Relive our academic party of the year here

Liveblog MomenTUm 2022

September 30, 2022

In this liveblog, we'll keep you continuously updated on what's happening during our annual academic celebration MomenTUm on Friday, September 30th.

Photo: Bart van Overbeeke

Today is a festive day as we celebrate our academic party, MomenTUm. On Friday, September 30th, more than 1,400 brand new bachelors will walk our catwalk for their walk of fame. We will also present four Academic Awards, plus an Audience Award. And of course we put our teachers in the spotlight at the Best Teacher Awards and the winner of the Marina Van Damme Grant will be announced. So plenty of news, which we will update here throughout the day for you in text and images.


Did MomenTUm go by in a sigh and want to relive it again? Did you miss certain photos in our liveblog? Of course, there was a lot more material shot by our photographers during MomenTUm. All photos can be found on Flickr. You can also watch the aftermovie the see the caps flying in the air. Clicking om the photo also leads you to the aftermovie.

Cursor made a video of what goes on behind the scenes at MomenTUm. Click on the photo to watch the video.

Thomas Plantenga. Photo: Tim Meijer

Alumnus Thomas Plantenga, himself once a graduate of Biomedical Engineering and currently CEO of Vinted, Europe's largest online private marketplace for second-hand clothing, addressed the audience. He shared his career story with the laureates and gave them tips for their careers. "The most valuable thing you have learned is that you can analyze and solve any problem. You can use those skills anywhere," he said. "Do that especially in a place where you can mean something to society. Use your knowledge in the right way!" Plantenga's comment that there are already enough bankers and people who are in stocks, drew applause from the audience. "It feels really good when you can do something good," the Vinted CEO concluded.

Rector Frank Baaijens closed MomenTUm 2022. "This degree opens up a whole new world for you. It offers a path, a direction to follow your dreams. Some want to make a new molecule, others want to build to repair the heart, and still others try to solve a very difficult mathematical problem. The first step to take is to project your dream onto your master's stage. Bring that dream to life there. I always found the master's phase the most fascinating period of my education. I could really sink my teeth into something. The 'can do' mentality helped me a lot. You now have to find your own unique path in society. Whatever you do, do it with passion!"

Sandra Loerakker was awarded Best Master Teacher. Photo: Bart van Overbeeke

Friday SEPTEMBER 30th, 4PM, Best Master Teacher: Sandra Loerakker

Sandra Loerakker, associate professor in the Soft Tissue Engineering and Mechanobiology group at Biomedical Engineering, walked away with the title of Best Master Teacher. "I am very grateful that students nominated me. This only motivates me even more to do even better as a teacher," she said. 

All candidates were nominated by students. They said they appreciate Loerakker's commitment as a teacher so much because she always tries to visualize the most difficult material she teaches. She constantly makes small changes in her lectures to help students. And everyone is always welcome to come to her with questions, no matter how good they are at her subject. "It's easy as a teacher to forget what it's like when you're doing something for the first time. Talking to students allows me to see where they get stuck and how I can do better next time."

For Rector Frank Baaijens, it was extra special to be able to present the award for best master teacher to Sandra Loerakker, because years ago he was her supervisor during her PhD at the Biomedical Engineering faculty. "I am very proud that you are the best master lecturer this year," Baaijens said.

The two other nominees for best master teacher were Dirk Fahland (Mathematics & Computer Science) and Max Birk of Industrial Design. 

Friday September 30th, 4 PM, Ceremony 2 

All 750 of them proudly and in full costume walked the catwalk this afternoon: the graduating bachelors of the faculties of Biomedical Engineering, Built Environment, Electrical Engineering, Industrial Design and Mechanical Engineering.

Winner Brigitte Lamers (left) and runner-up Chenyue Zhang (right). In the middle: Marina van Damme. Photo: Angeline Swinkels

Friday September 30th, 2.30 PM, Brigitte Lamers wins Marina van Damme Grant

The winner of the Marina van Damme Scholarship 2022 is: Brigitte Lamers (Chemical Engineering & Chemistry). She wins a cash prize of 9,000 euros. Runner-up Chenyue Zhang (also from the Faculty of Chemical Engineering & Chemistry) will receive 2,500 euros. The Marina van Damme Grant is intended for ambitious alumnae who want to boost their careers, for example for broadening knowledge or an international orientation in the form of a study, internship or project. 

