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Posts by Cora Bijsterveld

Several new courses in TU Delft OpenCourseWare

Last September three new courses were published in TU Delft OpenCourseWare. All three were former MOOCs but now the course materials are also available at TU Delft OpenCourseWare.



  1. Creative Problem Solving and Decision Making

This MOOC is about exploring complex, multi-actor systems in which one factor influences all other factors. For instance, how innovative energy technologies merge into the existing energy system, or how new transport possibilities impact current processes. Armed with this information, learn to decide whether they should be further developed, consider possible negative results and weigh associated costs.


2. Leadership for Engineers

This course has three parts:

  • In the first part, you will explore the context that leaders are facing, building an understanding of the complexities of global and business challenges. You will discover the ambiguities and the many stakeholders that leaders must consider when making their choices. You will get a sense of effective leadership practices.
  • In the second part, you will discover your “who am I” through personal and group exercises. You will create a “Personal Charter” that can serve as a life-long guide, helping you, as a leader, to make important choices in your personal and professional life.
  • In the third part, we will bring the knowledge of the context and yourself together. We will translate the insights of this course into a leadership model and you will discover what sustainable leaders do. We will offer you frameworks to help you make your own career choices. We will finally help you to ‘sell’ yourself as a leader.



3. Circular Economy

In this course we explore the Circular Economy: how businesses can create value by reusing and recycling products, how designers can come up with amazingly clever solutions, and how you can contribute to make the Circular Economy happen.

You will learn to re-think the economic system you’re experiencing every day, and act upon it. Be a leader in this major paradigm shift! Shape a more circular future together with our global network.

These course materials are part of  online courses of TU Delft. Do you want to experience an active exchange of information between academic staff and students? Then join the community of online learners and enroll in this MOOCs.

a new master course published in OpenCourseWare: Technology Development and Impact Assessment

a new course of the master Engineering and Policy Analysis published in TU Delft OpenCourseWare: Technology Development and Impact Assessment.

This course is also available as online master course and will start the 18th of April 2016.


The course gives knowledge of and insight into
(1) technology development from a societal perspective,
(2) a wide range of impact assessment procedures and methods to assess and regulate the potential impact of technological projects, programmes and technology policies, and
(3) ethical theories and tools to judge and manage social consequences of these initiatives.

Ad (1) To overcome one-sided Technology Push and Market Pull approaches of technological innovation, a (quasi-)evolutionary model of technological variation and social selection will be presented. Relevant concepts are ‘socio-technical system’ (technology plus actors involved) and ‘technological regime’ (rule-set). Consequently, a simple Technology Assessment step-by-step plan will be introduced as a base for the methods and techniques of Impact Assessment and as a base for a comprehensive ethical evaluation.

Ad (2) New technology-related plans, programmes and policies have all kinds of effects, including ‘second order’ effects, which should be assessed and managed in accordance with social aims and expectations. Hereto the course presents four different forms and applications of impact assessment:
– Environmental Impact Assessment
– Social Impact Assessment
– Social Cost Benefit Analysis
– Risk Analysis.

Ad (3) Ethical theories and tools will be presented to analyse and balance new technologies and the range of effects that could be expected on the basis of the series of impact assessments. This leads to an ethical-strategic perspective for action and transition (Strategic Impact Assessment).

Study Goals

Several theoretical viewpoints concerning the interrelationship and dynamics of technology and society, resulting in a view of co-evolution and co-construction of technology
– The conceptual difference between goals and effects and between scoping and screening
– A step-by-step plan on the basis of which a series of impact assessments and associated ethical evaluations can be carried out
– The existence, application, requirements and structure of a number of impact assessment methods, esp.:
• Environmental Impact Assessment
• Social Impact Assessment
• Social Cost Benefit Analysis
• Risk Analysis
– How to match the demands of a specific policy context with the appropriate modifications of an assessment technique
– Ethical theories and tools for reflecting on the gathered Impact Assessment data- Understanding the (ethical) assumptions underlying the above methods and their inherent limitations
– How to draw conclusions on the basis of the ethical analysis in terms of Strategic Impact Assessment

