- Update 7 May, 3:55 PM
On 12 March we started this live blog to report on the impact of the coronavirus on TU Delft. Now, almost two months later, we are ending it. Now that the Dutch government has offered the prospect of some relaxation of the corona measures, and now that it is clear that working from home and online education will remain the norm for some time to come, we are noticing a diminishing supply of news. So, back to our way of reporting from before the corona crisis, although corona will probably continue to fill our columns. And if there is reason to do so, we will start a new live blog.
- Update 7 May, 11:51 AM
In order to limit possible study delays and related adverse consequences due to coronavirus, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science has allowed universities to put temporary measures in place for the transition from a Bachelor’s to a Master’s programme. Completion of a bachelor's programme or transition programme is therefore not a mandatory requirement.
TU Delft applies the following criteria for bachelor's students and transition students who are enrolled at the university in the academic year 2019-2020. For now, this arrangement applies to the intake of Master’s students within TU Delft, but might be extended to allow students to move between universities, as well as a number of institutes of higher professional education, once agreements on a national level have been reached. Information about this will follow no later than 15 May 2020.
- Update 6 May, 1:35 PM
At the last count, the total number of ventilators available for Covid-19 patients in Guatemala was only 56 for a country with over 17 million inhabitants. In comparison: the Netherlands had over 2,400 intensive care beds with ventilators for the same number of people. Project Inspiration developed a reliable ventilator for local production. A prototype has now reached Guatemala where production is about to start. Continue reading.
- Update 4 May, 11:10 AM
The Covid-19 crisis is asking a lot of us. Being at home can make it difficult to take care of your health. For example, it can be harder to stick to healthy nutrition, exercise and good sleep habits. In fact, we all have to find a way to build new habits that support our health, and thereby energy level, productivity and resilience. Therefore, four weeks ago Studium Generale started with their Corona Care Package, a programme to ease everyones quarantine. In the following weeks the programme will be extended and Studium Generale will offer a Health Coach webinar. The webinar will give insights in healthy patterns and how to form new, sustainable habits to improve your lifestyle.
The webinar will be live on Zoom on Thursday 7 May from 14.00 – 15.00 hours and is offered in collaboration with the Health Coach Program. More information can be found on the Studium Generale website.
- Update 30 April, 12:39 PM
“I was more worried about submitting the answers than about my answers themselves.” Online exams. It is taking a lot of getting used to. Delta asked five TU Delft students about their experiences and got them to share some tips & tricks. Read the article.
- Update 30 April, 9:53 AM
Day 69 of quarantine in the year of our Lord 2020. The memes are turning into reality. Life is a blur and I stumble through the hours in a daze, as if in a waking dream. I have lost track of time, and know only daylight and darkness. All joking aside, this is not the vacation or the start of his Ph.D. that Vishal Onkhar had in mind. Read his latest column.
- Update 29 april, 3:38 PM
Six weeks before the coronavirus hit the Netherlands, Delta spoke to postdoc Dongliang Peng who was stuck in China. Back in Delft he’s serving a back to back lockdown. Read his story here.
- Update 29 april, 1:36 PM
Just imagine, you have a fabulous idea and after two years of preparation you can’t wait to launch your product on the market. But just when you are in the starting blocks, the corona crisis sweeps through all your plans. So what do you do? We asked start-ups from Delft how they are dealing with the coronacrisis. “At the moment, Covid-19 is the only topic preoccupying people in start-ups,” is how Investment Director Ronald Gelderblom of Delft Enterprises summarises the mood.
- Update 29 april, 10:41 AM
Vice Rector Magnificus Rob Mudde will be having another Zoom-conversation with TU Delft students on Friday 1 May from 17:45 to 18:45. During this online session, Mudde will answer questions from students and listen to their comments. So far, four sessions have taken place in which more than forty-five students participated. During the bilingual conversations, topics such as communication, study progress and finances during these corona times were discussed. Questions and answers resulting from these sessions will be added to the corona webpage of TU Delft. Interested students can register via e-mail.
- Update 28 april, 5:05 PM
How to exit the lockdown? Like many other countries, the Netherlands is in limbo. The curve of corona infections has flattened a bit, and more patients are leaving intensive care than are coming in. On the other hand, every bit of freedom from the lockdown translates into more infections, more disabilities and more deaths among senior citizens. Some people plea for caution, others for opening up economic activities. What does Dutch society think? TPM researchers led by Dr Niek Mouter have set up a questionnaire which shows the consequences of your answers on public health. The one condition in the questions is that the burden on the healthcare services may not exceed fifty percent. The questionnaire is available from 29 April on www.tudelft.nl/covidexit and takes about 20 minutes to complete. Opening bars, going to the hairdresser, or banning the 1.5 meters policy for family members. What would you choose? Mouter will report his findings on how the Dutch want to exit lockdown to the RIVM on 7 May. “For us scientists that’s a crazy deadline, but it’s nice to see the level of energy it releases in people,” says Mouter.
- Update 28 april, 3:33 PM
More than a quarter of employers put a staff freeze due to the corona crisis. A third of them also admits to hire fewer students. This was revealed from a survey (Dutch only) among Dutch recruiters, carried out by online job platform Magnet.me.
The hiring freeze does not apply to all sectors, as one third of all employers are still hiring as many people as before the crisis. In the IT, finance and FMCG (consumer products) sectors even more people are being recruited. Many events, such as in-house days, therefore now take place online. The same applies to job interviews.
Students are being advised to make good use of their time in lockdown, as more than forty percent of surveyed recruiters expect to bring this up in future job interviews. Students who are taking on an extra course or carry out volunteering duties during this lockdown, are eventually more likely to be hired.
- Update 28 April, 3:10 PM
According to platform Kamernet, more and more rooms are empty due to the corona crisis. Nationally, the number of vacant rooms has increased by 53 percent in recent weeks, but the number of people looking for a house has decreased considerably.
Strikingly enough, the number of rooms on offer in Delft remained relatively stable. There are currently 115 rooms available in Delft, which is comparable to the same period in 2019. Although the number of Dutch natives looking for housing in Delft declined, the number of international housing hunters has grown considerably since week 14. The average growth in the Netherlands is much smaller. This increase is probably due to the closing of the enrolment deadline (1 April) and the subsequent allocation of study places to international students.
- Update 28 April, 1:17 PM
Due of the corona crisis, the twentieth edition of the National Congress of Public Administration (In Dutch: Landelijke Congres der Bestuurskunde) will be fully online this year. Eight TU students will organise an online congress on 12, 13 and 14 May with the theme ‘Revolution in the workplace: where and with whom... or at least with what?’
“We are looking at how the rise of artificial intelligence will influence the workplace of the future and how the Netherlands should respond to this”, says Commissioner public relations Pepijn de Haan.
Although the change from a physical event to an online edition was challenging, it also has some advantages. De Haan: “You can now participate from home and thanks to the new set-up admission is free.”
More information about the congres can be found on the website.
- Update 24 April, 6:40 PM
TU Delft employees led by Professor Amir Zadpoor (3mE) have designed and built a ventilator made from standard industrial parts: reliable and widely obtainable.
- Update 24 April, 4:20 PM
What do we do when students don't have a stabile internet connection? And how can we prevent fraud? Teachers have worked a lot through days and nights in recent weeks to convert their exams into online versions. Delta asked how they thought the exam period went. Interesting enough, many lecturers are questioning the need for online proctoring. Read the full article here.
- Update 22 April, 4:40 PM
The father of virology worked in Delft. He knew a living ‘thing' was causing infectious disease, but he couldn’t see anything under the microscope. That frustrated Professor Martinus. W. Beijerinck. Historian Lesley Robertson recounts the amazing story of how the first-ever virus was discovered in Delft over 120 years ago. Read more.
- Update 22 April, 12:22 PM
In three weeks’ time Delft students developed a ventilator for Covid19 patients, the AIRone. The Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport ordered 500 ofthese devices. But IC experts are sceptical, or so news platform Folow the Money discovered after speaking with IC experts from various hospitals. One of them Armand Girbes, professor of intensive care medicine at the VU University in Amsterdam, says he has no fiduciary belief that machines "match the sophisticated breathing machines of the well-known companies with years of development and involvement of top clinicians and scientists. The fact that the ministry apparently takes a different view of this fills me with some unease." The students themselves write on their website that their device should only be used in extreme emergencies. "The AIRone has been specifically designed as an emergency solution for ventilating a corona patient and may only be used if no regular ventilation equipment is available."
