Wim van der Hoek award

The Wim van der Hoek Award is awarded to promote and stimulate precision mechanics and the design of mechanical structures. The award will be given to the best graduation work. The award is named after the emeritus professor Wim van der Hoek, who founded the unique Dutch method for design of precision machinery, at the Technical University of Eindhoven.

Wim van der Hoek Award 2021

During the 20th edition of the Precision Fair, held this year for the first time in Den Bosch (NL), the Wim van der Hoek Award was presented under the auspices of DSPE (Dutch Society for Precision Engineering). The prize went to Nick Habraken, who graduated from Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) on the redesign of a robot for microsurgery. According to the jury, his thoughtful design is not intended to replicate human motor skills, as often happens in robotics. “By looking closely at the application of the robot, Nick has arrived at a ‘non-human’, innovative topology (spatial structure, ed.), which is tailored to the function that the device has to perform.”

The second day of the Precision Fair 2021, Thursday 11 November in Den Bosch (NL), featured the presentation of the Wim van der Hoek Award. This award (also known as the Constructors Award) was introduced in 2006 to mark the 80th birthday of the Dutch doyen of design engineering principles, Wim van der Hoek (1924-2019). The Constructors Award is presented every year to the person with the best graduation project in the field of design in mechanical engineering at a Dutch or Belgian university of technology or university of applied sciences. This award includes a certificate, a trophy made by the Leidse instrumentmakers School and a sum of money, sponsored by TU/e institute EIASI.

The winner of 2021 Nick Habraken with the chairman Jos Gunsing

Seven nominations

Criteria for the assessment of the graduation theses include quality of the design, substantiation and innovativeness, as well as the suitability for use as teaching materials. The jury, under the presidency of DSPE board member Jos Gunsing (MaromeTech), received a total of seven nominations from TU/e, Delft University of Technology and Fontys Engineering University of Applied Sciences in Eindhoven.

Hereby the pitches of the seven nominees.

Feasible, substantiated and fully developed

The Wim van der Hoek Award 2021 eventually went to Nick Habraken, who studied Mechanical Engineering at TU/e. This spring he graduated on the redesign of a robot for microsurgery. Medical technology company Microsure in Son has developed this robot for, among other things, breast reconstruction. In such an operation, blood and lymph vessels with diameters of less than a millimeter must be sutured; that precision is almost unattainable for a human being.

Habraken started with an extensive review of the application and the resulting technical and ergonomic requirements. Robotics often attempts to replicate human motor skills. However, Habraken chose not to do this and thus arrived at an innovative, ‘non-human’ topology, which is tailored to the function that the robot has to perform. The design was of high quality according to the jury. “Nick provided a feasible, substantiated and fully developed elaboration for all functions, both on a system and a detailed level. The emphasis was on a sophisticated control of the degrees of freedom of the robot, which must be able to move in a compact, sterile space. This is entirely in the spirit of Van der Hoek’s design principles.”

Presentation of the online ceremony

Hall of Fame:

2020Teun van de SandeTU/e
2019Sven klein AvinkUT
2018Martin KristelijnTU/e
2017Sam PeerlinckKU Leuven, Belgium
2016Niels van GiessenAvans University of Applied Sciences Breda
2015Gihin MokTU Delft
2014Marc DamenTU/e
2013Marc JanssensTU/e
2012Stefan SpanjerUTwente
2011Alexander MulderTU Delft
2010Tim Nai (TIN Yan Nai)TU Delft
2009Raymondo CauTU/e
2008Volkert van der WijkTU Delft
2007Rob van HaendelTU/e
2006Erik MandersTU/e

Who will you nominate for the Wim van der Hoek award 2021

To nominee a person for the Wim van der Hoek award 2021, look at the news item.

The jury in the Wim van der Hoek room at Janssen Precision Engineering in Maastricht:

Chairman Jos Gunsing (MaromeTech)
Johan Vervoort (Vervos)
Marc Vermeulen (ASML)
Maurice Teuwen (Janssen Precision Engineering)
Hans Steijaert (VDL ETG)
Wouter Vogelesang (VH Consult)


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