Short news science


Flooding
What will your neighborhood look like when the dikes break? You might prefer not to know, but police, fire brigades and rescue workers need such information in order to be prepared for floods.

The computer graphics and visualization group at EEMCS computes flooded landscapes based on precise 3D geological data. Their proposal for fast optical connections to the Sara computer centre in Amsterdam and their partner university in Groningen won third prize in Surfnet’s ‘Enlighten Your Research’ competition last December. www.3di.nu

Fellow
Dr Geert Leus (EEMCS) has been appointed Fellow of the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), an honour reserved for ‘select IEEE members whose extraordinary accomplishments are deemed fitting’, says the IEEE’s website. Leus has been a member, vice-president and president of IEEE’s committee for signal processing in digital communication for 11 years. He received a certificate and a pin he can wear at IEEE meetings. As a fellow, he has the right to propose other names for fellowships. 

Clear language
PhD student Mari Winkler (AS) has won the Jaap van der Graaf prize at the Holiday Course for Drinking Water and Sewage Water Treatment, held on January 13. The prize is awarded to the student or researcher who published the best English-language article on sewage water treatment. Winkler wrote about the Anammox microbial process. She is the third of Prof. Mark van Loosdrecht’s PhD students to win the award. Winkler now lives and works in New York.

Wrong culture
New technologies for the inspection of technical installations spend decades gathering dust before industry, largely as a result of accidents, is forced to implement them. The fault lies not in the technology or the rules and regulations, but rather in the sector’s prevailing culture, according to Dr Casper Wassink, who obtained his doctorate on this topic last week. The people responsible for inspection “have developed an aversion to innovation and look no further than the next quarterly report,” he concludes. 

Radiozender Studio Brussel rekende snel uit dat voor het tentamen drie bomen moesten worden gekapt. Het gebruik van al dat papier werd veroorzaakt doordat de vijfdejaarsstudenten van de Katholieke Universiteit Leuven elke opgave op een nieuwe pagina voorgeschoteld kregen. Dan hadden ze genoeg ruimte voor notities, lichtte hoogleraar neurologie Wim Robrecht toe op StuBru.

DigitaalDe bijna 25.000 pagina’s werden in kleur gedrukt vanwege de afbeeldingen van aandoeningen waarover studenten vragen moesten beantwoorden. De professor neemt het tentamen overigens al jaren op deze wijze af. Hij hoopt dat het in de toekomst vervangen kan worden door een digitaal examen.