- Update 21 April, 7:45 PM
Now that the Dutch government has extended the measures for working from home until at least 20 May, TU Delft is expected to extend its earlier appeal. Employees were asked to work from home as much as possible until 28 April. More information about working from home can be found here. Wondering how your colleagues are holding up? Delta asked four lecturers.
- Update 21 April, 7:40 PM
Dutch primary schools may reopen on 11 May, but colleges and universities will remain closed for the time being. With this, the Dutch government is following the advice of the so-called Outbreak Management Team (OMT). Physical education at universities and universities of applied sciences would constitute ‘a real risk’. The OMT advises to await what will happen when primary and eventually secondary education is restarted.
After all, universities and universities of applied sciences cover a larger area than the individual primary schools. Children usually live close to their schools, while many students go to their educational institution by public transport, which is a risk.
- Update 21 April, 7:30 PM
The ban on events subject to authorisation has been extended until 1 September. Prime Minister Mark Rutte just announced this at a press conference. As a result, the introduction week OWee, scheduled from 16 to 20 August, will be cancelled in its usual form. The Ladies Intro (8 June) was already cancelled due to the coronavirus. Just recently the OWee board told Delta they were working out scenarios where students can see as much of the city and university as possible without being physically present. However, the effect of the new measures announced by the government on the further implementation of the introduction programme is not yet known.
Other important events affected by the new measures include several days of age, first-year weekends, symposiums, trips abroad organized by study associations and the Xpereince Day, the annual alumni event.
Update 21 April, 2:00 PM
Vice Rector Magnificus Rob Mudde will be having another Zoom-conversation with TU Delft students on Friday 24 April from 17:00 to 18:00. During this online session, Mudde will answer questions from students and listen to their comments. So far, four sessions have taken place in which more than fifty students participated. During the bilingual conversations, topics such as communication, study progress and finances during these corona times were discussed. Questions and answers resulting from these sessions will be added to the corona webpage of TU Delft. Interested students can register via e-mail.
- Update 21 april, 12:30 PM
Students with financial concerns that affect their study progress can in some cases receive an allowance from TU Delft. The university announced this on Tuesday morning. As of now TU Delft will be lenient with the payment terms of the tuition fees. Tuition fees will be collected at the usual times, but postponement of payment is possible. Students from outside the European Area who would have obtained their Bachelor‘s or Master’s degree before 1 September 2020 may complete their studies in the coming academic year (2020-2021) at the statutory tuition fee instead of the higher institution fee they normally pay. They will have three months (until 1 December) to do so. The adjustment will set in automatically from 1 September and will be valid for a maximum of three months. Finally, the university is in the process of setting up a solidarity fund. Students who find themselves in a very precarious situation can then be helped with contributions from third parties.
- Update 20 april, 3:30 PM
Tomorrow, the Dutch government will announce new measures against corona. Maybe some existing measures may be relaxed. In any case, Geneviève Girard hopes that consequences other than imminent deaths will be considered. Read her letter here.
- Update 20 april, 2:45 PM
After three weeks, the TU Delft COVID-19 Response Fund has received 750 donations for a total of 170 thousand euros. The fund focuses on alumni, but also on other citizens. The selection committee, consisting of deans Theun Baller (3mE) and John Schmitz (EEMCS) and department chairman of biomechanical engineering Dirk Jan Veeger, has now designated eight projects for support from the fund. These include the well-known OperationAIR, a test platform with UV-C LED and the ResilientSociety platform. More information can be found here.
- Update 17 April, 3:45 PM
In Amstelveen, the police issued heavy fines to 17 students who were sitting together outside. And in Groningen, police officers even told the residents of one student house that they would be fined EUR 390 if they did not keep their distance from each other in their living room. What rules does the municipality of Delft apply?
- Update 17 April, 3:30 PM
Prometheus, TU Delft’s staff association, opens its online events to all of TU Delft staff as long as the working from home period lasts. The activities, normally only available to members, range from a colouring contest to a quiz and a bingo. “Now that we are working from home, many colleagues miss out on contact with each other. This way, we hope to strengthen the sense of community,” says board member Jackie Frew.
Frew is organising the Homequiz and a Bingo at Home in the coming weeks. ”The Homequiz takes ten working days. Participants will receive a new round of questions every day. The home bingo takes about five days. Both activities can be played at home with family or online with colleagues.”
All activities are free, bilingual and private: participation is only possible with a TU Delft-email address. More information can be found on the Prometheus website. You can register via firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Update 17 April, 2:20 PM
The TU Delft student ambassadors (a group of currently enrolled students who act as a link between the university and its (outside) community) warn for an email scam doing the rounds at TU Delft. The scam is targeted at international students and was send by misusing the name of the Indian Student Association Delft (ISA). The message follows just shortly after the university send out an official email to all international students providing them with information about the options they have during this corona crisis.
Unfortunately there are people wanting to take advantage of the situation. The fraudulent email that was send from the address 805071@protonmail states the following: “We haven’t received any response from you about your enrollment. That’s why we are canceling your visa status. You can be sure that your residence permit will also be revoked.”
A screenshot of the email. (Via Facebook)
Both TU Delft Student Ambassadors and ISA warn all students for this fraudulent email and wish to reiterate that ISA is in no way affiliated with this email. Students who receive such a message are advised to forward and report the mail as soon as possible to email@example.com. For additional questions and information students can contact the TU Delft Contact Centre. Tips on how to recognize phishing and scams can be found here.
- Update 17 April, 12:30 PM
Driven by an impending shortage of ventilators, TU Delft researcher Gerwin Smit (3mE) looked for inspiration at a classic machine that had proven its merit: an English ventilator from the 1960s in the collection of the Boerhaave Museum in Leiden. Watch the video below or read the article here.
- Update 16 April, 3:20 PM
As of this week, corona patients in the nursing wards of the Reinier de Graaf hospital can receive virtual visits via the online platform We Visit. In this way, people who are not allowed to receive visitors because of the risk of infection can still have contact with family or relatives. The hospital wants to prevent loneliness, she writes on her website (Dutch only).
With a special tablet, patients can use We Visit to talk to several family members and friends at the same time at pre-arranged times. For the development of the online platform, Reinier de Graaf worked with, among others, TU Delft and Erasmus MC.
The idea for the virtual visiting hour came from doctor-in-training Mesut Savas. He saw how lonely corona patients became and started a fundraising campaign for special tablets. You can still contribute to Savas' crowdfunding campaign.
- Update 16 April, 2:25 PM
Tackling COVID-19 requires all the clever minds. Including those of students. BSc and MSc students can now participate in an interdisciplinary programme set up by the TU Delft and Erasmus MC to better understand and combat the COVID-19 pandemic (and possible future epidemics). Six projects focus on, among other things, the modelling of disease spread, immunity and research into decision theory. All projects are open to BSc students, MSc students, PhD students and postdocs, and are carried out in teams of five to six people.
- Update 16 April, 1:45 PM
Now that almost all students have to study at home, it appears that they are perfectly capable of doing so, notes our student-columnist Noor van Driel. So now it’s a question of keeping it up. Read Noor’s column.
- Update 16 April, 11:00 AM
The Student Council’s many questions about the impact of TU Delft’s corona measures on international students at its first online meeting with the Executive Board caused the meeting to run over time. Delta joined the meeting. Read our report.
- Update 15 April, 3:18 PM
On the TU Delft campus, the construction of the new TNO lab for building innovation research has started in relative silence. A planned festive ceremony was cancelled due to the coronavirus. The laboratory conducts applied, innovative research into lifetime extension and innovation in the areas of materials, energy, and structures. This research is carried out for (inter)national clients in residential and commercial construction and infrastructure.
- Update 15 April, 1:08 PM
Vice Rector Magnificus Rob has expressed his concerns and pride in a column about the corona crisis. He writes that working from home is becoming more and more routine for most employees, but that he is worried about the high pace of work that many colleagues are forced to maintain. "This is something I am struggling with: on the one hand we want to help our students as much as possible, but on the other hand our colleagues need to stay healthy”, writes Mudde.
