In 2018, the Dutch Government decided to invest structurally extra in scientific research in the science (beta) disciplines and in three engineering (techniek) disciplines, in order to strengthen the foundations of basic research in The Netherlands. Based on the developed ‘Sector image Science’ and ‘Sector image Engineering’ (in Dutch: Sectorbeelden), universities were asked to develop plans to apply for a yearly budget of 60 M€ in total, the so-called ‘Sector plans’ (in Dutch: Sectorplannen).
The TU/e sector plans for the Science (beta) domain and for the Engineering (techniek) domain were approved, as a result of which TU/e was able to hire 60 new permanent staff in the disciplines of Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics and Computer Science. These disciplines match the departments of TU/e, and some staff is appointed in the department of Biomedical Engineering. TU/e invests 40 M€ via its institutes EAISI, ICMS and EIRES to provide the new staff with appropriate starting packages. The starting packages are aligned with and issued by the institutes
The main target of the Sector plan is to strengthen the foundations of basic research. Consultation with our national university colleagues has made TU/e decide to focus the hiring of the new staff in the research areas in the following topics (focus areas).
Flows for Low-Carbon Systems
Designer, Hybrid & Multifunctional Materials
Interactive and Smart Autonomous Systems
Sustainable Civil Engineering Materials and Structures
Wind loading on Civil Engineering structures
Analysis and Scientific Computing
Fluids, Bio & Soft Matter
Plasmas & Beams
Nano, Quantum and Photonics
Sustainable Process Technology
Materials Chemistry & Functional Materials
Complex Molecular Systems
Via the Sector plans the Government also aims at a number of secondary goals, in particular to increase national collaboration, increase staff diversity and to educate more engineers (i.e. stimulate innovation in education, increase education capacity , stimulate professional development of teachers). The newly hired staff has a wide variety of cultural and national backgrounds, and due to the TU/e Irène Curie Fellowship Program, newly hired staff has a 50/50 gender balance.
The plans are yearly evaluated by the Sector plan Committee. In 2024 the Government will decide if the funding will become permanent.