57th VvTP symposium

The 57th physics symposium committee, part of the Vereniging voor Technische Physica of the TU Delft, invites you to be part of our symposium. It will take place from the 11th until the 15th of October 2021. There will be 4 lunch lectures, 1 evening lecture with our keynote speaker and an excursion on Friday with drinks to celebrate the end of the symposium week. This year we proudly present our theme: "Survival: evolving by solving impossible problems"


Ever since the first fire was lit and the first wheel had been made, mankind has been striving towards innovation. It might just be in our nature to shape the world to our hands and to make our lives easier for ourselves. We now live in a time where live begins to be more about being happy and comfortable, and less about worrying about how to survive. However this evolution of lifestyle brings problems of its own, problems that might be bigger than anyone has ever faced before and problems that we can only face together. Luckily history tells us that however impossible a problem might seem, if we work hard enough we can always find a solution. This is what this years symposium will be all about. Not only is solving problems important for our own happiness, we also need to solve problems to ensure the continuation of our species. In this symposium we will have a week full of excited lecturers who are pioneering in their field to solve the problems that today might seem like they are impossible to solve. But, due to their contribution, might become easily solvable in the future.

“It always seems impossible until it’s done” -Nelson Mandela

Lunch Lecturers
Monday 11 - Thursday 14 october

Monday - Dr. Franco Ongaro

Franco Ongaro is the Director of Technology, Engineering and Quality, and Head of ESTEC, the research and technology centre of the ESA, in Noordwijk. He studied Aeronautical Engineering at the University Politecnico of Milan and graduated as a Doctor there. After this he joined the ESA working on different projects.

He started working on the Columbus project. Columbus was the first permanent European research facility in space. In 1988 Franco Ongaro became Head of the Columbus Payload Interfaces Unit. The Payload Interfaces Unit contains 10 standardised racks for experiment equipment used by researchers from ESA and NASA. Furthermore he has worked on the Aurora exploration programme, a strategy for Europe's solar system exploration over the next 30 years, and the Iris programme, the development of a 'satcom' component for air traffic management.

In his projects and working at ESA he is always thinking about how to solve problems that seem impossible at first. At the symposium he will talk about his projects and his work at ESA and how this helps us to evolve in the next decades.

Dr. Franco Ongaro

Tuesday - Prof. Ortiz Catalán

Prof. Ortiz Catalán is the founder and director of the Center for Bionics and Pain Research, and the Professor of Bionics at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden. He led the development of a new generation of artificial limbs known as neuromusculoskeletal prostheses. This is a pioneering technology that made it possible to have a direct connection between a robotic prosthesis and a patients' nerves, muscles, and skeleton. On top of this, he has done research into phantom limb pain and its potential origin. Prof. Ortiz Catalán developed algorithms needed for the decoding of motor volition, or the ability to perform physical movements at will, which is a common ground for both of these aforementioned problems. In his lecture, Prof. Ortiz Catalán will talk about this new generation of bionic limbs and neurorehabilitation technologies that are improving the patient's quality of life.

Thursday– prof. Stephanie Wehner

Prof. Stephanie Wehner is professor in quantum information at TU Delft and the Research Lead of the Quantum Internet Division at QuTech. In her work she combines quantum mechanics with computer science in order to construct better networks and computers. She has worked in quantum cryptography and communication, and one of her goals is to overcome the theoretical challenges in building large scale quantum networks. Besides her work as a professor, she is one of the founders of QCRYPT, which has become the largest conference in quantum cryptography. She has numerous scientific articles in both physics and computer science on her name. And in a former life, she worked as a professional hacker. At the symposium she will talk about how quantum internet and quantum computers are solutions to problems that are impossible to solve with classical devices. And how quantum mechanics is the future of better networks and computers.
If you cannot wait till 14 October, don’t hesitate to have a look at one of her TedTalks.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkTKRxm2wHA – Hacking nature
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XzPi29O6DAc – The Quantum Internet

Keynote Speaker
Thursday 14 october

Keynote speaker: to be announced.

Make sure to follow us on instagram and check our web page frequently to stay up-to-date.


Monday October 11th

Dr. Franco Ongaro in lecture hall D from 12:45 until 13:30

Tuesday October 12th

Dr. Max Ortiz Catalan in lecture hall D from 12:45 until 13:30

Wednesday October 13th

Dr. Tom Crawford in lecture hall D from 12:45 until 13:30

Thursday October 14th

Dr. Stephanie Wehner in lecture hall D from 12:45 until 13:30

Keynote speaker t.b.a., Auditorium from 19:00 until 22:00

Friday October 15th

Excursion to Robohouse

Pubquiz and social drinks until 18:30 in TPKV.


Robohouse excursion!

On Friday the 15th of October there is the possibility to visit robohouse with your friends and get an exclusive tour.

Final event: Pubquiz and drinks

On Friday October 15th after the excursion to Robohouse, there will be a pubquiz and closing drinks in TPKV.

More details will be announced soon


Contact information

Email: symposium@vvtp.tudelft.nl