He also pays attention to student welfare. For example, many international and Dutch students are struggling with financial worries. “It is difficult to get these worries under control; they keep going round in your head. They disturb your concentration, divert your thoughts and reduce your ability to study complex material.”
Although the corona crisis takes some getting used to for everyone, Mudde also expresses his pride: “It's incredible just how energetically our community has responded to the situation; a great sight that fills me with pride.
- Update 14 april, 6:27 PM
The Executive Board of TU Delft will host another Zoom session with students. Just like last time, the Board wants to hear the students‘ opinions on 'how TU Delft is dealing with the corona crisis’. Students can ask questions and express their concerns to vice rector magnificus Rob Mudde.
The Zoom session will take place on Friday 17 April from 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM. Questions and answers arising from the session will be added to the educational information on TU Delft's corona website. Students can register via e-mail.
Some 15 students participated in each of the sessions that were organized last month. They had questions about study progress, especially about exams and Q4. International students mainly had questions about the financial impact of the corona crisis and how to deal with it. Delta asked TU Delft what has been done with these signals.
- Update 14 april 4:06 PM
During the Easter weekend 20 members of the student association D.S.V. Sint Jansbrug handed out more than two hundred roses to elderly people in Delft. They joined an initiative of Gewoon Mensen, a platform set up during the corona crisis by four students to bring people who want to help into contact with people who need help.
The Jansbruggers visited elderly clients of home care organisation Vierstroom. Karlijn Joosten, fifth year member of the association: “It's great to work together with an enormous number of people through this initiative and to give the bouquets at home as a consolation.”
- Update 14 April, 3:45 PM
Until recently prof.dr.ir. Kaspar Jansen of the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering developed custom cooling vests for Olympic athletes. He did this in collaboration with the company Inuteq under the flag of Thermo Tokyo. Now that the Games are cancelled, the consortium will donate four hundred cooling vests to intensive care personnel. They suffer from sweating under the many layers of protective clothing they have to wear. The cooling vests consist of bags containing mixtures of paraffin oil that undergo a phase change while absorbing heat. In doing so, they remain at a constant temperature of about 10 degrees Celsius. Jansen estimates that the cooled vests provide cooling for about forty minutes to IC doctors and nurses. Another product meant for Olympic athletes may come on the market later this summer: silver cooling caps with a slowly thawing inside.
- Update 14 April, 1:05 PM
This is not the first time that TU Delft has closed because of an epidemic. It also happened in 1918, due to the Spanish Flu. How did TU Delft respond? What measures were taken and how can we compare that to today’s situation? Read more here.
- Update 14 April, 12:42 PM
Last week OperationAir, the student team that is developing a ventilator, reported that a prototype was ready and that the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports is considering admission. How are things a week later?
The prototype of the AirOne is now being tested. (Photo: ProjectAir).
Patrick Tang, media officer at OperationAir, says that the team is going through two stages. In addition to the written procedure for the Ministry, the team is also working on practical tests. For example, medical staff at Erasmus MC inspected the prototype last Friday. The students will adjust the design as a result of practical tests. “It is a very dynamic process, the planning changes every hour,” says Tang. In addition, the device must meet all kinds of requirements in terms of safety, soundness and radiation shielding that apply to hospital equipment. An official test will have to take place before admission, only it is not yet known who will sign for it. The result will not be the usual CE certification, because that procedure takes too long. In short, nobody knows how long it will take before production can start. In the meantime, the students are preparing for a second phase, in which the work shifts from design and development to user instruction, trouble shooting and support.
- Update 14 April, 12:25 PM
In the face of the coronavirus, preparations for the OWee, to be held from 16 to 20 August this year, are not going as planned. Normally the eight person Board works from an office on campus. Now they are mostly in contact virtually. Will the OWee go ahead? We asked Vice Chair and Head of Communications Mennolt Verhaar on Zoom. Read the interview here.
- Update 14 April, 11:45 AM
Imagine you are an international student, stuck in a country you don’t know and you have to pay more than EUR 2,000 a month to stay there. Returning home or getting a job isn’t an option, and your family cannot send you money. What would you do? Many international students at TU Delft are worried about their studies, money and housing. They ask TU Delft for help, but are still facing a lot of uncertainty. Read more here.
- Update 10 april, 4:45 PM
The corona pandemic has caused a shortage of protection equipment, especially face masks. TU Delft researchers and students are ramping up testing facilities in ProjectMask. The team has adopted a dual approach to testing. Not only are they developing and building testing facilities, but they are also testing masks at the request of hospitals and other health organisations. TU Delft TV paid them a visit.
- Update 9 april, 1:20 PM
Students who haven’t completely finished their Bachelor's degree may start at some Masters. And studies with a numerus fixus will admit more students, writes the association of Dutch universities VSNU.
Universities have to come up with solutions for the transition from Bachelor to Master now that students are facing new problems due to the corona crisis. Before May 15, each Master‘s programme will announce whether and which changes they are making to the admission policy because of the corona crisis. In the coming period, Delta will ask TU Delft's master’s programmes which changes they will make.
- Update 9 april, 9:52 AM
The corona measures make it difficult for prospective students to choose their ideal study. That's why current students have been offering their help on social media by using the Dutch hashtag #studiekeuze. To create order in all these #studiekeuze messages, three students from TU Delft have set up the platform kiezeninquarantaine.nl. The platform links current students to prospective students who have doubts about what they will study next year. Almost 1200 people have registered since the platform went online last Saturday.
- Update 9 April, 9:45 AM
About 75 percent of the exams will continue this period, a total of about 450. What form do these examinations take, how does TU Delft search for a balance between trust and control, and what happens to the exams that cannot go ahead now? Read it here.
- Update 9 April, 9:30 AM
Columnist Menno Blaauw estimates his chances of dying from the coronavirus in the coming year at one in a hundred. “By our Dutch standards, that’s an extremely high risk.” Despite powerlessness and resignation, he had enough energy to get his affairs in order. Just in case. Read his column.
- Update 8 April, 5:00 PM
TU Delft has decided to extend the period of online education until the end of this academic year. The decision concerns both lectures and exams. Until now, the end date was 1 June. For activities for which there is no online alternative available - such as some practical exams - the university is still looking for other solutions.
- Update 7 April, 12:00 PM
Tigran Mkhoyan, PhD student at the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, nowadays simulates the spread of the coronavirus. The outcome of his model shows the importance of early quarantine.
Normally Mkhoyan is involved in models and simulations of complex, dynamic systems, such as aircraft wings that change shape. Home bound and thinking about the spread of the virus, the usefulness of testing and the emergence of group immunity, he decided to model the spread as an effect of human movement and interaction.
His model shows that early quarantine can reduce the proportion of infections to 25 percent. Do it later and the counter rises to 55 percent of the population. In an article on LinkedIn, Mkhoyan explains his assumptions. He claims not to present a realistic model, yet his results are reminiscent of figures that appear in news reports (link in Dutch). An interesting part is therefore the dynamics of a second wave of patients after the first crisis has been overcome. Read more in the article ‘COVID-19: modelling the spread dynamics of the novel coronoavirus’.
- Update 7 April, 11:45 AM
Closing schools, working from home and no social events. Every country is taking roughly the same measures, but things are working out differently everywhere. TPM researcher Amineh Ghorbani is part of an international group that models the effects of government policies during the corona crisis. In England, Sweden and Italy they are helping policy advisers. In the Netherlands, that conversation is getting started. Read more here.
- Update 6 April, 5:00 PM
You are in lockdown in your student house and somebody is starting to cough. A few days later it is someone else’s turn. Is it corona? You will never know, as people in the Netherlands are tested only to a limited extent. Still, it is interesting to chart the spread of the virus, if only to improve mathematical models. That was the idea of bachelor student mechanical engineering Hylke Martens and master student civil engineering Niels Maltha.
The only problem is that such a survey only has value if a lot of people fill it in. Three other students are therefore going to help Martens and Maltha, under the umbrella of the Delft Centre for Entrepreneurship. Bachelor students applied physics Emma Lucas and Can Pekdemir and bachelor student at the Technology, Policy and Management Faculty Parya Lotfi are going to scale up the questionnaire, optimize questions and involve multiple organisations in the research.
