Category Archives: international network

Smart tools 2.0: crossing borders

by Bart Valks, Monique Arkesteijn and Alexandra den Heijer

We are halfway with part 2 of our “Smart campus tools” research, exploring 3 different paths: (1) smart tools abroad, (2) smart tools at other organisations and (3) smart tools re-assessed at Dutch universities, which were cases in part 1.

Smart campus tools 2.0: exploring examples abroad

Exploring smart tools abroad: overview of universities that were approached for interviews

(1) smart tools abroad

The past few months more than 25 universities have been approached. Many universities have responded positively and agreed to an interview, including ETH Zurich, KU Louvain and Glasgow University. Also visits were made to Aarhus, Cambridge and Oxford. Many universities are moving forward in their use of smart tools.

(2) smart tools at other organisations

Parallel to the universities abroad a number of companies have been interviewed. Cases of smart tools at Microsoft, the Dutch government, Ericsson, and ABN Amro are documented. We hope to include a few more cases of organisations in the transport sector.

(3) smart tools at Dutch universities re-assessed

On Wednesday November 15th we (Bart, Monique & Alexandra = the Smart Campus Tools research team) hosted a meeting for practitioners from the Dutch universities together with our colleagues from TU Delft’s department of Facilities Management and Real Estate. Special location was TU Delft’s Teaching Lab (see photos). Each university prepared their data prior to the meeting and gave a short pitch during the meeting about their use of smart tools. Some universities have steadily moved forward with existing solutions, whilst others are busy with pilot projects. The meeting definitely raised some interesting topics for discussion, which we hope to address in our report. To be continued!

Smart Campus Tools photo Monique Arkesteijn en Bart Valks

Monique Arkesteijn wrapping up the discussion with Dutch universities

Smart Campus Tools photo Bart Valks

Bart Valks presenting the results so far at TU Delft’s Teaching Lab

For more information about the first book (of phase 1), previous blog posts and our research, see SMART CAMPUS TOOLS or mail b.valks@tudelft.nl

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Back home to Campus NL

by Alexandra den Heijer

After a turbulent year with many unexpected turns, I am happy to announce that I will focus on the NL campus again. This post will summarise some 2015 milestones in education, research and valorisation, at least so far.

Alexandra den Heijer in front of design course students

October 30, 2015 – moderating the final session for TU Delft design students at BK city’s orange Oostserre (their assignment: TU Delft campus strategy)

July – TH Nürnberg students present designs for AEG campus

More than 60 students present their urban plans and building designs for AEG campus, the former industrial site in the west part of Nuremberg (Nürnberg in German). As guest professor I guided them during the semester and was present at their two-day final assessments mid July. My temporary position at TH Nürnberg was a great experience, thanks to the students and professors, with a special thanks to my host, Architecture professor Florian Fischer.

August – Exploring new business models for resource-efficient campus facades

Since March 2015 we have been working on a research project – funded by Climate KIC as a pathfinder project – to explore the feasibility of integrated facades as a product-service system (with leasing as an option). Both the client/user and the facade industry are actively involved. This could be a solution for the resource-efficient transformation of the large number of buildings from the 1960s/1970s on European campuses. More info: Climate KIC website.

September – Smart campus tools: measuring real use of space

On holiday “the towels on empty lounge chairs by the pool” are a source of irritation. Booked but empty meeting rooms and lecture halls are equally annoying on campus: expensive, high-quality facilities are often under-utilised, because of territorial issues. No problem if there is plenty of space and money, but even then it is unsustainable. With 13 NL universities we will explore existing tools to measure space use and design new tools and apps for campus navigations and better use of expensive and high-quality facilities.

October – TU Delft students present 10 strategies for their own campus

In September and October about 90 BSc students of our Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment studied their own TU Delft campus and explored strategic choices for the portfolio of buildings in their urban setting. With the didactic model of a management game (playing roles in an urban development process) ten teams of students analysed, discussed and designed ten campus strategies, which were presented to professors and practitioners on the last Friday of October.

November – Campus NL research starts

In November we started a research project in close collaboration with (all) 14 Dutch universities, to look back on the past 20 years of campus ownership (since 1995) and to explore the university of the future and strategic campus (investment) choices that need to be made. More info about this research project will be added to this website during the research process.

More about the lectures and publications of 2015 so far can be found under TOUR, DOWNLOADS and/or PUBLICATIONS.

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New publications, positions & projects

by Alexandra den Heijer

We are proud that our 2014 publication “The European Campus” has been distributed to more than 20 different countries (> 400 copies) and has been reviewed by international media like Huffington Post, Times Higher Education Supplement, ScienceGuide (also in Dutch) – see 2014 BOOK more review titles. In the meantime related articles have been published in four different languages (see PUBLICATIONS for downloads and links to publisher’s websites).

recent publications in English, Chinese, German and Dutch - see PUBLICATIONS for links to websites and PDFs to download

recent publications in English, Chinese, German and Dutch – see PUBLICATIONS for links to websites and PDFs to download

This month I have also accepted a new position for 5 months: Guest Professor at Nuremberg Institute of Technology / TH Nürnberg in Bayern, Germany. This is a position for the Summer Term, Studio AEG Campus – transforming industrial heritage – Fakultät Architektur by invitation of Professor Florian Fischer, chair Entwerfen in Theorie und Praxis. For lectures and documentation in German and English, see DOWNLOADS.

