New deans for the Departments of Mechanical Engineering, Mathematics & Computer Science and Applied Physics & Science Education

July 20, 2022

The Executive Board will appoint Patrick Anderson, Edwin van den Heuvel and Kees Storm as deans of their departments on September 1, 2022.

Foto: Norbert van Onna

Shortly before the summer break, the Executive Board finalized the appointments of three new deans. After the summer, their first terms as deans will officially start, but they are all already busy preparing. Each of them will have department specific subjects and challenges that will demand their attention. Additionally, the recent and future growth of the departments and the university requires full attention of the Deans. Below, they each introduce themselves briefly.

Patrick Anderson. Photo: Angeline Swinkels

Patrick Anderson – Mechanical Engineering

Within the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Patrick Anderson’s primary ambition is a continuation and extension of the current way of working. “Yes, the current board has done well, I think. Within our department, they’ve worked to create a transparent culture and good relationships. Naturally, I would like to maintain this,” Anderson explains.

“Diversity and social safety are also important themes for us on which there is certainly room for improvement. This is definitely something that I’d like to work on. In doing so, I would like to maintain the open culture in which we offer our people – employees and students – the opportunities that they need. I want to create opportunities within the department so that everyone can develop as best as possible based on their own profile.”

As the new dean, he has his work cut out for him, especially in relation to maintaining this working culture in a time of change. “We are housed in Gemini, which is the last building on the TU/e campus to be renovated. In the coming years, our groups will spread out across campus to their temporary locations – and temporary means several years.

I’d like to focus on improving and maintaining the mutual contact. This is so valuable for motivation and cooperation in regard to seeing one another informally and outside of meetings,” notes Anderson. “I want to enable everyone in our department to work with passion and joy. That pride in where you work and study is something I’d like to propagate further. Among ourselves, but certainly externally as well.”

“The Department of Mechanical Engineering will have a very committed dean in Patrick Anderson. He holds the well-being of employees in high regard and will work to recognize and reward them within his department. In addition, I welcome the fact that he will put Mechanical Engineering even more on the map,” says Rector Frank Baaijens regarding the appointment.

Edwin van den Heuvel. Photo: Bart van Overbeke

Edwin van den Heuvel – Mathematics and Computer Science

Edwin van den Heuvel is a familiar face within the administration of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, having served as the vice-dean of the department board in recent years. Van den Heuvel: “When I started in my role on the board, I did not have the ambition to ever become dean myself. Nevertheless, I volunteered to take on the role of dean now because this role has changed over the years and the department benefits from peace and stability. In addition, we as the board had not yet fulfilled all of the ambitions of the department and I felt that my work there was not yet done.”

“I look forward to further safeguarding and optimizing the governance within our department. This is going to hopefully provide more space and flexibility for the domains. In addition, I certainly see what is being asked of our department, especially in terms of the many courses and the education that we provide across all degree programs. We are taking our responsibility there, but I would like to achieve this with less of a burden on our people. This means making difficult choices and doing things smarter and more efficiently,” Van den Heuvel continues.

“I’d like to further strengthen the position of our department through internal collaboration with institutes and departments but also by becoming more outward-looking and setting up research collaborations with external partners. This requires extra capacity that I also want to use to increase diversity within our department. I would like to stimulate diversity along the well-known axes of gender, orientation and culture, but also in the area of competencies. This means that we’re looking for employees who have complementary talents.”

“As the Executive Board, we look forward to continuing the good collaboration with Edwin van den Heuvel. He has shown himself to be an able board member with a pleasant style, so we are delighted to be able to appoint him as dean. We support his and the incoming department board’s ambition to continue the policies already in place,” adds Frank Baaijens.

Kees Storm. Photo: Nando Harmsen Fotografie

Kees Storm – Applied Physics and Science Education

Following a sabbatical in the United States, Kees Storm will return to the Department of Applied Physics this summer full of energy and with a fresh outlook. On top of that, the department is merging with the Eindhoven School of Education (ESoE) as of the coming academic year. This makes it a challenging time to be dean. “A very nice opportunity,” Storm recognizes.

“I look forward to working together to find a strategic and substantively productive form for this collaboration.” In the coming years, his department will build and renovate, streamline governance and have a significant number of vacancies to fill due to a wave of retirements. “An excellent moment to have a good talk with one another about our strategy and focus in terms of research and education, and also a time to get serious about attracting even more top talent. It’s extremely important that we show why TU/e is such a wonderful and inspiring place to work!”

Storm sees both internal and external changes coming. “It’s great that more money will be available. We’ll have to use that smartly to deal with the increasing workload and to recruit the right people for the positions that it creates. On top of that, of course, come the growth ambitions of the entire university, which will also demand a lot from our department. I think that it’s very important to achieve this growth in a responsible way in which we continue to learn and develop as a diverse and inclusive organization,” Storm says.

“By ‘responsible growth’, I also mean that social safety and workload must be safeguarded for every member of the department: research, teaching and support staff. I cannot emphasize the latter often enough. It’s essential that we, as the board, take care of the amazing people who already work for us. For me, this is the only way to achieve sustainable growth in the coming years.”

“A department that has just merged is always in flux. I have every confidence that Kees Storm will lead this in the right direction. We know him as someone who is enormously committed and highly nuanced with a keen interest in the well-being of colleagues. We therefore expect that he will perform his connective role as dean with verve,” concludes Frank Baaijens.

Nicole van Overveld
(Science Information Officer)

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