The hope is now that as many students and citizens as possible will want to invest ninety seconds to share how they are doing - whether or not they have any symptoms. The knowledge gained is important for combating a possible second wave of corona infections such as the one currently occurring in China, says Lotfi. The students want to make their data anonymously available to policymakers, scientific modellers and care institutions. Take the test here.
- Update 6 April, 13:46 PM
Due to the cancellation of the Minor event on 30 March, students can follow online minor information sessions via Zoom on 6 and 7 April. The schedule for the Zoom sessions is listed on the website of the Minor event. On Twitter, the local political party Piratenpartij Delft questions the use of Zoom and points out that there are safer alternatives. The Master event, originally planned on March 26th, will also get an online version. This will probably be in June.
- Update 2 April, 6:00 PM
Many university researchers and PhD students have been unable to collect data since the outbreak of the coronavirus. Field work has been postponed and laboratories are closed. But the duration of their contract is often equal to the duration of the research project. In other words, they have to deal with a fixed end date, but do not know whether they will be able to complete their research on time. The government should therefore support researchers and PhD candidates with an emergency fund, according to the General Education Association (Algemene Onderwijsbond in Dutch). “Many employers will say that they only have money for the duration of the project,” says sector director Donald Pechler. “But the Dutch Government has deep pockets, we've heard before.”
- Update 2 April, 2:00 PM
TU Delft is virtually on lockdown. Everyone has to study and work at home. How is it going with the student teams who normally work in the Dream Hall? Read their stories.
- Update 2 April, 10:00 AM
In a crisis you grab the first tools available. But Bob van Vliet watches with concern how enthusiastically everyone is embracing software from data hungry companies. Read his column.
- Update 2 April, 9:10 AM
Friday is the day. That is when the third quarter exam period starts. It’s the most complicated ever in terms of organisation and implementation. Over the next few weeks, there are almost 600 exams with 53,000 registrations in the planning. Delta asked Willem van Valkenburg, Executive Director of the Extension School, if and how they will go proceed. Read the full interview.
- Update 1 April, 1:15 PM
The corona crisis is forcing us to change our behavior. Caspar Chorus (TPM) sees that it is not morality that determines our behaviour, but the other way around. How about that? Read his article on our website.
- Update 1 April, 12:00 PM
Delft University Fund has set up the TU Delft COVID-19 Response Fund (Dutch only). The aim of this fund is to provide rapid financial support to Delft projects in the fight against the coronavirus. The fund supports TU Delft researchers and students working on solutions that can be deployed immediately (April and May 2020). Think of projects such as OperationAir and sterilisation of mouth caps. In order to make financial support possible, Delft University Fund asks TU Delft alumni to donate via its website.
Researchers and students who wish to apply can contact Tineke Hoogeboom for more information about the TU Delft COVID-19 Response Fund. Multiple applications per project and applications with retroactive effect are possible.
In order to be able to assess requests as quickly as possible, Delft University Fund has set up a special committee. Theun Baller (Dean of 3mE), John Schmitz (Dean of EEMCS) and Dirk Jan Veeger (Chairman Department of Biomechanical Engineering) assess the applications and advise in the decision-making process.
- Update 1 April, 9:15 AM
The Dutch Government has extended the measures against the coronavirus until 28 April. Education will remain closed a little longer, until after the May holidays. But after that the crisis is not over, Prime Minister Rutte warned. "We're going through one of the toughest periods in our history outside wartime," said Rutte in a press conference about continuing the measures. The number of patients is still growing and hundreds of people are dying from the virus. Rutte hopes that by now it has become clear to everyone that the virus is dangerous, including the last young people who still feel invulnerable. Universities are all taking into account that they will have to keep the doors closed even after the May holidays, so employees will have to work at home for a long time to come. (HOP, Bas Belleman)
- Update 31 March, 3:20 PM
The Dutch academic data and computing centre SURF, in collaboration with the Dutch science financier NWO, offers computing power for corona-related research. SURF provides the high-performance computing facilities; NWO pays for the computing work with a fast track grant. SURF took this action in a similar style to American technological giants such as IBM, Amazon, and Google Cloud, who have offered scientists access to their computers for research into the Covid-19 virus. What kind of research should you then think of? SURF CTO Peter Michielse gives two examples: calculating the molecular dynamics of proteins that can slow down the coronavirus, and developing an artificially intelligent system that can quickly assess lung photos for characteristics of a coronavirus infection. The offer for free computing power has been in effect since Friday 27 March. According to Michielse, no applications have yet been accepted. Researchers can find all the information on the SURF website.
- Update 31 March, 12:20 PM
Now that most employees are working from home, TU Delft is asking them to postpone their application for reimbursement of their commuting expenses, if any. Employees can obtain a partial refund of their travel expenses via tax relief by filling in the Individual Terms and Conditions of Employment Options (abbreviated to IKA in Dutch). However, the IKA application cannot take into account that employees will be working from home for an as yet unknown part of this year. That is why the Human Resources department is asking employees not to submit their request for mobility allowance until it is clear what their travel pattern will look like for the whole of 2020. This will only be the case once work on campus is permitted once again.
- Update 31 March, 9:15 AM
An app that lets you know if you have been in contact with or near someone who has Covid-19. Suppose you were in the queue at the bakery yesterday with someone who later became ill. Or shared a train compartment with someone like that? If he or she were using the app, then you would know where they had been. You would then receive a message so that you could take precautions, for example by going into quarantine. How convenient would that be, Kennislink asked TPM researcher Kenny Meesters. He stated that now that the virus is becoming widespread all over the world, it is not the best time to apply experimental technology on a large scale. That would be necessary if such an app was to work properly. “Techies like to tackle problems with inventions, and that's commendable. But at the moment it is impossible to predict what the consequences would be if we were to roll out experimental technology on a large scale.”
- Update 30 March, 7:15 PM
Crises are all in a day’s work for Kenny Meesters. He researches and teaches crisis management at TPM. He joined the national operational corona team. Read his story.
- Update 27 March, 6:00 PM
For about two weeks now they are working from home, the employees of TU Delft. That is not always easy. Read about the experiences of four lecturers. “Teaching with Zoom is a lot more intense, I have to pay attention.”
- Update 27 March, 5:25 PM
Group training is forbidden, X is closed and the Government prefers you to skip that running lap. Fortunately, there are many ways to stay fit, also at home. Delta consulted student sports clubs and an X expert and listed the options for you.
- Update 27 March, 4:30 PM
Since last week, TU Delft immediately pays the invoices of its suppliers and service providers. In this way TU Delft hopes to safeguard its partners from financial problems. Normally, the university uses a payment term of thirty days. Board member Nicoly Vermeulen says in the Dutch newspaper FD: “There is an entire ecosystem around the university. We want to be a reliable partner and play our societal role.”
- Update 26 March, 7:10 PM
The TU Delft Executive Board is organising Zoom discussions with students. During these sessions, Vice Rector Magnificus Rob Mudde will answer students’ questions and listen to their feedback. In an invitation to all TU Delft students, the Executive Board writes that it would like to know how they are coping and how the corona crisis is impacting them. The Executive Board is also interested in hearing their opinions ‘on how TU Delft is handling the corona crisis’. “We realise – and get feedback – that our solutions are sometimes far from perfect, and that many of your questions are still unanswered.” Students are invited to ask all their corona-related study questions and bring forward other questions or uncertainties.
Sessions will take place via Zoom on Friday 27 March, Monday 30 March, Wednesday 1 April and Friday 3 April, all from 17:00 PM to 17:45 PM. Groups are formed on a first-come, first-served basis. TU Delft will let applicants know in which session they can participate. Question and answers arising from these sessions will be added to the education information on TU Delfts’ corona web page. Students can sign up via e-mail.
- Update 26 March, 4:00 PM
About five hundred students asked for help last week at a special corona crisis hotline of the National Students’ Union (LSVb) and trade union FNV. According to the unions, the students are having all kinds of problems with their jobs. Temporary workers were reportedly fired right away. People with a zero-hours contract are no longer on the work schedule and are no longer paid. The loss of income is said to be hundreds of euros per month ‘for most students’. After all, many of them have a part-time job. The Dutch government does not intend to support students financially. However, students are allowed to borrow more from DUO, the Education Executive Agency. They will have to bear the costs of the crisis themselves, the unions conclude. (HOP)
- Update 26 March, 3:15 PM
Clear agreements with housemates, enough exercise and not being too strict: the students we interviewed have (almost) mastered studying at home and give tips. Take advantage of their experiences.
- Update 26 March, 2:40 PM
No one should be evicted during the corona crisis. The Dutch Minister of Housing has agreed this with housing and industry associations. Many households are facing serious financial problems due to the corona crisis. Some people can not pay the monthly rent, even if they call on the government's emergency fund. It has now been agreed that they will not be evicted from their homes in the coming period. Also, no debt collection costs will be collected in case of late payment of rent. (HOP)
- Update 26 March, 2:35 PM
TU Delft and Van Straten Medical have developed and tested a process to reuse masks safely up to five times. The process can be applied directly and by all hospitals. How does it work? Watch our video.
- Update 26 March, 8:35 AM
The Dutch Government should make every effort to create more testing capacity for the coronavirus. Only with a lot of testing can we prevent the virus from reappearing after the end of the partial lockdown in the Netherlands. That is what Cees Dekker, university professor at TU Delft, and microbiologist Rosanne Hertzberger write in an opinion article in the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad. According to the two researchers, the current lack of testing capacity is ‘not a natural phenomenon’. Scientists and companies are ready to start producing tests, but first the Government will have to take action with, for example, temporary compulsory licenses on intellectual property, exemption from procurement rules and a ‘war chest’ to make advance payments.
Cees Dekker is a professor of molecular biophysics at the Faculty of Applied Sciences. On Twitter, he has been showing his concern about the lack of testing capacity for some time now. He is supported by TU Delft Rector Magnificus Tim van der Hagen. He tweeted: ‘If everyone had been tested: the sick would get the care they need, healthy people wouldn‘t get sick, healthy people would be able to go back to work immediately, this virus would be a thing of the past in a month’s time.’
- Update 25 March, 4:30 PM
TU Delft has decided to extend the period during which only online education is provided to 1 June. It is preparing to extend this measure until the end of the academic year.
- Update 25 March, 4:15 PM
The various updates TU Delft is providing and uncertainty about the continuation of examinations and resits, while the exam week starts in less than two weeks.... Student ‘Gabriela G.’ was fed up and started a petition on Tuesday 24 March. At the time of publication it was signed 569 times. The signatories have five questions for TU Delft: communicate clearly, provide clarity about the third quarter exams before 30 March, assess students honestly regardless of their location, avoid possible study delays and come up with an effective solution for the fourth quarter.
Over the past few days, Delta has tried in vain to get more clarity about the upcoming examination period. We asked the Directors of Education at the Faculties the following questions: will all examinations go ahead as planned (which ones do, which ones do not); will the ‘proctoring system’, which monitors whether a student is working without additional help and tools, be used; what additional challenges does this way of examining bring with it; will other ICT resources be used?
We received three responses. Director of Education Chris Kleijn (AS) emailed: ‘Communication about this should be done responsibly and by the responsible authorities. Premature, incomplete or incorrect information via the press only leads to confusion.’ Sander Berendrecht (AE) said: ‘At the moment we cannot make any statements about this. After all, this is still a work in progress.’ Neelke Doorn (TPM) replied: ‘It is partly custom-made and we want to communicate this to the students before we can say anything in general terms that can be made public through Delta.’
As soon as we hear more, we will report it on this live blog.
- Update 25 March, 3:45 PM
Never let a good crisis go to waste, said Winston Churchill. The current crisis is causing a lot of misery, but new scientific insights are also emerging here and there. For the researchers at the TU Delft knowledge centre Center for People and Buildings, the current situation offers an unexpected opportunity. Over the next two months, they will investigate the effects of working from home. Which programmes work best, how do people like working from a distance, what does this form of working do with mental and physical health? The scientists are sending out numerous questions of this kind. They hope for hundreds of thousands of reactions. “We have sent the questions to three hundred organisations we work with, including government agencies, insurance companies and accountancy firms,” says TU Delft researcher Wim Pullen of the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment. Pullen expects the current crisis to have a lasting effect on the way we work and study. Institutions are now gaining a lot of experience with new forms of working and learning, and some of those forms will (partly) be continued after the corona pandemic, he thinks.
Are you a scientist and does the current situation offer you opportunities to investigate matters that have hardly been researched so far, then we would like to hear from you. E-mail us!
Update 25 March, 2:25 PM
With concerns about the spreading of Covid-19, Delft researchers Rafał Kucharski and Oded Cats of the department Transport and Planning (TPM faculty) examined if ride-sharing services exacerbate the epidemic or dampen it. On the one hand travelers are exposed to co-riders who might be infected. On the other hand, the limited connectivity of the underlying network – it lacks large hubs - may impede the spreading. The researchers deployed an epidemiological model to examine 3000 ride-sharing travelers in Amsterdam and revealed that the prevailing ride-sharing network results in limited spreading. People seek for travel alternatives that will reduce one’s exposure, the scientists conclude in an article they published on LinkedIn. In the urban context, ride-sharing services offer an alternative, they write. This choice does not nullify the exposure, but the exposure is dramatically reduced while remaining affordable. The researchers do warn that they do not know yet how broadly transferable their results are. You can read the article here.
- Update 24 March, 5:10 PM
The TU Delft Teaching Academy is organising its first online meeting on distance learning on Wednesday 25 March between 11:30 AM and 12:30 PM. This webinar is accessible for teachers and support staff. Questions, answers and experiences will be discussed.
You can register here.
- Update 24 March, 3:50 PM
The intensified corona measures made Studium Generale decide to cancel all its events until 1 June. However, Studium Generale will not be sitting still. The yoga classes organized for and by students and staff are now continued via Instagram, every Monday and Friday from 12:30 PM.
- Update 24 March, 2:20 PM
In these challenging times, international students suffer an extra blow, since some of them were unable to return home. How do they manage and what help can they get? Read our article ‘TU Delft, we’re in this together’.
- Update 24 March, 9:45 AM
The students of the Delft Formula Student Team (DUT20) are looking for a socially relevant job, preferably in the fight against the coronavirus, now that their normal work has come to a halt. For what should have been a flashy jubilee year has come to an inglorious standstill due to the corona crisis. In this twentieth year the students wanted to develop not one but two racing cars. In addition to the fastest possible car (electric of course), the students also wanted to build a ‘refit’ of the 2018 car for the competition for self-propelled cars. Due to the tightening of the corona rules of conduct (no more than three people together) further development has become impossible, operations manager Julius van Bebber writes in a press release. DUT20 will close the office until 6 April. In addition, yesterday the most important race was cancelled, with the expectation that others will follow. The question is now, writes Bebber, who has a socially relevant job for the 110 engineers. Proposals are welcome at the DUT20 team.
- Update 23 March, 4:00 PM
The youth organizations of Dutch political parties CDA, D66, ChristenUnie, GroenLinks and PvdA want more support for students facing the corona crisis. They ask that, when the crisis is over, policy makers take a good look at students’ debts. Many young people are vulnerable now, the organizations write an open letter to the Minister. They work on zero-hour contracts or as temporary workers and are losing their income. They may also be delayed in their studies. The minister allows these students to borrow extra from student financier DUO if they are short or have to study for a longer period of time. The five political youth clubs find this rather meagre support. Give students the opportunity to postpone the payment of tuition fees now, they suggest. As far as the CDJA is concerned, part of the study debts will also be waived soon, says chairman Hielke Onnink. “But I can hardly say now how much that should be. Good solutions don't always have to be financial.” (HOP)
- Update 20 March, 11:00 PM
TU Delft is asking students to register as normal for the exams that are due to start on 3 April. Whether these exams will actually take place and in what shape is unclear for the time being. TU Delft states that it is looking for alternative ways to let examinations take place and expects to be able to give more clarity next week. According to the university, students who do not register at the moment do not have to worry. For them there will be ‘a suitable solution’.