Chemist Brigitte Lamers started working in industry after her PhD research in Bert Meijer's group. She is team lead at Metrohm AG in Switzerland, where she is responsible for two lab technicians and a project leader. With the help of the Marina van Damme scholarship, Lamers plans to work on her leadership skills by taking a course at INSEAD in Fontainebleau. Her dream is ultimately to take a leadership role in management at a multinational company.

Friday September 30th, 2PM, the Master Award goes to....

Koen Minartz (Computer Science & Engineering) for his master thesis Correlation Detective: Efficient Multivariate Correlation DiscoveryHe has developed an algorithm that can extract interesting patterns from very large data sets. The amount of data in the world doubles every eighteen months. In the process, searching through data is increasingly complex and time-consuming. Koen Minartz developed an algorithm that is capable of finding interesting patterns in data five hundred times faster than existing methods.

He won 2,500 euros for his graduation research. Congratulations Koen!

Photo: Tim Meijer

Friday September 30th, 2PM: Audience Award for Claudia Hanegraaf

It was already announced this morning that Claudia Hanegraaf has won the Audience Award. During the session of the Bachelor Award, she was presented with her award by Rector Frank Baaijens.

Winner Bachelor Award: Danielle Gillam. Photo: Tim Meijer

Friday September 30th, 1PM, the Bachelor Award goes to....

Danielle Gillam (Psychology & Technology) for her bachelor thesis Exploring the Limitations of Self-Report Using Convolutional Neural Networks: Comparing Subjective and Objective Nature Scores for Stress Level Predictions.

Increasing evidence points to the positive effect of nature on people's well-being. Research on this depends on self-reporting, which has limited reliability due to subjectivity. Danielle Gillam found the first promising results to use software to collect data, which can be used to increase data quality. "Danielle has researched a problem of great social importance: dealing with stress. The jury was impressed by the exceptionally high level of her thesis. Simply a fantastic piece of work!" said Rector Frank Baaijens. He emphasized during the session that all students who were nominated did something special, and should be proud of it. 

In addition to the honor, Danielle Gillam wins 1,250 euros with the Bachelor Award. Congratulations!

The moment all graduates have been waiting for: throwing the caps in the air.

Annabel Romijn (left) and Tessie Hartjes (middle). Photo: TU/e

No fewer than two alumna addressed the graduates with an inspiring career story: Tessie Hartjes (Electrical Engineering, now working at Lightyear) and Annabel Romijn (Applied Physics and Eindhoven School of Education). Hartjes emphasized that you should seek things close to your heart in your career. And Romijn, physics teacher at Zwijsen College, expressed that you have to follow your heart and be ambitious. She did her teacher training at the Eindhoven School of Education, after studying Applied Physics. "We need good teachers, and there are none better than those trained at the university," she said.

Rector magnificus Frank Baaijens endorsed these words: "Which ever path you take, alway be passionate about what you do".

Waving caps on the ABBA Experience

Jim Portegies wins the Best Bachelor Teacher Award. Photo: TU/e

Friday September 30Th, 12AM, Best Bachelor Teacher: Jim Portegies

Assistant professor in Mathematics & Computer Science Jim Portegies was in good company among a total of four nominees for the title of Best Bachelor Teacher. Anna Wieczorek, Lambèr Royakkers and Hjalmar Mulders were the other candidates, but it was Jim who walked away with the honor and a check for 10,000 euros. According to his students, Jim is a fan of interacting with them and is very concerned about their well-being. He knows how to put himself in the students' shoes, approaching the subject of Analysis from the perspective of a freshman. He makes sure his students master the material first, before taking them deeper into the subject matter. On stage he said: "When you're learning something so difficult, it's very important to be kind to yourself."

Congratulations Jim on winning the Best Bachelor Teacher Award!

Friday September 30Th, 12AM: Ceremony 1

In the first ceremony of MomenTUm 2022, 606 bachelors from the faculties of Applied Physics, Chemical Engineering & Chemistry, Industrial Engineering & Innovation Sciences and Mathematics & Computer Science stole the show on the catwalk, watched by their families and friends from the stands in MetaForum. The presentation was again in the hands of science journalist and theater maker Diederik Jekel, In the first ceremony sat the largest group of cum laude graduates - identified by the silver sash. That comes from the Faculty of Mathematics & Computer Science, where as many as 40 times the predicate summa cum laude was awarded today. 

