Wil Schilders wins NWO Stairway to Impact Award

December 5, 2022

The specific NWO Domain Science wishes to promote knowledge utilization.

Wil Schilders, Full Professor and Chair of Scientific Computing in the Industry in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, was one of three researchers awarded with this year's prestigious NWO Stairway to Impact Award

With this prize also comes an amount of 50,000 euros, that must be used as a donation to the goal for which the award has been presented.

The Stairway to Impact Award is presented annually by the Dutch Research Council (NWO), one of the most important science funding bodies in the Netherlands aimed at realising quality and innovation in science. The specific NWO Domain Science wishes to promote knowledge utilisation. With the Stairway to Impact Award NWO rewards scientists who take effective steps to utilise their scientific findings to tackle a societal problem and/or to make an economic contribution.

Societal impact

The path from fundamental research with a low Technical Readiness Level (TRL) to wider societal impact involves many steps. Reaching these steps is crucial in order to achieve the ultimate goal. The Stairway to Impact Award is awarded to innovative researchers who undertake important, innovative or otherwise significant steps in this regard. These steps have demonstrated their impact, even though the ultimate goal may not yet have been achieved. Evidence of this may include a successful start-up or the implementation of research results by a societal organisation.

The NWO believes that it is clear from Wil's years of research that he has always started from the premise that research never stands alone: in his work, he has taken effective steps to achieve a social impact with the results of his research. Winning the award is therefore a great recognition for the years of distinguished research Wil has conducted in his career.

Watch the video message produced by the NWO about the Stairway to Impact Award winners here.