- Update 20 March, 6:00 PM
Double degree student Emiel Beinema read the letter from the Executive Board to TU Delft students. As far as he is concerned, studying does not have to come first for a while now. He wrote a letter to Delta: “Sometimes you have a greater impact on society by not standing out in your professional field, but by standing out in your humanity.”
- Update 20 March, 5:00 PM
After a week of hard studying at home, it’s now the weekend! But... everything is closed. Delta went looking for the best online parties for this weekend. Check them out here.
- Update 20 March, 3:05 PM
Rounding off the first week of online education with students gradually settling into their new study environment, they quickly realised it is not easy to keep your focus when studying from home. So Delta asked the TU Delft student community to give us some tips and tricks on how to deal with the current situation. This is what they came up with.
In a blog, associate professor Anne Pluymakers of CiTG’s geoscience and engineering department calls on colleagues to pay close attention to their mental health in this time of crisis. Some of her tips: do not make too high demands on yourself, work out a new daily schedule, use your working hours to do things you would not otherwise be able to do. Read her whole story here.
- Update 20 March, 2:30 PM
The coronavirus is not only affecting people’s health, it’s having a huge impact on the economy. Delta spoke to two TU Delft freelancers who are now at home without work. Read the article here.
- Update 20 March, 11:00 AM
Are you a TU Delft researcher and have you published a Covid-19 related article that is not yet free available? TU Delft Library helps with distribution via open access. Researchers can reach out via firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Update 19 March, 8:00 PM
Students who, due to the corona virus, are unable to comply with the binding recommendation on the continuation of studies (bsa) of their study programme will be granted a postponement. Students can also temporarily increase their student loans. Furthermore, the application deadline for bachelors and masters is delayed from 1 May to 1 June. The Ministry of Education, the associations of universities (VSNU) and universities of applied sciences (VH) have agreed on this with the student organisations ISO and LSVb.
More later on.
- Update 19 March, 6:00 PM
In addition to masks, hospitals are also in need of gloves, technical staff member Sander van Asperen heard on of the radio. At materials science (3mE) he saw about seventy to eighty boxes lying in a cupboard. He took this photo:
Van Asperen asked Professor Jilt Sietsma permission to donate the latex and nitrile gloves to the Reinier de Graaf hospital in Delft. “I think that's a nice gesture, be sure to do it”, replied Sietsma. Van Asperen hopes that other universities will follow his example so that ‘the supply of gloves and mouth caps will find its way to the hospitals’.
- Update 19 March, 4:25 PM
As of next Monday, all Spar University stores, including the one on the TU Delft campus, will close. “Our turnover is falling and our teams are worried,” says Kyra van Elswijk, press officer at Spar University. “We are now opting for the safety of our employees.” The other Spar shops, such as the Spar City on the Westvest, will remain open. “There is a large demand for food, people keep on hoarding,” says Van Elswijk. “We have noticed that there is a lot less demand on campus - employees are working from home and students have left to go to family or have their groceries delivered. To avoid wasting food, we will remain open until Sunday evening and use up our supplies. After that, we are hoping to open up as quickly as possible.”
- Update 19 March, 3:35 PM
TU Delft previously stated that students can only work in laboratories if enough supervision can be arranged. Life Science and Technology students received an additional email stating that laboratories in the new Applied Sciences building (building number 58) cannot be used anymore since yesterday. The necessary distance to one another cannot be guaranteed. Experiments for bachelor- and master end projects will therefore be suspended until at least 30 March. Other laboratory courses will have to wait a week longer. Lab courses for bachelor- or master end projects at the Reactor Institute (50) and the old Applied Physics building (22) may continue, but only if the supervisor gives his or her permission. Other lab courses in these building have been suspended until at least 6 April. Faculty Dean Professor Lucas van Vliet (Applied Sciences) also emailed that ‘we cannot give further information on assessments and examinations at this moment’.
- Update 19 March, 2:20 PM
Leiden University and Maastricht University will cancel all on-campus education for the rest of this academic year. The two universities are anticipating new measures to curb the coronavirus. As of now, universities will no longer provide education in their buildings until 6 April, but this period could be extended.
However, Leiden and Maastricht are keeping options open: if it is possible after 1 May for students and lecturers to come together again, then, for example, practical and skills education can continue. Perhaps students will be able to take tests again in a room with surveillants.
Other educational institutions have not yet announced such an extension. But they're not naive. It is "realistic to assume" that it will take longer, writes Wageningen University. Groningen has already extended the period itself by a few days until 10 April. We will keep you informed via our liveblog as to what TU Delft decides.
- Update 19 March, 2:00 PM
TU Delft is trying to centralise online teaching tools in this time of crisis, but columnist Monique van der Veen is not intending to obey. “For interactive lectures, I, and many colleagues, will be using Zoom.” You can read the column here.
- Update 19 March, 1:20 PM
Because it is very quiet on campus due to the announced measures, in a number of buildings only the main entrance remains open, side doors are closed. TU Delft announces in a new update that therefore security has been expanded and extra surveillances are being carried out. Sufficient presence of in-house emergency response services (bhv) is being ensured.
TU Delft also asks all students and employees to stay alert to suspicious e-mails.
- Update 18 March, 04:40 PM
Never let a good crisis go to waste, said Winston Churchill. At Delta, of course, we are currently writing a lot about corona-related issues. The ongoing crisis is causing a lot of misery, but there are also new scientific insights here and there. For example in how our economic activities relate to pollution, more efficient logistic processes, new forms of remote working, the usefulness of conferences and so on. Delta is looking for stories like these. Are you a scientist and does the current situation offer you opportunities to investigate matters that have hardly been researched so far, then we would like to hear from you. E-mail us!
- Update 18 March, 04:35 PM
At the Prof. Schermerhornstraat complex, students gathered on their balconies to sing and groove along to some of their favourite tunes, inspired by singing Italians on social media. Read more.
- Update 18 March, 2:40 PM
Many students are losing their jobs due to the corona crisis: they work in the hospitality industry or have a zero-hours contract. Some have already been fired. The National Student Union (LSVb) asks universities and room renters for leniency with tuition fees and rents. Read more.
- Update 18 March, 10:35 PM
Currently, many phishing mails with fake news about the coronavirus are circulating, warns the Dutch ICT organisation SURF. Homeworkers need to pay close attention. TU Delft mainly warns against what is known as CEO fraud. It is as if you are receiving an e-mail from your supervisor asking you to make a payment, and preferably as quickly as possible. The e-mail or subsequent e-mails will then include a bank account number to which you can make a deposit. You will also often be asked to buy a gift card and pass on the card number. These mails are by definition fake, says TU Delft. In case of payments or requests, always use the internal processes, the university advises. In connection with the corona crisis, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has put a list of precautions (in Dutch) for homeworkers online.
- Update 18 March, 8:45 AM
TU Delft strongly advises Dutch students abroad to return home. "Due to the growing uncertainty about the situation abroad and the fact that countries are closing their borders at a rapid pace", writes the university in an update.
International students who are on exchange at TU Delft are advised to contact their home university and decide whether returning home is desirable.
TU students who incur extra travel expenses as a result (on top of the costs covered by their travel insurance) are requested to inform TU Delft by emailing their study advisor.
The university also advises international degree students who are currently visiting their families in their home country not to travel back to Delft and to continue their studies remotely (online).
International degree students who are currently in Delft are advised to stay here and continue their studies remotely.
- Update 17 March, 08:34 PM
The Association of Dutch Universities VSNU has decided (link in Dutch) that university buildings will be closed to students. Although it had previously been decided that all education would go online, the campuses were still partly open to everyone. In Delft, the TU Delft Library, Pulse and education building 35 on the Drebbelweg closed, but some students still visited their Faculties in the past few days to study.
What the VSNU decision means for TU Delft is currently not entirely clear. Earlier this evening, TU Delft sent out an seemingly less far-reaching message. “Our aim as a university is to facilitate students and education as much as possible - even if remote education is not possible,” it wrote. “Where necessary and possible, practical and graduation projects will continue as far as possible.”
The TU also reports that study ‘only a very limited number’ of study places will be available and that students no longer have access to laboratories where there is too little supervision.
We will keep you updated on new developments.
- Update 17 March, 06:25 PM
Bread, beer and three course dinners. Bars and restaurants in Delft are not giving up and are instead delivering their goods to the door. Read all about it here.