After taking the module the student will be able to:
– Identify and redefine problems in which developments of technology and society are intertwined, i.e. in terms of socio-technical systems and technological regimes
– Delineate system and context as well as goals and effects
– Determine which impact assessment method(s) is/are required in a given situation and (ethically) reflect on the chosen impact assessment(s)
– Design a global organizational set-up of an impact assessment study and justify the scope and delineation of the chosen approach
– Assess the quality of existing impact studies and reports
– Formulate ethical criteria that could help in comparing different technologies (for instance nuclear power plants and hydropower dams)
– Apply the assessment techniques to interpret policy principles (such as the Precautionary Principle)



Two courses published: Introduction to Drinking Water Treatment and Introduction to Credit Risk Management

Since January two new former MOOCs have been published:

1. Introduction to Drinking Water Treatment

2. Introduction to Credit Risk Management

Introduction to Drinking Water Treatment


Learn about urban water services, focusing on conventional technologies for drinking water treatment.
This course focuses on conventional technologies for drinking water treatment. Unit processes, involved in the treatment chain, are discussed as well as the physical, chemical and biological processes involved. The emphasis is on the effect of treatment on water quality and the dimensions of the unit processes in the treatment chain. After the course one should be able to recognise the process units, describe their function, and make basic calculations for a preliminary design of a drinking water treatment plant.

Introduction to Credit Risk Management

credit risk management

What is credit risk? Why is it so important, in modern economies, to correctly deal with it? This course combines theory with practice to answer these questions.

You are a bank and a big part of your daily business is to lend money. Unfortunately for you, lending money is definitely a risky activity: there is no 100% guarantee that you will get all your money back. For example you may expect losses in your portfolio because of the default of your counterpart. Or, in a less extreme situation, the credit quality of your counterpart may deteriorate according to some rating system, so that your loan becomes more and more risky. These are typical situations in which credit risk manifests itself. According to the Basel Agreements, credit risk is one of the three fundamental risks, together with market risk and operational risk, a bank (or another regulated financial institution) has to face when operating on the markets. As the 2008 financial crisis has shown us, a correct understanding of credit risk and the ability to cope with it are fundamental in the world of today. The aim of this course is to provide an introduction to credit risk modeling and hedging. At the end of the course, the students will be able to understand and correctly use the basic tools of credit risk management, both from a theoretical and, most of all, a practical point of view. This will be a quite unconventional course. For every methodology, we will analyze its points of strengths, but we will also stress its points of weakness. We will try to do this in a rigorous way, but also with fun. In addition to the video lectures and exercises, recent economic developments will be discussed in the forum based on news articles, and key practitioners from the financial world will share their views through interviews.


New courses published in December 2014

At the end of December two courses published in OpenCourseWare:

1.Technology for Biobased Products

2. Solving Complex Problems

Both are former MOOC’s

Technology for Biobased Products

TU Delft banner Biobased MOOC

As fossil-based fuels and raw materials contribute to climate change, the use of renewable materials and energy as an alternative is in full swing. This transition is not a luxury, it is has become a necessity. We can use the unique properties of microorganisms to convert organic waste streams into biomaterials, chemicals and biofuels. This course provides the insights and tools for biotechnological processes design in a sustainable way. Five experienced course leaders will teach you the basics of industrial biotechnology and how to apply these to the design of fermentation processes for the production of fuels, chemicals and foodstuffs. Throughout the course, you will be challenged to design your own biotechnological process and evaluate its performance and sustainability.

Solving Complex Problems


Solving Complex Problems addresses complex multi-actor systems; so called ‘spaghetti situations’ in which everything is connected to everything, and everything influences everything. Situations, for instance, in which innovative new energy technologies emerge into the existing energy system. Or new health technology, medicine, treatments or screening technologies are being developed and society has to decide about whether they should be allowed and what they may cost.

