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Kick-off collaboration between 4TU.Centres and UG institutes on research and teaching

Tuesday, 21 February 2023

In order to make better use of each other's expertise and network, a number of the centres and institutes of the 4TU.Federation and the University of Groningen (UG) will join forces in research and teaching. The UG will become a partner of the 4TU.NIRICT (ICT) and 4TU.HTM (High-Tech Materials) centres and is exploring cooperation with the 4TU.AMI (Applied Mathematics), 4TU.Energy and 4TU.CEE (Engineering Education) centres. 

In recent years, the four Technical Universities and the UG have already collaborated in some areas of teaching and research, for example through the Sector Plan for Technology. A more structural collaboration on a number of topics will increase opportunities to leverage each other's networks, facilities, and expertise. Apart from the four TUs, the UG is the only Dutch university that has been training engineers (ir.) for decades. The UG also conducts research on various topics within the field of engineering.

High-tech materials for a sustainable future

4TU.HTM and the Groningen Engineering Center (UG) join forces in teaching, building a community for young materials researchers, and the organization of joint activities related to materials science. Additionally, they can complement each other well in the field of advanced characterisation, in other words, advanced techniques to map the properties of materials. As we enter a period of energy and material transitions, new types of materials will have to be developed to meet these new challenges.

Arjan Mol, Scientific Director of 4TU.HTM, and Moniek Tromp, Scientific Director of the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials, expect to see a fruitful collaboration in the coming years. Tromp (UG): ‘Currently, every collaboration is more of a one-to-one, between people who happen to know each other. In the future, it will be increasingly important that we can find each other easily, also when it comes to getting funding for larger projects that often involve a lot of money and you have to form consortia.’

Read more about the collaboration in the duo interview with Arjan Mol and Moniek Tromp.

Broadening the ICT research field

4TU.NIRICT and the Groningen Engineering Centre will jointly organize activities such as a number of calls and a community day. They will also team up to support the young ICT generation by looking at the obstacles young ICT professionals encounter and what they need to develop further. The gains from the collaboration will include increasing the pool of researchers, broadening the research field, and strengthening the ICT community, which will boost the impact of all ICT research in the Netherlands.

Mark van den Brand, scientific director of 4TU.NIRICT and Vasilios Andrikopoulos, associate professor at the Bernoulli Institute in Groningen, are delighted with the ICT collaboration. Van den Brand: ‘The Bernoulli Institute (BI) has a lot of in-house knowledge in systems engineering, for example when it comes to dealing with the complexity of systems. The Institute is also one of the leading players in the Center for Cognitive Systems and Materials, which combines hardware, software, and AI for next-generation neuromorphic computing. This knowledge dovetails well with 4TU.NIRICT's computer science and electrical engineering expertise. This can ultimately benefit our entire ICT community.’

Also read the 4TU.NIRICT news item 

More about 4TU

The 4TU.Federation brings together the knowledge and expertise of the four technical universities in the Netherlands. There is close cooperation on teaching innovation in the 4TU.Centre for Engineering Education. The twenty post-Master's design programmes are clustered in the 4TU.Stan Ackermans Institute. Research activities are grouped by topic in 4TU.Centres, and the High Tech for a Sustainable Future (HTSF) programme is working on solutions to societally relevant issues. In the field of valorization, the four TUs work together within the 4TU.IMPACT programme.

More about the UG

The University of Groningen (UG) is a university with a global outlook, deeply rooted in Groningen, the City of Talent. The UG's engineering sciences are embedded in a broad, general university, which enables integration between engineering sciences and natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, and medical sciences. Engineering teaching and research takes place largely within the Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE) but also at a number of other faculties. The Groningen Engineering Center (GEC) is where all the engineering research and teaching at the UG comes together. This is where engineering sciences collaborate with various other scientific fields on societal themes such as energy and climate transition, healthcare, circularity, and digitization.