Humans of TU Delft: Nadine Duursma

Who are the people who study and work at TU Delft? We meet them in Humans of TU Delft. Aerospace student Nadine Duursma believes you’ll never win if you don’t try.

Nadine Buursma: “I hope in the future we can all go to work by plane.” (Photo: Heather Montague)

“Growing up, I always liked maths and physics. My dad also studied in Delft, and my mom studied mathematics, but they let me freely make my own choice. I was absolutely sure that I didn’t like history or languages, so for me it was an easy choice.

I looked at different faculties here. I looked into life sciences and I thought about studying medicine, but that also seemed like just learning things by heart, memorising things. Then I came here to aerospace and fell in love with the aircraft, and it was something you could really think about, and that’s why I decided to apply. It was also one of the most challenging programmes at Delft, and I really liked that.

I was really surprised about getting the scholarship. I first saw a message on Brightspace that was asking for a woman in aerospace, and there were a few requirements. I thought, well, I’m a first-year student, but I still meet all those requirements. I can write a nice motivation letter, and there was also a creative assignment. I thought if you never try, you never win. I just applied and then a few months later I learned I was selected in the top four. I was really surprised, and they forwarded my application to America. Then in June I heard that I had won, and I really did not expect it.

‘The people that I respect most are astronauts’

The people that I respect most are astronauts because they literally have to be able to do everything. They have to do sports, they need to be very smart, they work a lot, they travel a lot, and I really respect what they do. If I ever get the opportunity to apply in the future, I will. I will always try. I don’t expect that, but why not try? I always follow my own path and do what I want.

I’m interested in making new things and designing things. I think I will first work for a company and then maybe later I will set up my own company. I think it would be interesting to try and make aircraft as a means of public transportation. So instead of going to by train, I hope in the future we can all go to work by plane.”

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Heather Montague / Freelance writer

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