- Update 17 March, 05:05 PM
TU Delft has just announced additional measures regarding doctoral defences. As we reported earlier, these can go ahead, but without (much) public. Moreover, members of the doctoral committee will often call in from a distance. In addition, there is now a requirement for at least one supervisor and a chairperson to be physically present at the ceremony in addition to the doctoral candidate in question.
- Update 17 March, 04:50 PM
Earlier we described what a phone doctoral defence is like, now there are images. This picture of a happily doctored Hamidreza Heydarian was shared by the Graduate School with Delta earlier today. On the left, Vice Rector and head of the Graduate School Peter Wieringa. Heydarian obtained his PhD on the localisation of molecules with a microscope.
- Update 17 March 04:00 PM
House parties are not a good idea now. Neither is squashing up with five people on the sofa to watch a film. But what do you do if you live with 21 people in a student house? Read all about it here.
- Update 17 March 01:20 PM
The Delta editors too will work from home as often as they can to avoid the further spread of the coronavirus. Will you be our eyes and ears?
- Update 17 March, 12:00 uur
In order to lift spirits among those at home, Bollywood dance group Sabroseo is hosting an online ‘distant dancing’ class on their Facebookpage. The class starts Tuesday at 6:15 PM sharp. From the comfort of your home, instructors will teach you the choreography to the Bollywood song ‘Hauli Hauli’. If you have any questions beforehand, do not hesitate to contact the organisation.
- Update 17 March, 10:30 AMSilent Spring - The Mekelweg on Tuesday morning. Trees are in bloom, but the cycle path remains empty. It’s a weird feeling when a pandemic coincides with the beginning of spring. It made Delta's science editor think of Silent Spring – the book by Rachel Carson that warned against the risks of pesticides and formed the start of the environmental movement.
- Update 16 March, 8:45 PM
Now that many employees work and students study from home, the question is whether TU Delft’s ICT systems can cope. For the time being the answer is ‘yes’, says Ron van Laar, manager of the shared service centre. “We are monitoring the situation and switching to where the loads are,” he says. “That’s going pretty well. I hear few complaints about things that do not work.
What will happen if more and more education will start taking place online? After all, a lot is still in preparation at this moment. And ICT also has to do with absence due to illness and with staff having to work from home with children present. Van Laar says that TU Delft’s ICT system has ‘a lot of capacity'’ However, it will be a challenge if the system will have to deal with very different loads than normal. “Once the education is filmed and distributed, how will it go? At the moment things are still very quiet. The system can handle a lot, but seeing is believing.”
Van Laar wants to remind employees not to use the Citrix homeworking environment. TU Delft only has a limited number of licenses and wants to reserve them for employees who can not do without, as we wrote earlier in this blog.
- Update 16 March, 2:55 PM
It has been a busy weekend for TU Delft’s Teaching & Learning Support staff. They have worked to answer lecturers’ on how to put their courses online with Brightspace, says Vera Scheepens, coordinator Teaching & Learning Support.
Although most lecturers make use of the online education platform already, the use has been intensified under the coronavirus measures. Last week, calls were published to move education online as quickly and completely as possible.
“People want to put pdf’s online, Youtube links, home-made video registrations, or Powerpoint presentations”, says Michel Beerens, head of the TU Delft New Media Centre. He had anticipated new lecture registrations, on top of the standard amount of about 2.500 per year. But instead of recording lectures, teachers seem to prefer putting course materials online.
Can backlogs in education be prevented? Scheepens doesn’t know, but she does see that students, teachers and supporting staff work ‘positively and benevolently’ to keep education going.
- Update 16 March, 1:05 PM
What about exams? Or my graduation presentation? Are all classes really cancelled? Delta asked Vice Rector Magnificus Rob Mudde. Read all about it in our latest article.
- Update 16 March, 11:45 AM
The Library and the Library at the faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment will be open from Monday to Friday between 10:00 – 12:00 for lending and returning books and issuing readers. Mind that the Library's digital collection is also available and services will continue online as much as possible. If you have any questions regarding pending requests you can contact the Library at email@example.com or (015) 278 5678.
- Update 16 March, 10:15 AM
The Dutch science funder for research grants NWO will not conduct any interviews with applicants for research grants for now. As a result of the corona crisis, applicants may be in suspense for a few more months longer. “NWO has decided to suspend interview rounds for the current grant rounds, such as the Vidi, with immediate effect”, can be found on the website. “Anyone who has received an invitation to be interviewed will be notified personally in the next few days.”. In principle, meetings of assessment committees do proceed, but at a distance: the members will not meet. Perhaps new application rounds will be postponed. That should become clear in the next few days.
“NWO is well aware that postponing and suspending grants and delaying the start of new rounds may have consequences for applicants”, writes the organisation, “but does not see any other possibility given the current circumstances.” Of course NWO has also cancelled its major events.
- Update 15 March, 9:10 PM
Staff and students who plan to come to TU Delft campus on Monday must bring their own food. The university reports that, as a result of the new measures to combat the coronavirus, all catering establishments are now closed.
Update 15 March, 08:50 PM
TU Delft has to look for ‘creative solutions’ now that the schools are closing. The university writes this in a response to the new measures against corona announced by the Dutch government today. TU Delft says it realises that these ‘might be particularly difficult for parents with children’. It will ‘always try to be as accommodating as possible for parents’ while (online) education, research and support continue. Employees are expected to look for ‘a good and effective balance between working from home and caring for the children’. Adjusting working hours can be an option, in consultation with the supervisor. Those who are unable to find solutions in the short term are entitled to emergency and/or special leave. This, too, must be done in consultation with the supervisor.
Update 15 March, 2:40 PM
Rector Magnificus Carel Stolker of Leiden University makes an urgent appeal on Twitter to all students to avoid pubs and to refrain from organising house parties. According to Stolker, this way they can help fight the corona crisis. TU Delft rector magnificus Tim van der Hagen supports Stolker's call, his retweet shows. Earlier, Delft vice-chancellor Rob Mudde said the same thing in an interview with Delta (Dutch only).
Update 14 March, 08:55 PM
TU Delft has sharpened its travel policy. Students are not allowed to make or book study-related trips until further notice. Employees are not allowed to travel to countries that are coloured red or orange by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, or to areas that the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) has declared to be high-risk areas. Travel to yellow or green areas requires the manager's approval.
Update 14 March, 11:50 AM
To help facilitate online education, extra support for TU Delft lecturers is available this weekend. A helpdesk, learning developers, and functional administrators are actively supporting teaching staff to switch from on-campus education to online education. This includes email requests for online learning tools, technical queries, as well as didactical advice. All questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. TU Delft has also published a quick guide ‘Remote Teaching & Learning’ with tips and tricks.
Update 14 March, 11:40 AM
Researchers from the Erasmus Medical Centre and Utrecht University claim to have found an antibody against the illness caused by the coronavirus. This can be read on the platform of our colleagues from Erasmus Magazine.The active antibody is a world first and can help to detect and prevent the coronavirus (COVID-19) that causes the current pandemic. According to the scientists, testing the antibody on humans, however, will take up another few months. The scientific publication of the group of is now ready for peer review and will eventually be published in the scientific journal Nature.
Update 14 March, 9:15 AM
TU Delft calls on employees to make as little use as possible of the Citrix working environment when working from home. The university only has a limited number of licenses and wants to reserve them for people who really need Citrix. Most employees can do without, says the university, which has published a homeworking instruction (in English). In it, TU Delft recommends webmail for e-mail and Webdrive for opening files on TU Delft servers. Calls and meetings can be made using Skype for Business, which is installed on all TU Delft laptops.
Update 13 March, 6:05 PM
We will stop this live blog for now, but will of course report back when there is news. Stay healthy!
Update 13 March, 5:55 PM
One of the biggest parties of the Delft Student Corps, the Kriminele, has been cancelled because of corona. The three-day event was to take place next week. How do student associations deal with the corona crisis? You can read it here.
Update 13 March, 5:45 PM
The TU Delft Library is closed to students, but open to staff. The opening hours of the building, which also houses Delta, have been shortened. It will be open between 8:00 AM and 6:00 PM in the coming period.
