Delft University of Technology

The Delft University of Technology (Technische Universiteit Delft in Dutch) in Delft, the Netherlands, is the nation's largest technical university, with over 13,000 students and 2,100 scientists (including 200 professors). It is a member of the IDEA League.


On January 8, 1842, King Willem II founded the 'Royal Academy for the education of civilian engineers, for serving both nation and industry, and of apprentices for trade'. The Academy also educated civil servants for the colonies and revenue officers of the Dutch East Indies.

An Act passed on May 2, 1863, imposing regulations on technical education as well as bringing it under the influence of the rules applying to secondary education. Then, on the 20th of June, 1864, a Royal Decree was issued, ordering that the Royal Academy in Delft be disbanded in order to make way for a new 'Polytechnic School'. The School went on to educate architects, and engineers in the fields of civil works, shipbuilding, mechanical engineering and mining.

On May 22, 1905, an Act was passed, acknowledging the academic level of the School's technical education - it became a 'Technische Hogeschool', or an 'Institute of Technology'. Queen Wilhelmina attended the Institute's official opening ceremony on July 10, 1905. The Institute's first Rector Magnificus was the professor of hydraulic engineering ir. J. Kraus. The Institute was granted corporate rights by an Act passed on June 7, 1956.

It was an Act which took effect on 1st September, 1986, that officially transformed the Institute of Technology into Delft University of Technology, also known as 'TU Delft'.

On May 13, 2008, a large fire caused the building of the university's Architecture facility to partially collapse.


Initially, all of the university buildings were located in the historic city centre of Delft. This changed in the second half of the 20th century with relocations to a separate university neighbourhood. The last university building in the historic centre was the University Library, which was relocated to a new building in 1997. On the 12th of September 2006 the design of the Mekelpark was officially approved, giving a green light to the transformation of the area around the Mekelweg (the main road on the university terrain) into a new campus heart: the Mekelpark. The new park will replace the main access road and redirect car traffic around the campus, making the newly created park a safer place for bicycles and pedestrians. The completion of the project is due at the end of 2008.


The Delft University of Technology comprises eight faculties:


Undergraduate Programs

All undergraduate programs lead to a B.Sc. degree.

Graduate Programs

The university offers the following graduate programs (sorted by faculty). All programs lead to a M.Sc. degree.

  • Aerospace Engineering
    • Aerospace Engineering
    • Geomatics
  • Applied Sciences
    • Applied Physics
    • Biochemical Engineering
    • Chemical Engineering
    • Life Science & Technology
    • NanoScience
    • Science Education & Communication
    • Teacher programme (TULO)
  • Architecture
    • Architecture
    • Building Technology
    • Real Estate & Housing
    • Urbanism
  • Civil Engineering and Geosciences
    • Applied Earth Sciences
    • Civil Engineering (with a specialisation in: Hydraulic Engineering, Building Engineering, Structural Engineering, Transport & Planning, Water Management or Geo-Engineering)
    • Geomatics
    • Offshore Engineering
    • Transport, Infrastructure & Logistics (in cooperation with the faculties of Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering and Technology, Policy and Management)
  • Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
    • Applied Mathematics
    • Computer Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Electrical Engineering
    • Electrical Power Engineering (track)
    • Microelectronics (track)
    • Telecommunications (track)
    • Embedded Systems
    • Media & Knowledge Engineering
    • Bioinformatics (track)
  • Industrial Ecology (in cooperation with Leiden University and Rotterdam Erasmus University)
    • Integrated systems analysis (track)
    • Technological systems innovation (track)
    • Organisation and transition management (track)
  • Industrial Design Engineering
    • Design for Interaction
    • Integrated Product Design
    • Strategic Product Design
  • Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering
    • Biomedical Engineering
    • Marine Technology
    • Materials Science & Engineering
    • Mechanical Engineering
    • Offshore Engineering
    • Systems & Control
    • Transport, Infrastructure & Logistics (in cooperation with the faculties of Civil Engineering and Geosciences and Technology, Policy and Management)
  • Technology, Policy and Management
    • Engineering & Policy Analysis
    • Geomatics
    • Management of Technology
    • Systems Engineering, Policy Analysis & Management
    • Transport, Infrastructure & Logistics (in cooperation with the faculties of Civil Engineering and Geosciences and Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering)


The Delft University of Technology has the following legally recognised research institutes:

Rectores Magnifici

  • 1993 - 1997: K.F. Wakker
  • 1997 - 1998: J. Blauwendraad
  • 1998 - 2002: K.F. Wakker
  • 2002 - present: J.T. Fokkema

Student societies

Part of student life in Delft is organised in student societies. About half of the Delft students are members. The list includes:

For PhD candidates there is a special organisation representing their interests at the TU Delft:

There's also a students' union in Delft:

  • VSSD, Vereniging voor Studie- en Studentenbelangen te Delft

Notable Alumni


Government officials and executives

Fire at Faculty of Architecture

On the morning of May 13, 2008 a fire started in the main building of the faculty of architecture. The fire soon engulfed several floors of the southern wing of the building. As fire fighters struggled to control the blaze, the fire spread throughout the building which had been evacuated when the first fire alarm went off.

The damage to the building proved to be extensive. Parts of the northern wing had collapsed and it was feared that the rest of the building would follow. However, the library, considered the be one of the finest in Europe and containing several thousand books, has recently been confirmed by Dutch newspapers as being secure and undamaged. This collection also included rare maps and cartography dating to the 17th Century. Delft University employed specialists to remove the books and materials due to the structural instability of the building, but as of July 4, it has been confirmed that these books and maps have been safely removed and show no signs of damage. This is believed to be due to the fact that the fire spread upwards from the 6th Floor, whereas the library was located on the ground floor. Firefighters were also able to save the historic models and furniture, including chairs by Gerrit Rietveld and Le Corbusier. The Architecture building is currently being demolished. The former main building of the TU Delft is now used together with tents to house the faculty.

It is believed the fire was started by a ruptured water pipe which short circuited a coffee machine on the 6th floor of the building.


External links

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