Current Challenges

VolkerWessels – Generative design

A renowned X!Delft partner, VolkerWessels, is interested in the current state-of-the-art and the potential  of Generative Design technology in order to effectively adopt it in their own design process.

Currently, construction industry faces serious challenges. The demand for new buildings is continuously increasing, while lead times are reducing. Furthermore, buildings are also required to perform better, and at the same time be more unique, durable as well as sustainable. Unfortunately, profit margins on projects for builders are being squeezed making it even more difficult to meet these demands. A common method to approach such challenges is to standardize construction elements and materials. However, a more innovative approach is to use Computer Generated Designs Instead of letting a human engineer design all aspects of a construction, Computer Generated Designs allows a computer to generate and optimize the design within the constraints defined by an engineer. The objective of this method is to produce better and more unique designs that are optimized within the given envelope, while being generated within a much shorter time frame.

Are you fascinated by the prospect of generative design and eager to get involved?

Know-how on generative design is quite fragmented in both science and the market. Therefore, X!Delft has for four master students to conducting a study that dives into the current state of the art within the university and the market  and assess the potential of generative design for a construction company like VolkerWessels.

Future Challenges

AEGON – Pensions

As a student, your pension is probably the last thing you want to think about. However, how we live at the age of 70 could be influenced by the decisions we make today.

Aegon, a multinational life insurance, pensions and asset management company, is convinced we should. Therefore, Aegon wonders how they can trigger people to start thinking about their pension at an earlier age already. To answer this question, Aegon is organizing a design sprint in collaboration with X!Delft students. The aim of the sprint is to design a “nudge” that increases awareness for pensions among young people. This “nudge” may be in the form of a game, app or VR experience, etc. No idea is too crazy. The design sprint is comprised of two half day meetings that will be organized the 17th of june. The team that comes up with the best idea ‘wins’ the challenge and gets the opportunity to do (after the summer holidays) a paid assignment with their team for AEGON, where they can further develop their concept! Interested to participate? Sign up here!


NS and X!Delft are jointly working on developing a First & Last Mile field lab in Delft, where we can experiment with new forms of mobility (as a service) concepts in connection to the train. NS is now thinking about how to redesign train stations in order to better accommodate these up and coming forms of mobility. Together with several renowned architects and designers, they are organizing co-creation sessions to get fresh inspiration. These sessions will be held before the summer holiday period, and we plan to let one or more student teams join in. We are still working on the details, but if you are interested to participate, please let us know now! We’ll get back to you as soon as possible

Past Challenges

Avatar challenge – Ministery of I&W

Due to the rapid technological developments in the field of robotics, artificial intelligence, data communication, computing power, sensors, image processing, human-machine interface, and many other fields, the possibilities to develop telerobotics or avatars are taking shape and in practice to be able to deploy at a fast pace. With the help of avatars, it is possible for operators to remotely carry out physical actions by means of “telepresence”, whereby the operator is (to a certain extent) created the illusion that he himself is present on the spot and performs actions. This offers advantages in situations where, for security reasons, it is not desirable for people to be physically on location, but also if certain knowledge and skills are required in the short term and they are not available in the immediate vicinity, but quickly via telepresence. can be mobilized. The first contours of this revolution are already apparent, for example when surgeons perform minimally invasive operations using the DaVinci surgery robot, whether they are standing next to the patient or thousands of kilometres away. But also applications such as remote-controlled (military) drones that perform exploratory flights or carry out attacks from a control centre on the other side of the world with equal ease, are application examples of avatar technology. We are only at the beginning of this development and it is by no means clear which applications will be of value in practice in both the short and the long term. The Ministry of Infrastructure & Water is also interested in avatars. It is becoming increasingly busier on the Dutch roads, and new technologies are increasingly being looked at to help ensure the flow of traffic on our road network in a safe, reliable, effective and cost-efficient manner. In addition to the many other applications, avatars could also play an important role in this area in the future. In order to better understand the state of affairs in the field of avatars, but also where the possibilities for using avatars lie, where the benefits lie and how large they are, the Ministry of Infrastructure & Water Management has asked the TU Delft (X!Delft) to set up a student team that can make an initial exploration of avatars.