New year's breakfast meeting: looking ahead on 2017

A record 1,000 University of Twente students and employees joined on Monday morning for the traditional New Year's breakfast.

The informal meeting is the traditional opening of the new year. President of the Executive Board Victor van der Chijs highlighted some of the exciting projects coming up in 2017 and spoke out his best wishes for the New Year.

On the move

The University of Twente is on the move. In 2017, progress is expected with the renovation of both the Technohal and Hogekamp buildings. Also, the UT will move forward strongly with UT2020, the organizational development for the university. UT2020 aims to make the organization more agile, and make sure it is organized more effectively around the demands from a research and educational perspective.

Later this month, the opening of the new Fraunhofer Project Center will take place at the campus, and the launch of the Max Planck Center is expected later this spring. Together with regional newspaper Tubantia, the UT welcomes all political leaders of the Dutch national parties ahead of the national elections on 15 March. All political leaders will debate with the crowd and give a masterclass in politics.

The UT Nieuws, the independent news provider for the University of Twente community, will move into a new direction, as it presented its last UT Nieuws magazine on paper at the end of last year. In 2017, under the name of U-Today, the editorial team will manifest more through their digital platforms.

Finally, Victor van der Chijs announced the Entrepreneurial Challenge, a challenge in which students are asked to come up with brilliant business ideas, to be judged by a professional jury. Later this year, the launch will take place.

UT in the Media Award

As has become a tradition, the UT in the Media Award was presented during the meeting. This years' top position went to Dimitrios Stamatialis, who received a lot of media attention for a functional bioartifical kidney. Arjen Hoekstra, professor in Water Management was handed the award for the second place, and Hans Heerkens, who is an aviation specialist, became third. 

This year, the UT Social Media Award was presented, a novelty. Alma Schaafstal is the first winner of the award, as the programme director of the Create programme has built up an impressive reach with both her personal as well as the professional account of Create. Also, her initiatives on Instagram are appreciated greatly.

The students who developed the AerVideo, a throwing device used for creating breathtaking GoPro videos, won the Award in the category Students. They held a succesful crowdfunding initiative on Kickstarter and generated a lot of media attention. Bart Klaassen was the most succesful PhD candidate, as he was a lot in the news with his sensor suit that stroke patients can use for monitoring at home.

Musical interlude

Singer Jennie Lena, known for her great performances in the TV show The Voice of Holland, provided the musical interludes at the meeting. Her enthousiasm was well received, as it even guided the participants to the dance floor.