Elham Fadaly and rector Frank Baaijens. Foto: Tim Meijer

Friday September 30Th, 11AM, the PhD Award goes to....

Elham Fadaly (Applied Physics) for her haar dissertation Epitaxy of Hexagonal SiGe Alloys for Light Emission, which she completed cum laude. Computer chips based on light, it would revolutionize microelectronics. Elham Fadaly laid the foundation for this "holy grail. Indeed, she succeeded in making silicon emit light by forcing it into a new shape. Her work was named Breakthrough of the Year by Physics World. 

Fadaly, originally from Egypt, won a check for 5,000 euros with her doctoral research. She came over specially from America for this ceremony and called her mother from her bed to tell her the good news. Congratulations Elham!

Ram was unfortunately unable to attend the award ceremony. His supervisor at ASML, Maxim Pisarenco, accepted the prize (5,000 euros) on his behalf. Photo: Bart van Overbeeke

Friday September 30Th, 10.30AM, the EngD award goes to...

Ram Parvathaneni (Automotive Systems Design) for his thesis Virtual Unaging of Van Gogh's Paintings.

He used artificial intelligence and machine learning to reconstruct fading colors in Vincent Van Gogh's paintings. Those colors fade over time due to dirt, aging paint and chemical reactions with the environment. His research contributes to the preservation of Dutch cultural heritage.

Friday September 30Th, 10.30AM: Academic Awards

MomenTUm is not complete without honoring our academic heroes. We do this by presenting Academic Awards for the best undergraduate thesis, the best PDEng project, the most promising PhD thesis and the Audience Award. There are 37 nominees for these awards, which have been displayed on large billboards on campus for several weeks. Who are the winners of the Academic Awards...?

Friday September 30th, 10.00-11.30AM: the first diploma ceremonies

The real work started early in Atlas, Helix, Luna and Gemini with the actual graduation ceremonies. For each faculty, the new graduates received their coveted diplomas - with a personal word. Many parents proudly captured this scene on film. Our photographers did the same, see the pictures below.


More than five thousand people made their voices heard online in the battle for the Audience Award. All 37 nominees for the Academic Awards competed for this Audience Award, which, in addition to the honor, includes a check for 1,250 euros. It was a neck-and-neck race, but in the end it was Claudia Hanegraaf (Mechanical Engineering) who won the Audience Award. This morning at 8:30 am this was announced with a playful video starring our rector magnificus Frank Baaijens.

Claudia Hanegraaf was nominated in the category 'best bachelor thesis' with her bachelor final project Predicting plasticity-controlled failure for short glass fiber reinforced isotactic polypropylene over a wide temperature range. By enriching plastic materials with short glass fibers, they become lighter, stronger and longer usable. Because of their durable nature, these materials are therefore increasingly used, especially in the automotive industry. Claudia Hanegraaf developed a model that allows the production process of these materials to be designed more effectively. She will be awarded the prize later today, a photo of her will follow. Congratulations Claudia!

MomenTUm 2022 in numbers

  • 1.410 graduates

    walk the catwalk in two sessions during MomenTUm 2022 for their own walk of fame. In doing so, they will be cheered on by 3,998 proud guests in the stands at MetaForum.

  • 83 x cum laude

    As many as 83 silver sashes are being worn today over the gown by students who graduated cum laude. These students completed their program with an average of an 8 or higher, and their bachelor's final project with a 9 or higher.

  • 37 nominees for 4 Academic Awards

    A total of 37 students have been nominated for an Academic Award. These include best undergraduate thesis, best EngD thesis and best dissertation. For the Audience Award, 5,101 people cast their votes.

  • 7 teachers running for best teacher

    Seven teachers were nominated by students for the titles of Best Bachelor Teacher and Best Master Teacher. For the bachelor they are: Anna Wieczorek, Lambèr Royakkers, Jim Portegies and Hjalmar Mulders. For the master's: Sandra Loerakker, Dirk Fahland and Max Birk.

Thursday september 29th, 19.00-0.00PM: the kick off

Before some 1,400 graduates walk down the catwalk today, MetaForum's market hall was the setting for a smashing student party last night, which was completely sold out. Some 3,500 students celebrated a fine party led by DJ La Fuente, Zanger Kafke and coverband Straatwaarde. And it WAS quite a party, just look at this video and the photos by Bart van Overbeeke!

Brigit Span
(Corporate Storyteller)