At this time of year, the TU/e campus usually gathers to celebrate MomenTUm – the university’s celebration of all things academic, including the TU/e Academic Awards. Restrictions due to coronavirus prohibited large gatherings this year. Nonetheless, the ceremony for the TU/e Academic Awards took place today in a hybrid online-offline event where the prizes for the best BSc thesis, MSc thesis, PDEng thesis, and PhD thesis were awarded. In addition, the winner of the inaugural Audience Award and the winner of the Marina van Damme Grant were also announced.
Hosted by Rector Magnificus Frank Baaijens, the TU/e Academic Awards ceremony took place at the Auditorium with an audience made up of the nominees for the Bachelors, Masters, PD Eng, and PhD thesis awards. While this year’s ceremony was significantly smaller than last year’s ceremony, the Rector pointed out that “we are still here together to rightfully acknowledge your and our commitment to the best in research”.
In addition to a small audience at the Auditorium, the awards ceremony was also live-streamed on YouTube. During the ceremony, the awards for the best BSc thesis, MSc thesis, PDEng thesis, and PhD thesis were announced, with the nominees selected from an extensive pool of outstanding TU/e research theses.
This year, the nominees were also invited to record a short 30-second pitch video about their thesis as part of the first ever Audience Award where the winner was selected by public vote. More than 3,500 votes were cast for this award!
Finally, this year’s Marina van Damme grant worth €9,000 was awarded to Dr. Regien Sumo. She plans to use the grant to help fund the development of a telemedicine mobile phone app that connects physicians in the western world with pregnant women in Central Asia. The app would facilitate medical video consultations and allow for medical data monitoring during and after the pregnancy, and will be developed in conjunction with Sumo’s telemedicine company MediQonnect.
In terms of the TU/e Academic Awards for 2020, here are your winners!
BSc Thesis Award: Henok Abadi (Mechanical Engineering)
For his research thesis, Henok explored the development of new acoustic metamaterials that could help decrease the adverse health effects associated with long-term exposure to environmental noise. Watch his pitch video here.
MSc Thesis Award: Iris Huijben (Electrical Engineering)
Accurate scans in hospitals produce large amounts of data that need to be processed efficiently. Iris developed machine learning-based software that can help to reduce the data set, while still providing accurate analysis. The software was applied to data generated from ultrasound imaging of the heart. Watch her pitch video here.
PDEng Thesis Award: Siddharth Khalate (Automotive Systems Design)
If a baby is born prematurely, there is a high probability of blindness caused by a retinal detachment condition known as Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP). For this project, Siddharth developed a device for ROP treatment that is accurate and significantly reduces the treatment time in comparison to current approaches. Watch his pitch video here.
PhD Thesis Award: Rogier Wildeboer (Electrical Engineering)
Prostate cancer, which is the most prevalent cancer among men, is difficult to diagnose without resorting to invasive biopsies. For his research, Rogier investigated the use of an ultrasound scanner for the detection of prostate cancer and developed a new computer-driven 3D approach to aid in the diagnosis. Watch his pitch video here.
Audience Award: Sophie Cramer (PD Eng, Qualified Medical Engineer)
Sophie Cramer won the inaugural Audience Award for her pitch video on the design of a device to aid in the treatment of apnea in infants born prematurely. As part of her research, Sophie developed the BreatheBuddy, a device that provides a gentle vibratory stimulation for a preterm born infant that can help to stimulate their breathing when needed. Watch her pitch video here.