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Prizes awarded during the opening of the academic year

A number of prizes were awarded during the opening of the UT’s academic year. Farid Vahdati was given the Education Award for the best teacher at the UT; five students were given prizes for the best faculty graduation results of the last academic year; and the Brinksma Innovation Grant (BIG) and the Twente Graduate School (TGS) Award were also presented.

Education Award

The Education Award is awarded to underline the importance of first-rate teaching and to encourage teachers to excel. The prize is awarded by the Centrale Onderwijsprijs Commissie. Vahdati and the other finalists, Sabine Siesling and Marijn Zwier, each gave a mini-lecture during the June finals of the Education Award after which the public and a jury entered votes for the winner. Vahdati teaches in Civil Engineering.

EEMCS Graduation Award

The Graduation Award in the faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science was awarded to Boudewijn van den Berg. Van den Berg completed his Master’s degree and was given a 9/10 mark for his graduation thesis, Stimulus Related Evoked Potentials around the Nociceptive Detection Threshold. The jury noted the professionalism of his thesis and the fact that he has been invited to present it at several national and international conferences. He is now a PhD student in the Biomedical Signals and Systems (BSS) department.  

BMS Graduation Award

Rutger Brunink was awarded the Graduation Award in the faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences, having completed his Master’s degree in Communication Studies last year. His graduation thesis, The Relationship Between Technological Legitimacy and Job Crafting: The Case of a Dutch Care Organization was given a 9/10 mark. He is now teaching Academic Skills within the Communication Science department.  

ET Graduation Award

Daan Poppema, whose Master’s degree was in Water Engineering and Management, took home the Graduation Award in the faculty of Engineering Technology (ET), having gained a 9/10 mark for his graduation thesis Experiment-Supported Modelling of Salt Marsh Establishment: Applying the Windows of Opportunity Concept to the Marconi Pioneer Salt Marsh Design. The jury praised the thesis for the excellence of its academic English. Poppema is now working in the Water Engineering and Management (WEM) department on PhD research into the influence of beach constructions on dune formation.  

ITC Graduation Award

The faculty of Geo-Information, Science and Earth Observation (ITC) named Alireza Ajami as its best graduate. His graduation thesis, Analysing the Relationship Between Image-Based Features and Socioeconomic Variations of Slums, was given 90 out of 100 points. He is now working on two scientific articles based on his research.  

TNW Graduation Award

Martijn Blom was awarded the Graduation Award of the faculty of Science and Technology (TNW), where he did a Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering. His graduation thesis, Electrochemical Energy Storage in the Bicarbonate-Formate System: An Engineering Approach was given a 10/10 mark for its ‘Scientific & Research’ component and a 9/10 mark for its ‘Reporting & General’ component. Blom is now a PhD student in the Sustainable Process Technology department, where he is researching possibilities for electrochemical energy storage. The jury noted that Blom made an impression throughout his undergraduate and postgraduate studies, with his outstanding exam grades, the many interesting discussions he initiated with his teachers, and his numerous extracurricular activities. 

TGS Award

Blom was invited to the podium twice during the opening of the academic year – once for his faculty’s Graduation Award, and again to accept the Twente Graduate School Award. This award includes a prize of €2,500 to spend on summer schools, workshops, or conference visits, for instance. Blom won this prize with a research proposal for the cost-effective and safe storage of sustainable energy. 


The opening ceremony also saw the second award of a Brinksma Innovation Grant (BIG), named after former Rector Magnificus Ed Brinksma. The mathematician Brigit Geveling won the award, which will allow her to continue experimenting with educational innovations. Geveling wants to determine the value that ‘team-based learning’ might have in the mathematics curriculum. She is keen that students better understand the steps they need to take in order to solve a problem, see more coherence between the mathematics they study and their own disciplines, take more responsibility for their own learning process, and are able to absorb a new mathematical concept independently. Geveling received a sculpture, and her research group was awarded a year’s financial compensation so that Geveling can devote time to further developing her research design.