Update 13 March, 5:15 PM
Has the TU Delft campus turned into a ghost town? Find out.
Update 13 March, 1:50 PM
The Master Event, which was scheduled for 26 March in the Aula, has been cancelled. The event is meant for students to get acquainted with TU Delft‘s master’s programmes. TU Delft is investigating the possibility of organizing the Master Event online on the same day and asks interested students to keep an eye on the website.
Update 13 March, 12:45 PM
The Cirfood location in the Aula currently has a strict door policy. A maximum of one hundred people at the same time is allowed in the restaurant. At both entrances and exits TU Delft employees are monitoring people going in and out. The product range has been reduced.
Update 13 March, 11:50 AM
The Introduction Program for international students (IP Delft) is hosting an Instagram get together this afternoon. They want to encourage students to stay at home while maintaining a positive attitude. One of the student assistants will be cooking food and talking to students live via Instagram. How cool is that? Follow IP Delft on Instagram and tune in at 5 PM.
Update 13 March, 11:05 AM
Students should not be affected by the corona crisis, say student organisations LSVb and ISO. The LSVb calls on universities and universities of applied sciences to abolish the obligation to be present and to offer extra resits.“The biggest concern for now is study delay. We are discussing this with the ministry. Many students can’t afford a year's delay,” says LSVb chairman Alex Tess Rutten. ISO is similarly worried. “A few weeks of working from home is possible,” says chairman Kees Gillesse. “But if this situation takes longer, students will face problems with exams, binding study advice or a graduation project.” (HOP)
- Update 13 March, 10:45 AM
Wondering what the campus looks like now? Our reporter is on the road for an extensive photo reportage, which we will publish later today.
- Update 13 March, 10:30 AM
Studium Generale has just announced that it will cancel all its activities until 1 April. Lectures, performances and symposia will not take place until that date.
- Update 13 March, 10:20 AM
Lessons at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (HvA) are continuing today, despite the government’s explicit request to discontinue them until 1 April. Only large lectures have been cancelled. On Thursday 12 March, universities and universities of applied sciences were asked to stop all on-campus education immediately at least until 1 April. As far as is known, all institutions are in agreement, except the HvA. It wants to use today to ‘neatly prepare’ for the discontinuation of all education. After today, it will discontinue all teaching after all. (HOP)
- Update 13 March, 10:05 AM
The universities, including TU Delft , will provide as much online education as possible in the coming weeks. That will be a tough job, as this blog by Willem van Valkenburg, Executive Director of the TU Delft Extension School, shows. Currently, the Extension School has about 150 online courses and develops about thirty new ones a year, writes Van Valkenburg. If all education has to be completely digital in such a comprehensive way, then it becomes complicated, as his story shows.
He points out that it is important that teachers now use the same tools, otherwise students will quickly become frustrated, he expects. TU Delft has those tools, Van Valkenburg writes. He thinks that lecturers who are used to giving large lectures should not switch to online video. “Powerpoint with voice, a discussion board for questions and online office hours might be a much better option in this situation.” He advises them to use the knowledge and expertise of Teaching and Learning support staff.
- Update 13 March, 8:40 AM
Today is the first day that students cannot attend lectures and exams on the TU Delft campus. Buildings such as the TU Delft Library are closed to students. Employees can go there. Cleaners and the facilities department remain at their posts. Communication Director Joost Ravoo asks staff and students for understanding for each other and for deviant situations. Everyone still has to get used to the new situation that is sometimes not yet clear. He advises students to keep an eye on Brightspace.
- Update 12 March, 11:45 PM
The TU Delft Library and education building Pulse, as well as the Science Centre and sports centre X, will immediately close their doors to all visitors. What these measures mean for TU Delft staff is currently unclear.
- Update 12 March, 11:40 PM
The TU Delft Executive Board asks all staff and students to be flexible. In an e-mail sent late Thursday evening, the board states that it is aware that the previously announced measures are ‘undoubtedly far-reaching’. One of the board's aims is to focus as much as possible on online education, now that all education on the campus is being discontinued. “All colleagues, students and visitors to TU Delft will be required to make considerable and unexpected extra efforts”, writes the board. It will be ‘a challenge to arrange all this at short notice’. “We hope we can count on your understanding and that we will all work together to achieve this.”
- Update 12 March, 10:50 PM
Contrary to previous reports, there will be no physical education at TU Delft from 13 March until at least 31 March. This applies to lectures and exams. In the coming weeks, the university aims to provide as much online education as possible. TU Delft has announced that further instructions will follow. Students must keep an eye on Brightspace for this.
- Update 12 March, 9:50 PM
Earlier this evening it was announced that the Dutch universities of applied sciences and the universities support the government advice and will not provide any physical education until 1 April. The policy previously announced by TU Delft is more lenient: smaller lectures could continue as usual. It is not yet known whether TU Delft will now adopt a stricter policy.
- Update 12 March, 8:30 PM
Is my lecture continuing or not? Check out Brightpace, or so recommends TU Delft. Students should contact their faculty secretary or lecturer if they have any further questions.
- Update 12 March, 8:15 PM
Despite the fact that educational activities with more than a hundred people are not allowed, the obligation for students to be present remains in effect. TU Delft does, however, deals with this flexibly. “All students are still advised to stay at home in case of complaints of rhinitis, cough, sore throat or fever. Anyone who is seriously worried about his or her health and therefore cannot come to campus can count on our understanding”, says Communications director Joost Ravoo.
Events planned until the end of March are now being reviewed by the crisis team. Ravoo: “Events for which we expect a hundred or more visitors will be cancelled or will continue in a different form. Think of the Master Event on 26 March. This can possibly take place online.”
- Update 12 March, 7:45 PM
TU Delft will close X and the Science Centre immediately. In other places, no more than a hundred people may be present. These are the measures Delft TU takes.
- Update 12 March, 6:50 PM
Studium Generale is calling off several events. On 24 March, for example, a lunch lecture on the conflict between Iran and the United States will not take place due to travel restrictions. On the same day, Psychosium, which was co-organised by Studium Generale, would take place in the Science Centre. During this symposium professors, psychiatrists and experts by experience were going to talk about subjects such as burnout and substance abuse. The organisation hopes that the meeting can be rescheduled.
- Update 12 March, 6:30 PM
Via Instagram, faculty cafe De Bouwpub (Architecture & the Built Environment) has announced that it is following the guidelines of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) and will close its doors for the time being.
At the faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, The PSOR café will remain open for now. “Because attendance at drinks parties is less than 100 people we will continue our services”, writes the staff on their Facebookpage. However, anyone who suffers from health complaints is requested to stay at home. This rule also applies to bar staff and other employees.
- Update 12 March, 5:40 PM
For the time being, all of tonights activities at Sports Centre X will continue as planned. The Veritas Forum Big Stuff: is there meaning in the universe? that was planned at the TU Delft Aula was forced to cancel their event due to the stricter regulations.
- Update 12 March, 4:30 PM
TU Delft‘s central crisis team will announce the consequences of the new national measures in the 'very short term’.
- Update 12 March, 3:30 PM
The Cabinet now also says: give online lectures as much as possible, avoid groups of more than a hundred people, work at home as much as possible. But universities can remain open. These measures apply to the whole of the Netherlands.
- Update 12 March, 2:30 PM
Due to the coronavirus, Erasmus MC will discontinue all educational activities, including tests, as of Friday. This is reported by Erasmus Magazine. The measure also applies to the Rotterdam educational activities of the joint degree programmes with Delft University of Technology and Leiden University.
- Update 12 March, 1:50 PM
TU Delft is investigating whether it can fully switch to online education, it reports on its website. “The developments surrounding the coronavirus are going very fast, in the Netherlands as well as in the rest of the world”, TU Delft writes. “Like many of you, we are seriously concerned about this.”
By switching to fully online education, TU Delft wants to guarantee the ‘continuity of education and research for students and staff’ without having to close its doors completely. It is not clear when TU Delft will make a final decision. It does, however, state that it will take it in consultation with other universities.
Call the general TU Delft number 015 278 9111 if you have questions that are not answered in the TU Delft FAQ. If you have a specific question in relation to your work or study and the coronavirus, you can also contact your supervisor or the faculty secretary of your faculty or your director.