News in Brief – Delta 23

Academic year TU Delft will officially open the 2010-2011 academic year on 30 August 2010. The theme for the opening ceremony is: ‘No waste: moving towards a more aware and enriching future’.

The keynote speaker is Peter Voser, CEO of Shell. A panel discussion will also explore what a ‘no waste era’ means for students. Students and employees are cordially invited to attend the event, which will be held in the Aula from 15:30 to 18:00.

Expat friendly
The city of Delft wants to become a more attractive place for expats, which are higher educated people of foreign nationality who come to live and work in the Netherlands for periods ranging from four months to 3.5 years. The municipality has therefore set up a project team, called the Expat Project Team, which will be overseen by TU Delft executive board member, Paul Rullmann. Six themes have been identified as keys to creating a more attractive residential and business climate for expats; they are child care facilities, housing, employment, health care, social activities, an expat service desk and an expat website. The Expat Service Team includes representatives from TU Delft, the city of Delft, Unesco-IHE, TNO, Woonbron, Duwo, Deltares, WFIA, Ikea and the Grotius College.

Alumni-site makeover
TU Delft’s alumni website has been revamped. The site structure has been radically altered under the motto of ’sowing alumni relations to reap the benefits’. This new site is much more demand-driven instead of supply driven, as alumni tend to want more options in the areas of knowledge exchange and networking. There is also a focus on services such as life-long learning and career development. A ‘TU Delft Alumni group’ is also available on LinkedIn.

New signs
Over the summer the old signs on the TU Delft campus were replaced by a new modular system specially designed for and by TU Delft. Bob van Vliet, of Industrial Design Engineering (IDE), developed the hardware (the building elements) as his graduation project. The overall project was supervised by Frans van Mourik, assistant professor at IDE, and by Mijksenaar, a leading signage design firm. TU Delft encompasses over fourty buildings, and the new sign system is based on numbering the buildings, which is the most user-friendly solution. The new signs for cyclists and pedestrians and destination signs for the faculties and other buildings are already in place. In late August/early September, road signs will be positioned along the ring roads around the TU Delft campus, indicating the Mekelpark parking facilities and the associated building numbers.

Science centre
TU Delft’s new Science Centre Delft will soon open its door to the public as a place were everyone, ranging from children to pensioners, can come to learn more about science through a series of exhibitions and interactive activities, like serious games. Prior to opening, the centre invites TU Delft students and staff to come the centre on August 27 to help test the exhibits. The tests will be held from 12:00-16:00 at Mijnbouwstraat 120.

Asteroid approachingThere is a 1-in-1000 chance that a potentially catastrophic asteroid – named ‘(101955) 1999 RQ36’ – will collide with the Earth, and this is most likely to happen in the year 2182, according to a global study conducted by researchers from the University of Valladolid (Spain) and Jet Propulsion Laboratory (USA). The asteroid’s total impact probability is 0.00092 – approximately a 1-in 1000 chance – while over half of this chance (0.00054) corresponds to the year 2182.

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:

A long row of Delft Blue mugs adorn the kitchen walls of OD 18, a stately student house on the Oude Delft. Each mug hangs on a hook and differs from the next in shape and painted design. The mugs belong to the former residents of this student house, which served as Virgiel’s main student association building until 1949. For many years, six or seven students lived on the upper floors, while the ground floor rooms served as the student chapel and chaplaincy. The ground floor however was eventually converted into living spaces, and twelve Virgiel members now currently occupy this ‘Gentleman’s Society’ house, where the tradition is that first-year residents receive a Delft Blue mug as a birthday present. “We go to the Markt to find a nice mug for the birthday boy, and hopefully also one that somehow fits the person”, explains long-time resident, Gerben Smit. If a guy is fat, for instance, he’s pretty much guaranteed to receive a round-shaped mug.
The mugs belonging to those currently living in the house are kept in a corner of the kitchen sideboard, ready for use. Smit: “We all come back from university at 12:30 and have lunch together. We do this every day. We rinse off our mugs and then sit down at the table. We drink coffee and milk from the mugs.” At 13:30 the mugs are placed back in their proper place, ready to be washed, and then everybody goes their own way. When a resident moves out, his mug is hung up on the wall. And should he happen to come back for a visit in a few months or even years, he can just grab his own mug off the hook.

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