Students and teachers take home awards at VU gala

Proud students and lecturers received their awards during the Hollywood-themed New Year’s Gala on 23 January at VU Amsterdam. We have listed the winners for you below.

01/24/2020 | 12:36 PM

VU scriptieprijzen 2020

Bachelor’s and Master’s thesis awards
The theses of William Harry King (Faculty of Science) and Sem Duijndam (Faculty of Science) were the chosen university favourites out of 18 Bachelor’s theses and 11 Master’s theses respectively. Harry developed a kernel for an operating system that automatically resolves its own errors and could contribute to the security of computer systems. An exceptional achievement for a Bachelor’s student, as the only comparable kernel was developed by specialists with over twenty man-years of combined experience. The economic assessment Sem performed on the Simson Bay Lagoon in Saint Martin is currently being used to determine the island’s environmental policy. According to the jury, his work shows that it is possible for students to have an impact on the world around them.

StudenTalent prijsStudent Talent Award
Dymphe Mensink (Faculty of Law) impressed the jury with her entrepreneurial mindset and drive: “The apparent ease with which she tackles new projects and brings together the right people for the job is nothing short of impressive. We are convinced that she will be able to achieve all of her goals in social law and legal tech”. Ms Mensink’s ability to combine social engagement, corporate entrepreneurship and excellent study results make her a wonderful example to her fellow students at VU Amsterdam. Watch the videos of Dymphe and her fellow nominees Amel Labeab en Tamana Alozai.

DocenTalent prijsTeacher Talent Award
For the Teacher Talent Award, students get to nominate their teachers. Teun Zuiderent-Jerak (Faculty of Science) was selected to receive the award. This year the Teacher Talent Award intended to shine the spotlight on teachers who make a difference in the lives of students who, in this day and age, are expected to find their own way at their universities from day one of their study programmes. According to the jury, Teun Zuiderent-Jerak motivates his students to look beyond the boundaries of academia, relates to the world around him and links developments in and outside his area of expertise. He challenges his students to become more self-aware.

Innovatieprijs 2020Innovation Award

The jury says the Startup Clinic introduces “a promising and unique method of cooperation that shows great potential for further development.” In this project, a course is set up in which law students advise startups on legal matters, under the supervision of law firms. The jury believes high praise is in order for the innovative nature of the project, and sees opportunities for a similar setup in other disciplines. These courses could boost entrepreneurship education through the inclusion of a community-service-learning aspect. Watch the Startup Clinic video and the videos of the other nominated teams, United against loneliness and the team that developed an app to identify students who are suffering from stress.

Tribute to the supporter
In addition to students and teaching staff, support staff Behzad Harampanahi (Audiovisueel Centrum) en Abdeslam Buharouk (Campus Facility Management) also got a moment in the spotlight. According to their colleagues, they deserved a tribute and presenter Ernest van der Kwast did the honours. 

Ode aan de ondersteuner

More photos of the event will be available from 24 Januari at
The red carpet photos made during the event will be available from 24 januari at

Photos: VU/Marieke Wijntjes