Thanks to the CETE network, I was able to realize a short stay visit for two weeks at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft). My aim for this visit was to present and discuss my current research, to exchange ideas and to get valuable advice. Due to my fields of research I choose the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management (TPM) as my host. But before going in some details, here are some interesting facts about the University. TU Delft was founded by King William II of the Netherlands in 1842. It started as Royal Academy for the education of civilian engineers.
This is quite similar to the campus of the University of Duisburg-Essen which was build on the former State Engineering School of Construction Essen (Staatliche Ingenieurschule für Bauwesen Essen, more information here). TU Delft´s motto is "Challenge the Future" and this is obvious in many ways on the campus.
Faculty and students (rd. 20.000) are working in a strong relationship with industry as well as with ministries and authorities. TU Delft has also three Nobel Laureates. From this perspective, my expectations to this visit and also the demands on myself were very high.
After a drive of round about two and a half hours I arrived at my new work space for the next two weeks, the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management (TPM). The research of TPM focuses on large scale socio-technical systems, such as infrastructures for transport, energy and telecommunication by combining insights from the engineering sciences with insights from the humanities and the social sciences.
Very interesting for me and my research in the cross-section of technology and education are especially the opics of modeling, simulation and gaming. TPM has for this purpose the game lab in which they develop board based as well as digital games for research and education.
In this areas, TPM has a worldwide known and recognized expertise. Due to this, TPM hosted the 48th International Simulation and Gaming Association's conference (ISAGA 2017) from 10th to 14th July 2017 in which I participated with a design workshop for inclusive games (details about it in this blog post). After my arrival I was introduced to the team and participated directly the ISAGA conference. Beside new interesting contacts and relations I met also known people. The atmosphere was professional as well as like a class reunion (some personal highlights I will introduce in this blog post).
At the end of my first day I checked in in the Hampshire Hotel. And here comes an important advice: If you book a hotel and it says there are parking lots for cars there, be sure, that the car can stand all (!) the time there. Due to the close distance I came by car and took my bike with me. Hey, what you expected? I am traveling to the Netherlands :-) My plan was to leave the car at the parking lot of the hotel during my stay and to use my bike. But here comes the BUT! At the hotel, which was a good choice at all, it is not allowed to leave the car all the day. At night and till approximately 8:30 it´s fine, but after that tourist buses are using the parking lot. That´s the reason, why every car has to leave.
Now, what are the alternatives:
1. Come by plane or train.
What? That´s not for me.
2. Come by car and leave it in the garage across of the hotel.
Hm, might be an alternative. Why not? I tell you why not ... for each full day you have to pay 15 Euro. So, paying more than 200 Euro just for leaving the car there is to much for me.
3. Come by car and leave it at the campus
Yes! That´s a real alternative. Compared to other universities I visited TU Delft has parking lots for free. At Berkeley for instance every parking lot, in the garage or at the street must be paid.
So, what to do, now? Check in, leave the bike in the trunk of the car, drive in the morning by car to TPM, leave the car there and take the bike out of the trunk. Taddaaa!! It can not be cheaper.
By the way, ask at the Hotel if they have a "fietsen huis" or "fietsenstalling" (bike shed). In my case, I had to ask for a key and was able to put my bike over night in such a shed. Way better than leaving it outside.