Want to know more about these free courses and other OpenCourseWare courses go to TU Delft OpenCourseWare

Published a new course: Advanced Design and Optimization of Composite Structures I

today a new course has been published: Advanced Design and Optimization of Composite Structures I, a master course of Aerospace Engineering



This course introduces the basic components of an airframe structure and discusses their use and limitations. The realities of composite design such as the effect of material scatter, environmental knockdowns, and damage knockdowns are discussed and guidelines accounting for these effects and leading to robust designs are presented. The resulting design constraints and predictive tools are applied to real-life design problems in composite structures. A brief revision of lamination theory and failure criteria leads into the development of analytical solutions for typical failure modes for monolithic skins (layup strength, buckling under combined loads and for a variety of boundary conditions) and stiffeners (strength, column buckling under a variety of loads and boundary conditions, local buckling or crippling for one-edge and no-edge-free conditions). These are then combined into stiffened composite structures where additional failure modes such as skin-stiffener separation are considered. Analogous treatment of sandwich skins examines buckling, wrinkling, crimping, intra-cellular buckling failure modes. Once the basic analysis and design techniques have been presented, typical designs (e.g. flange layup, stiffness, taper requirements) are presented and a series of design guidelines (stiffness mismatch minimization, symmetric and balanced layups, 10% rule, etc.) addressing layup and geometry are discussed. On the metal side, the corresponding design practices and analysis methods are presented for the more important failure modes (buckling, crippling) and comparisons to composite designs are made. A design problem is given in the end as an application of the material in this part of the course.

een nieuwe bachelor cursus: Lineaire Algebra 1 gepubliceerd

Deze week een nieuwe cursus: Lineaire Algebra 1 gepubliceerd, een bachelor cursus Technisch Wiskunde: http://bit.ly/1runBJ9



Leren rekenen met vectoren en matrices.
De methode van rijreductie voor het oplossen van lineaire systemen.
De begrippen lineair onafhankelijk, span en basis
Elementaire lineaire transformaties, de begrippen surjectief en injectief.
De begrippen deelruimte, basis en dimensie en voorbeelden hiervan.
Eigenwaardes en eigenvectoren van een matrix.
Dit vak is een combinatie van de vakken Lineaire Algebra 1 en Lineaire Algebra 2 die bij andere TU-opleidingen aangeboden worden.


Het kennen van basisbegrippen, het gebruik van basismethodes.
Het maken van logische afleidingen met behulp van deze begrippen en methodes

Een nieuw module toegevoegd aan de Delftse Leerlijn voor Scheikunde: Evenwichten en het methanolproces

Er is een nieuw module toegevoegd aan de Delftse Leerlijn voor Scheikunde, Evenwichten en het methanolproces: http://bit.ly/1sbeTyd. Dit is module 7 van de Delftse Leerlijn voor Scheikunde voor vwo leerlingen.



Uitgangspunten van de Leerlijn:
Leerlingen zullen aan de hand van maatschappelijke-, chemische- en technologische vraagstukken concepten leren om een antwoord op deze vraagstukken te geven op grond van chemische argumenten. Er wordt ingestoken op nieuwe materialen, duurzaamheid, innovatieve technologie en de chemische industrie.
Deze module behandelt:

Evenwichten bij de productie van methanol
Onderzoek naar: De meest groene en duurzame methode om methanol te produceren.

Reactiesnelheid, reactie-energie, activeringsenergie, energiediagrammen, botsende-deeltjes model, snelheidsbepalende stap, evenwichten, evenwichtsvoorwaarde, evenwichtsconstante, beïnvloeden van een evenwicht.

Rekenen aan evenwichtsreacties
Beïnvloeden van evenwichtsreacties met Excelprogramma
Rekenen aan een methanolproductieproces
Betoog schrijven over een groene en duurzame methanolproductie

a new course published: New Generation Infrastructures part 1

A new course Next Generation Infrastructures part 1 has been published, the course is a former MOOC from the faculty Technology, Policy and Management:  http://bit.ly/Z4ad2i

next generation3

Infrastructures for energy, water, transport, information and communications services create the conditions for livability and economic development. They are the backbone of our society. Similar to our arteries and neural systems that sustain our human bodies, most people however take infrastructures for granted. That is, until they break down or service levels go down.

