‘I can’t solve every problem in the world with my field’


Babette Schep took the Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Responsible Innovation minor.  She is currently in the third year of the Systems Engineering, Policy Analysis and Management Bachelor's degree programme at TU Delft. 


Why choose this minor?

'I wanted to see what it was like at a different university. I'm from Friesland and when I started my studies I thought Delft was a big city. Now I'm looking beyond Delft and this was a good way to get acquainted with different cities.'


Babette chose the ‘Maasvlakte 2’ project. The central question of the project was: how sustainable is the port of Rotterdam and how can we improve its sustainability?

Who else worked on the project?

She collaborated with a philosophy student from Rotterdam, an International Studies student from Leiden and an Aerospace Engineering student from Delft.


Babette: 'The collaboration was not always easy, especially in the beginning. When demarcating the problem, we discovered that it was very difficult to work towards a common goal; we really struggled with this part. All four of us remained attached to our own field. Philosophy and Aerospace Engineering are total opposites. We then outlined everything together to gain a clear understanding of the whole problem. I realised that I can’t solve every problem in the world with my field!' 


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Distribution of tasks

The International Studies student compared the port of Rotterdam with other ports in the world. The Aerospace Engineering student made calculations to determine how the port of Rotterdam scored in the areas of emissions, transport costs, etc. Babette herself (Systems Engineering, Policy Analysis and Management) asked the following question: what is considered sustainable and how can you influence sustainability?


‘We came up with the idea of a Sustainable Port Award and thought of a number of criteria for it. We want to focus on the difference between sustainable and non-sustainable,  assigning scores to the criteria in order to determine the sustainability level of various aspects.  The Port Authority man we visited was enthusiastic about our idea; apparently, this has not been done before. Something similar is being developed for ships, however.'

After the Bachelor's programme

Babette is planning to take a Civil Engineering Master's degree programme at TU Delft. Will this minor be useful for that?  'In the Civil Engineering programme they also give lectures on the port of Rotterdam. More importantly, my Bachelor's degree in Systems Engineering, Policy Analysis and Management makes me a kind of Delft liberal arts student. But collaborating with different programmes has taught me to position myself in such a group. In this Master's programme, different Master's specialisations also frequently come together and I now have a better idea of how this kind of collaboration works.'


'Everything is about sustainability these days and everyone has their own opinion on the matter. It's good to already have additional knowledge of this subject.' 

Leiden-Delft-Erasmus News June 2015, Uncategorized
Leiden-Delft-Erasmus News June 2015