On 6 September 2021, the new academic year of Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) was opened with a special event: an online talk show. Whether physically in the auditorium or digitally from home, it could be followed anywhere. Interviews about the importance of science in solving social problems, an introduction to the new rector (as of 1 October) Annelien Bredenoord and music by Jeangu Macrooy.
The corona measures once again posed a creative challenge to the organisers, but they did not let it stop them from organising a spectacular opening. Only a small group of people were allowed into the aula. Fortunately, the talk show provided a nice start to a year with more physical education on campus.
Science and solving social problems
The talk show was enthusiastically presented by journalist Diana Matroos. It started with an interview with Ed Brinksma and SCP Director Kim Putters about the importance of science in solving social problems. It is the scientists who can make the connection between wishes and reality in society. Professor Rob Zuiderwijk spoke about the Erasmus Centre for Urban Port and Transport Economics. He is an expert in the field of sustainable supply chains and makes an important contribution to Smartport, the partnership that aims to make Rotterdam the best and smartest port in the world.
A lot of prizes
As usual at the opening of the academic year, a number of awards were presented this year, although there were some surprises. The Lambers Student Excellence Award was presented this year to no fewer than two inspiring and ambitious students, Ina Jäntgen (Philosophy and Economics) and Charlie Sewalt (Medicine). The Research Prize was awarded to Dr. Tina van der Vlies for her research with great social impact. With her history research, Tina provides knowledge to better understand the world, analyse problems and arrive at solutions.
This year's Education Prize for inspiring teachers went to Dr. Ana Uribe Sandoval, a lecturer in the Media and Communication department at the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication. In our Strategy 2024, EUR focuses on making a positive impact. Nicole Hunfeld won the Sustainability Award for her commitment to the Green Intensive Care project.
Rewards for students
Of course, there were also students who won prizes. The Rotterdam Thesis Award was won by Jamila Robbeson for her thesis in which she researched consumer preferences with regard to charging points. Max Wagenaar and Emma Peters received the Student Societal Impact Award for their student initiative Erasmus Verbindt. With great initiative, decisiveness and leadership, they strengthen the relationship between Erasmus University and the city of Rotterdam.