At the same time our TU Delft campus team is also expanding with new researchers and together we are exploring some of the subthemes of our Smart Campuses research topic: smart tools on campus (with TU Delft colleagues of Geomatics) and resource-efficient transformation of 60s/70s university buildings (with TU Delft colleagues of Architectural Engineering + Technology). More details will follow!

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Launching our European campus book in Tallinn, Estonia (CESAER seminar)

by Alexandra den Heijer

Today George Tzovlas and I have launched our book “The European campus – heritage and challenges” in Tallinn, Estonia (see cover below).

book "The European campus - heritage and challenges" is available from October 16, 2014

book “The European campus – heritage and challenges” is available from October 16, 2014

About the book and research

The full-colour book (200 pages) contains data of all 28 European Union member states and draws conclusions about the current state of the European campus, highlighting both the heritage and challenges on campus. The target group of our book is decision makers about the campus, from the European Commission and national governments (setting higher education and innovation goals, allocating resources) to policy makers at European universities. The hand-out of our CESAER presentation can be found under DOWNLOADS.

To order the book (price: 29 euro excluding shipping costs), please send a mail to me (a.c.denheijer@tudelft.nl) and provide the following information: (1) name company / person, (2) full address – including (3) reference number customer if applicable and (4) VAT number for companies. We will send you the book and the invoice separately (invoice as PDF by mail).

About the CESAER seminar

We present our research at CESAER’s annual seminar, by invitation of Tallinn University of Technology / Tallinna Tehnikaülikool (TTÜ) and CESAER: the Conference of European Schools for Advanced Engineering Education and Research. Every participant (policy makers or board members of European universities of technology) received a book with compliments of CESAER and our university TU Delft. In total 120 copies will be distributed to CESAER members.

impressions of CESAER's annual seminar - CESAER's president Karel Luyben in the upper-left corner, authors Den Heijer + Tzovlas in the bottom-right corner - photographer: Sten-Ander Ojakallas for Tallinn University of Technology in Estonia

impressions of CESAER’s annual seminar – from CESAER’s president Karel Luyben in the upper-left corner to authors Den Heijer + Tzovlas in the bottom-right corner – photographer: Sten-Ander Ojakallas for Tallinn University of Technology in Estonia

Early responses to the book

Many participants welcomed the book with enthusiasm (and wanted a second copy): they are currently rethinking their campus or reinvesting in their facilities and they mentioned that the book is “just in time to support their decisions”. Some offered us to use their campuses as case studies for the next research step or to help with the data collection within their countries (like Lithuania, Belgium and Hungary). Others were proud to recognize their heritage (on the many photos in the book) or their management challenges (coping with underutilization of space, territorial culture, high costs of the campus and energy-inefficiency of buildings). One remarkable fact was that George and I showed a photo of an obsolete lecture hall – without revealing the name of the university – and that more than four (!) universities claimed that it was taken on their campus. The hand-out of our CESAER presentation can be found under DOWNLOADS.

Apart from the management challenges European universities recognized, many are also proud that the book highlights the heritage of European universities and is an invitation to study in Europe, and to enjoy both top-class education and quality of life in European “univer-cities”.

the book "The European campus - heritage and challenges" is available for all participants of the CESAER seminar (board members and policy makers of Europe's universities of technology)

the book “The European campus – heritage and challenges” is available for all participants of the CESAER seminar (board members and policy makers of Europe’s universities of technology) – photographer: Sten-Ander Ojakallas for Tallinn University of Technology in Estonia

Impressed by the TTÜ campus

It is always a privilege to give presentations about university campus at university campuses. In this case we got an opportunity to experience the campus of Tallinn University of Technology / Tallinna Tehnikaülikool (TTÜ). I was impressed by the quality of the facilities, the way this university supports social interaction and how it highlights the academic achievements in the corridors. On top of that, the new innovation and business center “Mektory” (“Modern Estonian Knowledge Transfer Organization for you”) already seems to be successful in connecting starts-ups with industry, investors, the academic community and the many visitors. The building provides many different working environments, including a range of meeting rooms with country themes – each sponsored by the country’s embassy – and aligning with the university’s multinational student population.

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the best alumni of TTÜ in the corridors of the main university building

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group of students working at Mektory, TTÜ’s innovation and business centre

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country-themed meeting rooms at Mektory, sponsored by the country’s embassy

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keeping track of who visited TTÜ’s Mektory – accommodating start-ups – on a world map

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Proud of our European Campus book (almost ready)

by Alexandra den Heijer

Yesterday researcher George Tzovlas and I presented the draft version of our book “The European campus – heritage and challenges” for delegates from the European Commission, the European University Association (EUA) and our own university TU Delft, including our president Dirk Jan van den Berg.