In many countries around the globe infrastructures are ageing. They require substantial investments to meet the challenges of increasing population, urbanization, resource scarcity, congestion, pollution, and so on. Infrastructures are vulnerable to extreme weather events, and therewith to climate change.
Technological innovations, such as new technologies to harvest renewable energy, are one part of the solution. The other part comes from infrastructure restructuring. Market design and regulation, for example, have a high impact on the functioning and performance of infrastructures.

This course will help you to understand the complexity of infrastructure systems. Complexity is one of key words of this course and we will describe the tremendous implications for the design and governance of infrastructure systems. Part II of the MOOC NGI (September/Otober 2014) will have a more applied nature: the focus will be on smart, secure and sustainable infrastructures ( smart grids, eco cities, ICT/big data &performance of infrastructures and asset management).

The MOOC: Next Generation Infrastructures – Part 2 will start 21 September 2014

Een bachelor cursus TBM gepubliceerd: introductie in energie- en industriesystemen

Deze week een nieuwe bachelor cursus van TBM gepubliceerd: introductie in energie- en industriesystemen.

Electric power lines

Introductie van de structuur en het gedrag van de massa- en energienetwerken die de ruggengraat vormen van de economie. De belangrijkste energie- en industriesystemen worden vanuit verschillende perspectieven besproken.

• Kaartkennis van energie- & industriesystemen, met name in Nederland
• Voorraden en stromen, elektriciteitsinfrastructuur, elektriciteitstransport, aardgasinfrastructuur, drink- en afvalwater, industrie, warmte- en CO2-netwerken, toekomstige energie- & industriesystemen
• Vraag- en aanbodfluctuaties, balanshandhaving
• De behoudswetten van massa en energie te reproduceren en een stationaire massa- of energiebalans op te stellen
• Energie- & industriesystemen te beschrijven en ontleden in functionele eenheden, hiërarchische niveaus en netwerken
• Eenvoudige analyses van energie- & industriesystemen op te zetten en uit te voeren
• Interacties en afhankelijkheden tussen energie- & industriesystemen met verschillende tijdconstanten te beschrijven
• De kritische functies in energie- & industriesystemen voor de economie en de natuurlijke omgeving te beschrijven


Published a new master course: Mechatronic System Design

Last week a new master course of Mechanical Engineering has been published: Mechatronic System Design.



Course Contents

Mechatronic system design deals with the design of controlled motion systems by the integration of functional elements from a multitude of disciplines. It starts with thinking how the required function can be realised by the combination of different subsystems according to a Systems Engineering approach (V-model).

Some supporting disciplines, like power-electronics and electromechanics, are not part of the BSc program of mechanical engineers. For this reason this course introduces these disciplines in connection with PID-motion control principles to realise an optimally designed motion system.
The target application for the lectures are motion systems that combine high speed movements with extreme precision.
The course covers the following four main subjects:

Dynamics of motion systems in the time and frequency domain, including analytical frequency transfer functions that are represented in Bode and Nyquist plots.
Motion control with PID-feedback and model-based feedforward control-principles that effectively deal with the mechanical dynamic anomalies of the plant.
Electromechanical actuators, mainly based on the electromagnetic Lorentz principle. Reluctance force and piezoelectric actuators will be shortly presented to complete the overview.
Power electronics that are used for driving electromagnetic actuators.
The fifth relevant discipline, position measurement systems is dealt with in another course: WB2303, Electronics and measurement.
The most important educational element that will be addressed is the necessary knowledge of the physical phenomena that act on motion systems, to be able to critically judge results obtained with simulation software.
The lectures challenge the capability of students to match simulation models with reality, to translate a real system into a sufficiently simplified dynamic model and use the derived dynamic properties to design a suitable, practically realiseable controller.
This course increases the understanding what a position control system does in reality in terms of virtual mechanical properties like stiffness and damping that are added to the mechanical plant by a closed loop feedback controller.

It is shown how a motion system can be analysed and modelled top-down with approximating (scalar) calculations by hand, giving a sufficient feel of the problem to make valuable concept design decisions in an early stage.
With this method students learn to work more efficiently by starting their design with a quick and dirty global analysis to prove feasibility or direct further detailed modelling in specific problem areas.


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