicle-infrastructure systems, in which applications will allow mutual communication between vehicles, and between the vehicles and roadside systems. As cars become increasingly intelligent, it’s likely that in future they will drive themselves. “In the coming 10 to 15 years, Intelligent Transport Systems could contribute to 50% fewer traffic-jams, 25% fewer traffic fatalities, 10% less CO2 emission and 20% less air pollution.”

New bionanoscience
TU Delft officially opened its new department of bionanoscience on Thursday 16 September. This new department will focus on virtually unexplored scientific terrain: the interface between biology and
nanoscience. Bionanoscience is expected to become one of the key scientific areas of the 21st century, with enormous implications particularly for the field of medicine. Scientists anticipate new insights into how the living cell and DNA function as a result of this research. “Biology is set to become an engineering science”, said professor Cees Dekker, who, in addition to becoming the new director of the Kavli Institute, will also serve chairman of the bionanoscience department. “Today, nanotechnology’s tool box enables us to visualize, study and control biological molecules, such as DNA and proteins, highly accurately. This leads to new insights into the fundamental mechanisms of the living cell, knowledge which is indispensable in promising applications in, for example, medical treatments.”

Number eight
TU Delft president Dirk Jan van den Berg was ranked in 8th position in ScienceGuide’s annual ‘Top 10’ list of the most powerful and inspiring people in Dutch higher education, research, and innovation. In outlining the reasons for Van den Berg’s inclusion on this list, ScienceGuide wrote: ‘TU Delft chief Van den Berg travelled to Delft from the embassy in Beijing. He quickly readjusted to Europe. His plea for replacing the Finish model with the Swiss model at the Innovation Platform has invigorated the knowledge agenda’.

Speaking at the opening of the new academic year, Erasmus University Rotterdam’s president, Pauline van der Meer Mohr, expressed her desire to deepen the collaboration with TU Delft and Leiden University. Moreover, she would not rule out a future merger with those universities. TU Delft president Dirk Jan van den Berg stated that the three universities were already working together, but in future this partnership will become ‘much more dynamic’.

Turk’s pizza
TNT has sold the small post office building on the Mekelweg to a real estate company, which in turn has rented the building to a Turkish businessman who plans to open a Turkish snack bar with a terrace on the site. The TU’s executive board is agreeable to the move but has referred the issue to the legal department, as the site is located at the entrance of the campus.  

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