More info about the research project will follow in my next posts – please mail a.c.denheijer@tudelft.nl if you want to be informed, when the book can be ordered.

George Tzovlas and me, just before presenting the preliminary results of our research project "The European campus"

George Tzovlas and me, just before presenting the preliminary results of our research project “The European campus”

Proud of the results so far, and thanking EUA for their support from the start by giving the first copy to EUA's Enora Pruvot (in the background: chairman Hans Beunderman, former dean and vice rector TU Delft)

Proud of the results so far, and thanking EUA for their support from the start by giving the first copy to EUA’s Enora Pruvot (in the background: chairman Hans Beunderman, former dean and vice rector TU Delft)

More about our campus research team @ TU Delft – see CAMPUS RESEARCH TEAM.

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Discussing the campus of the future, in Portugal

by Alexandra den Heijer

Today I was a guest of Instituto Superior Técnico (IST), Lisbon’s University of Technology. I gave a lecture in the morning, for hand-out: see DOWNLOADS (for more info: see conference website).

After lunch I spent 3 hours with 5 PhD students on related subjects, see photo below.

five PhD students, two professors and (possibly) one student of the future - sharing ideas and space at IST in Lisbon, Portugal

five PhD students, two professors and (possibly) one student of the future – sharing ideas and space at IST in Lisbon, Portugal

It was good to inspire each other with new ideas – this would not have worked so well without meeting each other in person – that is one of my propositions about the campus. And that is also a lesson for the campus of the future.

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No clicks without bricks

by Alexandra den Heijer

Last week our president Dirk Jan van den Berg gave a speech in Milan that created a buzz – for the 32nd Conference of Rectors and Presidents of European Universities of Technology. One of his quotes can be found below.

“I would argue that the university system in Europe is at least as determining for Europe’s future as the banking system. We too are too important to fail. So why not conduct a university campus stress test to assess the robustness of Europe’s higher education and research infrastructure. I fear the outcomes will be rather chilling and will call for an extensive overhaul of the existing facilities.”

TU Delft president Dirk Jan van den Berg

He pleads for a university campus stress test to assess both the state of current campuses and the campus strategies, to make sure that the (scarce) resources for higher education are spent in the most effective way. More about this tool and our research “European campus” can be found on the page RESEARCH: EUROPEAN CAMPUS (2014). His speech can be downloaded as a PDF file: 2013-09-28 Milan, Italy – speech TU Delft president DJvdB. A reflection on his speech (in Dutch) can be found on the ScienceGuide website: http://www.scienceguide.nl/201310/te-groot-om-om-te-vallen.aspx

Dirk Jan van den Berg also gave interviews (in Dutch) about the university campus stress test for newspaper De Volkskrant and for radio station BNR – 4-minute interview.

BK city's population is back after summer

BK city’s population is back after summer – working in teams, emphasizing the importance of a physical learning environment, next to all the online learning and online communities

Dirk Jan van den Berg also stated that there will be “no clicks without bricks”, highlighting the importance of a physical place to meet, interact and work. By definition, the university is a market place for knowledge exchange. We can replace some bricks with clicks, but we can’t and won’t replace them all. Without bricks universities are footloose and will neither be rooted in cities nor add value to the regional economy. I would even defend the proposition: without bricks a university can not be world-class (like the proposition: “a relationship can not be very good, when it is only virtual”). The need to physically interact is at the basis of both – see previous blog: “Students become tourists”.

This also became obvious when a combination of TU Delft, Wageningen UR and MIT won the competition for a new Technology Institute in Amsterdam: AMS (Advanced Metropolitan Solutions, but AMS is also Amsterdam’s airport code): see press release website TU Delft. One of the first questions that journalists asked was: “Where in Amsterdam?”. Innovation very much benefits from serendipity and physical interaction between ‘academic acquantainces’, scientists that inspire each other with different perspectives on the same subject (source: research Bentinck 2013 – s.a.bentinck@tudelft.nl) – the success of thinking ‘out of the box’ also reflect this.

In the past weeks – inside our own BK city building – we experienced the importance of physical interaction (next to virtual interaction) in our own curriculum. Physical interaction leads to a higher priority in (the sometimes endless) ‘to do lists’ and to more focus when interacting: non-verbal behaviour is hard(er) to hide and the distraction that a smart phone brings, is easier to suppress when everybody notices.

It has been a very busy period – the end of the summer and the start of a brand new BSc curriculum at our faculty. Nonetheless, the energy of new students is contagious. Certainly when they have a group assignment like making a bridge, demonstrated in the 4-minute movie below. This movie not only makes you want to go back to school – in this case: our own school – it also shows our building BK city at its best.

All of the above made me very proud of my university, my faculty (department) and my colleagues. Yes, our new academic year had a very good start…

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