Part of the
Centre for
Engineering Education
TU DelftTU EindhovenUniversity of TwenteWageningen University
Centre for
Engineering Education


+31(0)6 48 27 55 61


Project introduction and background information

In the Joint Interdisciplinary Project (JIP) 2nd year master students work in a professional and interdisciplinary environment during a 10 week period. In interdisciplinary teams they solve a technological/innovation challenge provided by a company or a semi-governmental organisation, such as WeP, Huskey, Airbus or Reinier de Graaff hospital. The projects demand a good engineering innovation working knowledge in addition to a solid grounding in interdisciplinary and systems thinking. It also asks for an innovation mindset and entrepreneurial behaviour. The students are guided during the process by a company and academic coach. The project started in 2018 with 14 students and was prolonged in 2019 with 48 students. In 2020 ± 150 students will have the opportunity to take part in the Joint Interdisciplinary Project. 

Objective and expected outcomes

The aim of JIP is to prepare 2nd year master students for contributing to solving impactful technological challenges, working in interdisciplinary teams in a professional environment.

Results and learnings


  • Coordination is necessary to bridge the gap between industry and the academic world. Active involvement in team coaching is needed in the early stages of the project to make the outcome a success.
  • Access to company coaches and professionals allow for additional education of students (R&D, Business lines, CTO-role models provide rich and professional resources in kind).
  • Working spaces on campus are needed for the student teams.
  • JIP requires year around preparation with a dedicated team.

Students learned to

  • Calibrate expectations and needs of companies, academic rigor and their own “team” desires for innovative and sustainable results and to stand up for their choices.
  • Prepare themselves better in presenting, consulting and interacting with different stakeholders.
  • Identify their strengths and weaknesses in interdisciplinary teamwork.
  • Define a problem with a realistic scope for the timespan available.

Practical outcomes

TU Delft has the ambition to make interdisciplinary education related to external stakeholders widely available to its master students. It wants to prepare students to contribute to solving societal challenges by providing them with a solid grounding in interdisciplinary skills, sustainability and entrepreneurial thinking. To this end TU Delft will increase the elective space in MSc programmes with Multi- or Interdisciplinary teamwork as an option for the MSc thesis within the Faculty or interfaculty and “Personalised learning paths – freedom of choice” (TU Delft Strategic Framework 2018-2024). 

JIP has been growing steadily over the years and is expected to attract more students and companies to become involved in the years to come. Extensive information is available on: 


Coördinator: Birgit de Bruin:
Renate Klaassen:
Nanneke de Fouw:
Hans Hellendoorn:
Aldert Kamp: