The University of Twente is most likely adding a new Master’s to its educational offering, which is set to welcome its first students in September 2022. The programme will revolve around robotics, responding to both the enormous market demand and the popularity of the field among current and prospective students.
There is a lot of work going on behind the scenes to complete all the formal steps required to set up the programme. By spring next year, it will be clear whether the Master’s can start in the 2022-2023 academic year. That is when the NVAO – the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders – will have assessed the freshly minted programme, after which it will issue a recommendation to the Minister. So far, everything can move forward as planned, and UT is convinced that the new degree will make a valuable addition to its programme catalogue.
The Robotics Master’s brings together several UT disciplines and is primarily affiliated with two faculties: EEMCS and ET. The programme has three specialisation tracks:
- Mechatronics and physical AI
- Algorithms and software AI
- Human-robot interaction and social AI
The new Master’s already has a programme director: Dr Jan Broenink, who leads UT’s Robotics and Mechatronics research group together with Prof. Stefano Stramigioli. Broenink has done a lot of preparatory work together with quartermaster Dr. Heidi Muijzer-Witteveen of the ET faculty. Both have extensive experience in research and education within the field of robotics.
Broenink has extensive experience in research and education within the field of robotics.
Broenink: “Robotics has been a fast-growing sector for quite some time now, and in recent years the speed of development has been staggering. Robots are used in healthcare to perform surgeries and other tasks, on factory lines and in our daily lives. At UT, we have all the resources needed to prepare students for a future in this field. This Master’s brings together a number of important UT disciplines, including computer science, artificial intelligence, mechatronics, mechanical engineering and electrical engineering. What’s more is that we also prepare students to become innovators and entrepreneurs in their field. We’re seeing that the demand for robotics experts is growing exponentially. Large companies like ASML, Demcon and VDL are eager to snatch up broadly trained robotics experts, and a quarter of the job openings in robotics are for research and R&D positions. That’s why the new programme will offer a combination of research, teaching and commercial knowledge transfer. There will also be a strong focus on Challenge-Based Learning, UT’s new educational vision. As part of this new approach, organisations and companies are actively involved in research and education projects. We invite them to share any challenges they might be facing and then get to work on them.”
Robotics students at UT can choose from a variety of cutting-edge projects and labs in this field. Some recent examples:
- Maintenance and inspection drones
- Remote-controlled robots
- Robotic platform for surgical catheters
- Robot for breast cancer screening
- Robots in the classroom
- Social robotics (human-media interaction)
Labs and facilities:
More information about the enrolment process for the new Robotics Master’s will be shared later this year. Until enrolment opens, students can opt for the Systems & Control programme instead.
The realization of the master programme Robotics is currently discussed at the University of Twente with the University Council, which has the right of consent after the Dutch ‘Commissie Doelmatigheid Hoger Onderwijs (CDHO)’ gives a positive advice.