Visiting TU Delft – The Arrival

Thanks to the CETE network, I was able to realize a short stay visit for two weeks at Delft University of Technology ideas and to get valuable advice. Due to my fields of research I chose the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management (TPM) as my host. But before going in some details, here are some interesting facts about the University. TU Delft was founded by King William II of the Netherlands in 1842. It started as the Royal Academy for the education of civilian engineers.

TPM entrance
TPM entrance

This is quite similar to the campus of the University of Duisburg-Essen which was build on the former State Engineering School of Construction Essen (Staatliche Ingenieurschule für Bauwesen Essen, more information here). TU Delft´s motto is “Challenge the Future” and this is obvious in many ways on the campus.

Faculty and students (rd. 20.000) are working in a strong relationship with the industry as well as with ministries and authorities. TU Delft has also three Nobel Laureates. From this perspective, my expectations of  this visit and also the demands on myself were very high.

After a drive of round about two and a half hours I arrived at my new work space for the next two weeks, the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management (TPM). The research of TPM focuses on large scale socio-technical systems, such as infrastructures for transport, energy and telecommunication by combining insights from the engineering sciences with insights from the humanities and the social sciences.

Especially the topics of modeling, simulation and gaming are very interesting for me and my research in the cross-section of technology and education. For this purpose, TPM has the game lab in which they develop board as well as digital games for research and education.

gamelab @ TU Delft

TPM has a worldwide known and recognized expertise in this field of research. Due to this, TPM hosted the 48th International Simulation and Gaming Association’s conference (ISAGA 2017) from 10th to 14th July 2017 in which I participated with a design workshop for inclusive games .  After my arrival I was introduced to the team and participated directly in the ISAGA conference. Besides getting to know new interesting contacts I also met highly known people. The atmosphere was professional as well as collegial as it would be at a class reunion.

At the end of my first day I checked into the Hampshire Hotel. And here comes an important advice: If you book a hotel and it says they have parking lots available, be sure, that the car can stand there all (!) the time. Due to the close distance I came by car and took my bike with me. Hey, what did you expect? I am traveling to the Netherlands 🙂 My plan was to leave the car at the parking lot of the hotel during my stay and to use my bike to get around. But here comes the BUT! At the hotel, which was a good choice at all, it is not allowed to leave the car parked the entire day. It is fine to park the car at night and up to approximately 8:30, but after that tourist buses are using the parking lot. Because of that, all the other cars have to leave.

Now, what are the alternatives?

1. Come by plane or train.

What? That is not for me.

2. Come by car and leave it in the garage across of the hotel.

This might be an alternative. Why not? I tell you why not … for each full day you have to pay 15 Euro. So, paying more than 200 Euro just for leaving the car there is way too much for me.

3. Come by car and leave it at the campus

Yes! That is a real alternative. Compared to other universities I visited, TU Delft has parking lots for free. At Berkeley for instance every parking lot, in the garage or at the street must be paid for.

So, what to do now? Check in, leave the bike in the trunk of the car, drive in the morning by car to TPM, leave the car there and take the bike out of the trunk. There you go!! It could not have been cheaper.

By the way, ask at the Hotel if they have a “fietsen huis” or “fietsenstalling” (bike shed). In my case, I had to ask for a key and was able to put my bike over night in such a shed. Way better than leaving it outside.


Blog by Dr. Christian Karl

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