Over the past 50 years an explosive growth spurt within electrical engineering has radically altered our society. No other discipline has had such an impact and, although it is not always obvious, our society has become permeated and totally dependant on the products that electrical engineering has produced. The next 50 years will see an even greater change. In many areas, such as communications, care, energy supply, auto motorisation and production automation, we see extensive systems on the horizon, coupled together in ever increasing complexity.
The Faculty of Electrical Engineering concentrates its activities on the analysis, synthesis and management of complex connected systems concerned with manipulating or guiding electromagnetic quantities. This is achieved by training highly qualified and academic people and by providing to the best of its ability new knowledge based on high quality research. The faculty aims to make a contribution to society by stimulating an improvement in the quality of life in a general sense and by being a leading innovative force behind the economy.
Focus on society
The faculty focuses its research on electrical engineering aspects that have a major impact on future society, quality of our ecosphere and quality of life. Within the selected topics of electrical engineering, long term research focussed on build up of fundamental knowledge and development of breakthrough technologies is organized by the faculty into nine core technology chairs.
In choosing strategic research areas is it important for them on the one hand to relate to themes with a long term societal effect or, on the other hand, to provide for long term market needs with a significant impact. The relevance to societal or market needs is also important in order to make it more easy to obtain solid funding for the research. However this funding is also an important condition towards finding contacts in the market and society. Furthermore connections with the developments in the region are important. The themes that are finally chosen are selected on the basis of the input that the various chairs can contribute and preferably those themes can offer the opportunity to excel with the contribution of as many chairs possible. Owing to the strong independence of the second and third sources of finance we prefer long term strategy cooperation with industry in a consortium or open innovation structure.
Taking into account the strengths of the faculty, the activities unfolding in this region and the long term relevant societal problems and market opportunities we have chosen the following 3 strategic research areas:
The three themes have been chosen in such a way that the expertise of the chairs is linked to the societal importance of electrical engineering in the future. They show a broad, coherent, societal side of the research in which the Faculty of Electrical Engineering has specialised and increase the visibility of the faculty.
The introduction of the three themes and the related research focal points enforces a need for close cooperation between the specialisms. Research related to these themes is relevant to the market. It will contribute to improvement of the visibility of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering. This way additional funding for long term research is attracted. With the recently started Centre for Wireless Technology (CWTe) the first theme ‘The Connected World’ has become visible. Efforts for the start of a ‘Care and Cure centre’ and a ‘Smart and Sustainable Society centre’ have already been made.