UTYoung AcademyNewsYoung Academy Twente's outlook on 2024: “Team UT”

Young Academy Twente's outlook on 2024: “Team UT”

We want to start by wishing all of you a happy new year on behalf of the Young Academy at the University of Twente (YAT). To start 2024 on a positive note, rather than asking what we believe could be better at the university, we asked our colleagues what they really like: things that UT should keep on doing or being in 2024. The three most frequently mentioned points were:

At UT, we feel connected

To our direct colleagues, students and the broader UT community. From knowing your students’ names to having connections to colleagues in different faculties. Clara Stegehuis: “From a network science perspective, you could say that the UT is a ‘small world’. Even though we are many, because of how our connections are formed, everyone is a friend of a friend of a friend.” We appreciate that all staff support each other. Several members shared that colleagues from different groups, or even faculties, give them tips when applying for a big grant. Although there is often no benefit for the colleague themselves, they share their proposals and help practising interviews. 

At UT, we feel at home

We have the most beautiful campus. While sometimes a bit overcrowded, our sports facilities are great. Due to the housing crisis, finding accommodation in Enschede is difficult, but by far not as difficult or expensive as in most other Dutch university cities. The faculties make the nerds inside us feel right at home. As Albert Wong illustrates, “When I started at the TNW Faculty, I immediately felt welcomed by my colleagues: Everyone made time for a small chat, from students and research advisors to the dean”. Sander Huisman agrees and adds: “The UT and the Physics of Fluids group have provided me with excellent facilities for my research: beyond labs and equipment, support by our own technicians, specialists at LISA and TCO are all very important for me (and many others), since they make research much more efficient”. The infrastructure in the MESA+ and TechMed institutes is tremendous and brings together many scientists. UT’s scientific equipment and expertise impress our visitors from the Netherlands, Europe, and beyond.

Our students have great facilities as well. Sissi de Beer shares, for example, that “our students from Applied Physics, Chemical Science and Engineering and Advanced Technology have a cosy home base, where they can work together on assignments and projects close to the labs and offices of our program staff, teachers and researchers. This is an important reason why we have such strong learning communities in our faculty.” Fran Meissner adds: “Exceptionally internationally oriented faculties like ITC try to make international students share that feeling of home”.

At UT, we are a team

We appreciate how easy it is to collaborate across faculties and disciplines. One example is the emerging HydrogenUT community, where academics across all five faculties closely cooperate to advance hydrogen-based solutions. As HydrogenUT founder Aayan Banerjee adds: “Decisions for our future low carbon economy, such as relying on hydrogen as an energy carrier, will significantly shape our society, which requires cross-disciplinary collaboration like in our HydrogenUT community.” And not only the scientists, but also our students team up across disciplines to tackle important problems in successful projects like Solar Team Twente, Solar Boat Twente, Green Hub Twente, and the DesignLab team. 

Team UT

For 2024, we wish for everyone at UT to keep on enjoying being here despite the sometimes negative news that UT and the world are facing. And even though we did not always agree with the policies of the UT in the past year, we think we should keep in mind that there are also many reasons why it is a great place to work. We hope that whenever you have a sip of coffee out of a UT mug, or wander around the campus with a UT sweater, you feel proud and happy to be here.

As YAT, our good intention for 2024 is to strengthen Team UT, by connecting all early-career academics into a powerful, supportive and fun community. It is easy to get distracted from what we are all about and what we stand for by negative news and uncertainty within the university or the world. Don’t let that happen to us. We are a close community that gets things done together, with the emphasis on together.

Young Academy Twente