Resilience has been chosen as this year’s Dies theme, explains rector Tim van der Hagen, as TU Delft has continues its activities despite the Covid crisis.
"No resilience without technology", says Dr Tina Comes in her online speech. (Videostill from presentation)

Resilience has been chosen as this year’s Dies theme, explains rector Tim van der Hagen, as TU Delft has continues its activities despite the Covid crisis.

Lees in het Nederlands

Last year, during the Covid crisis, TU Delft demonstrated its resilience in education and research. TU Delft’s 179th anniversary, or Dies Natalis, will be celebrated online over the course of this week, culminating in a live celebration on Friday.

“We have all been put through a stress test last year,” says Dr Tina Comes in her online speech on the Resilient Society. Comes is Associate Professor at the TU Delft Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management and she also serves as Scientific Director of the 4TU Center on Resilience Engineering.

She tells how she and her colleagues have managed to switch to online research and online education. As a parent of a four year old son, she also experienced home-schooling first-hand. But she underlines that without technology for clean water, energy, transport and communication, we could not have coped with Covid as we have done.

“Research has played a pivotal role in our ability to adapt, and now even more so with the arrival of vaccines.” In the second half of her speech, Comes provides numerous examples of people bouncing back from adversity with the help of technology. “Without technology,” she concludes, “there is no resilience.”

In the course of the Dies week, other inspirational lectures on resilience will appear online: Professor Bart van Arem (Rethinking connectivity and mobility, Tuesday 12 January); Professor Neelke Doorn (Resilience and Environmental Issues, Wednesday 13 January); and Professor Catholijn Jonker (Resilience through embracing Artificial Intelligence, Thursday 14 January).

On Friday 15 January, Rector Tim van der Hagen will kick off the live event (16:00) with his talk Towards a Resilient Society. The programme also promises jazz and dance, albeit online.