TU Delft invests in wind energy
TU Delft is to invest extra money in the inter-faculty wind energy research institute DUWIND. This move will enable DUWIND to expand its programme of wind energy education, set up new inter-faculty research projects and strengthen its cooperation with industrial partners. Director Gijs van Kuik: “As a result we will be able to respond more effectively to the increasing demand in the market for wind-energy knowledge, innovation and engineers.” The opening of TU Delft’s Wind Energy Institute DUWIND 2.0 will be celebrated on 12 March during a meeting on the future of wind energy education.
The inter-faculty wind energy research institute DUWIND, set up in 2000, combines the work of 40 PhD students and 25 academic staff from five different faculties. Their work together has resulted in innovations such as a wind turbine without a gearbox, rotor blade profiles that are used widely by manufacturers and a self-regulating wind turbine that can adapt its own shape to suit the wind speed and direction. A floating wine turbine has been designed together with European partners, which will be demonstrated at MARIN research institute in Wageningen on Tuesday 12 March.
Director Gijs van Kuik: “This extra investment will enable us to make the transition from DUWIND to ‘DUWIND 2.0’.” Among other things, the institute intends to combine and expand its programme of wind energy education. Van Kuik: “There is a rapidly increasing need in the market for engineers with knowledge of wind energy. There is also an increasing demand among students for wind energy specialisations. Over 170 people enrolled for the European Wind Energy Master we started last year with partner universities from Norway, Germany and Denmark.“ After students had been selected and grants awarded, we started the first year with a total of 37 students. Our ambition is to increase this to 110 students.”
Wind energy for the Netherlands
Van Kuik also wants to use this opportunity to place the subject of wind energy firmly back on the political and economic agenda. Van Kuik: “The Netherlands has everything a country needs for offshore wind energy: shallow waters, ports, an offshore industry, infrastructure and knowledge; yet there seems to be a lack of will to turn the country into a leading wind energy country.” Only 4% of the electricity used in the Netherlands comes from wind energy. Van Kuik believes that this could be increased well into double figures.” DUWIND 2.0. could contribute to this by initiating research projects with institutes such as ECN and MARIN and by strengthening its cooperation with industrial partners.
Wind energy is not the only focus of TU Delft’s extra investments; other beneficiaries include the TU Delft Institute for Process Technology, the TU Delft Robotics Institute, the TU Delft Transport Institute and the TU Delft Climate Institute.
The DUWIND 2.0 kick-off meeting will take place on 12 March. Students, employers and teachers will meet on this evening to discuss the future of wind energy education. The meeting will be held from 18:00 to 21:00 at the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering.