Events & Ceremonies

55th Dies Natalis: The Empathic Engineer

On Friday 25 November 2016, the University of Twente will celebrate its 55th anniversary. The celebration of the 55th Dies Natalis will be held in The Waaier building from 13.00 onwards. This jubilee year, the university will confer four honorary doctorates. Biomechatronic engineer Professor Hugh Herr, former politician Neelie Kroes, nanotechnologist Professor Christoph Gerber and statistician Professor Edward Tufte will all be awarded an honorary doctorate during the celebration. 

Hugh Herr (1964) is living proof of the capabilities of ‘wearable robotics’. Herman van der Kooij, Professor of Biomechatronics and Rehabilitation Technology (Faculty of Engineering Technology) is the supervisor of this honorary doctorate.

Neelie Kroes (1941) has had a long and successful career in politics and has served on various boards. Willem Jonker, Professor of Database Technology (Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science) and CEO of EIT Digital is the supervisor of this honorary doctorate.

Christoph Gerber (1942) is a pioneer in two atomic-scale microscopy techniques: Scanning Tunnelling Microscopy (STM) and Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM). Guus Rijnders, Professor of Nano Electronic Materials (Faculty of Science and Technology) is the supervisor of this honorary doctorate.

Edward Tufte (1942) is both a statistician and an artist. Menno-Jan Kraak, Professor of Geovisual Analytics and Cartography (Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation) is the supervisor of this honorary doctorate.

During the 55th Dies Natalis, the transfer of rectorship will take place. Professor Thom Palstra will officially be appointed as Rector Magnificus of the University of Twente. He succeeds Professor Ed Brinksma, who has served as Rector Magnificus since 2009. Read more about Thom Palstra. This year’s Dies Natalis speech will be given by Rector Ed Brinksma. He will talk about the qualities that modern engineers need to possess.

During the celebration, the Overijssel PhD Award and the Professor De Winter Award will be presented. The Overijssel PhD Award is a prize for a doctoral thesis of outstanding academic quality, that can be regarded as the start of a very promising academic career. The King’s Commissioner in the Province of Overijssel will present the award. The Professor De Winter Award is named after the professor who passed away in 2005, and is an international publication prize for outstanding female talent.

FUSE will provide a musical interlude. Read the detailed programme here.