TAKE OFF! The first event of the DEAN USA East Coast tour was held at the Dutch Embassy in Washington DC on 25 October 2018. After a warm welcome from the Innovation Attache Sigrid Johannisse and a lecture about the F-35 fighter jet project by André van Nispen (National Deputy F-35 Joint Program Office), there was still time for some ‘borreling’ and intense networking. André also revealed a ‘scoop’ during his talk, mentioning that over 100 of our TU interns have worked so far at Lockheed Martin’s F-35 related projects - yet another testimony of the Dutch universities of technology’s strong footprint in the USA alongside the 5000+ alumni presence in the country. Next stops – Boston on 26 October 2018 for an evening gathering at the Shell Techworks Lab in the heart of Cambridge, then an event in New York City on Monday 29 October at Chobani corporate HQ in Soho (Yes, the Greek Yogurt icon!), and finally concluding with an alumni mixer in Houston on Tuesday 30 October. Nearly 140 local alumni from TU Delft, Wageningen and Twente signed up for the four events.
Energy, World Series & Beer: This must be Boston! After a short morning flight yesterday from Washington DC we were ready for the second alumni event of the DEAN USA East Coast tour that took place on a Friday night at Shell Cambridge. Over 40 alumni enjoyed a stimulating evening of short presentations followed by drinks and food. Live screen action from the second World Series baseball match of Boston's pride Red Soxs (and Dutch player Xander Bogaerts) along with Enschede brewed Grolsch beer for the Twente alumni fueled additional conversation :) Thank you Shell for hosting us!
Which company has the largest yogurt plant in the world? Grows faster than Google or Facebook? Where all employees are also co-owners? The answer is Chobani, a brand that many people back in the Netherlands are probably not familiar with. Last night, Mick Beekhuizen, CFO of Chobani and Twente alumnus hosted our alumni event in New York. Around 30 alumni heard everything about the innovations of the company and how it has grown within 10-years from nothing into one of the biggest players in the American yogurt market. During the Q&A, the Dutch alumni in the audience were quick to suggest that products common back in the home country like ‘vla’ or pourable 1-liter yogurt be also added to the product mix. Perhaps future products from Chobani? All in all a fun, interesting evening in the Big Apple, where our alumni gained new knowledge about the ups and downs of this young company. Next and last stop on our East Coast USA tour was the gathering in Houston!
Dutch expats & their alumni networks - what is the relevance? Meeting people from different career backgrounds, hooking students up with local internships, resources for life-long-learning, study opportunities in the NL (for the kids), and interaction with other alumni from across the USA were just a few of the conversation points that came up during the gathering in Houston. In an informal setting of a local brewery, our alumni enjoyed seeing both old acquaintances as well as making new contacts – attendees spanned alumni who had graduated over the past three decades with the most recent person earning his degree only a month ago! It was also the perfect mix in which to explore ideas for future activities of the Houston DEAN community that was launched back in 2014. A wonderful conclusion to a week-long series of events in Washington DC, Boston and New York for alumni from TU Delft, TU/e, Wageningen and Twente. Many thanks to our alumni and friends from the Dutch Embassy, Shell Cambridge, and Chobani for their assistance in making the 2018 USA East Coast tour such a success as well as to everyone who attended one of the events.