The dr. ir. Aalt Dijkhuizen Fund provides scholarships to talented MSc and PhD students and postdoctoral researchers at Wageningen University & Research who would like to visit a leading institute abroad to gain new, high-tech knowledge.
Aalt Dijkhuizen was the Chairman of the Executive Board of Wageningen University & Research from 2002 to 2014. The Dr. Ir. Aalt Dijkhuizen Fund was a parting gift, given to him by the Wageningen Ambassadors on the occasion of his retirement as Chairman.
The dr. ir. Aalt Dijkhuizen scholarships of 2020 have been awarded to Paul Ruigrok and Simone Verhagen. Read more about these two talented students below.
On June 9 2020, the dr. ir. Aalt Dijkhuizen grant was awarded twice to the following candidates:
"For my Msc thesis I am going to do research on apple scab (Venturia inaequalis) at Massey University New Zealand. In the cultivation of apples worldwide, apple scab is a big problem and it becomes harder to control. I will participate in a research that has the aim to identify the infection of apple scab on genetic and molecular level. This knowledge can be used in the end to breed for resistant apple cultivars. This strengthens the control of apple scab and makes it possible to cultivate apples in a sustainable way in the future. At Massey University, the research on apple scab is on a high level due to experience on this fungus and due to new genetic data on apple scab. This puts them in the position to identify the molecular regulation of infection more clearly. The Dr. ir. Aalt Dijkhuizen fund enables me to do 6 months of research on apple scab in New Zealand and to focus fully on the research."
"Thanks to the dr. ir. Aalt Duikhuizen Fund I am able to do my internship at the Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg Sweden for my Environmental and biobased Biotechnology master. I am going to do research on the extraction of protein from seaweed at the Food and Nutrition group of prof. Ingrid Undeland. I am honored to be awarded with the scholarship by the board, this lightens my financial burden which allows me to focus more on the research during my internship. Also, I am looking forward to share the knowledge that I gained through my research to the Wageningen University."
"The Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR) in Christchurch, New Zealand, is one of the few research institutes worldwide studying aptamers for the detection of food- borne pathogens. Studies have shown promising results. The research internship has the aim to establish methodology to develop aptamers targeting food-borne pathogens. Facilitated by this scholarship I have the opportunity to gain and share knowledge in an emerging technique. This internship marks the end of my study and I wish to continue my research career in food microbiology with a PhD project. I am honoured to be awarded with the scholarship by the Dr. ir. Aalt Dijkhuizen Fund, this lightens my financial burden which allows me to focus more on the research during my internship."
"My PhD project will ultimately contribute to increased sustainability of emulsion-based food products by partly replacing the commonly used dairy proteins by plant proteins. So far, we already found synergistic behaviour when using a combination of dairy and plant proteins, but underlying mechanisms are not unravelled yet. The dr. Ir. Aalt Dijkhuizen fund allows me to do experiments at INRA Nantes, and study these mechanisms with advanced techniques to get in depth information and reduce the knowledge gab. The findings will contribute to scientific innovation for plant-dairy protein blend systems, and are of direct relevance for the food industry."
Dr. ir. Aalt Dijkhuizen was Chairman of the Executive Board of Wageningen University & Research from 2002 to 2014. He is an advocate for high-tech approaches in the agri-food sector in the Netherlands. Dijkhuizen explains: “Oxfam Novib recently proclaimed the Netherlands the number one food country, with the healthiest products. We are champions both in technology and in knowledge. This expertise is used all over the world.”
The Dutch approach can make a significant contribution to the world food problem. Dijkhuizen: “In 2015 we need to feed 9 billion people. This needs to be done in a healthy and sustainable way, without causing harm to the climate, nature, or the environment. That is the challenge for which answers are sought in Wageningen and in the Dutch agri-food sector. That takes courage, creativity, and resources.”
With the fund Dijkhuizen wants to contribute to innovation: “We have many young, talented researchers in Wageningen. They are the leaders of the future, and will provide new solutions to the challenges the next generations will be faced with. With this fund, I want to give some of these talents access to the newest knowledge and technologies abroad. Knowledge that they will bring back to the Netherlands, on which we can build our research, and eventually strengthen the Dutch sector with.”
The Wageningen Ambassadors are alumni of Wageningen University who hold a leading position in society. They are closely involved with their Alma Mater and aim to build strong connections between the university and society. They do so by giving advice to the university, sparking public interest for the university and involving their network, and financing projects. Read more about the Wageningen Ambassadors and view the list of members here.
The former president of the Wageningen Ambassadors, George Lubbe, took the initiative to form the Ambassadors together with Dijkhuizen in 2003. George Lubbe explains what motivated him: “As alumni we should try to contribute to our university, it has given us an excellent education.” As Chairman of the Executive Board, Aalt Dijkhuizen valued the relationship with the Wageningen Ambassadors highly. Lubbe: “The ambassadors formed an important advisory board for him, which he often consulted.”
In turn, the Wageningen Ambassadors greatly appreciated the fact that they were closely involved with the development of their university. The mutual appreciation led to the founding of the Dr. Ir. Aalt Dijkhuizen Fund, a gift from the Ambassadors on the occasion of the departure of Dijkhuizen as Chairman in February 2014.
1972 Bachelor, Agricultural University of Applied Sciences in Dronten
1977 Agricultural Economics, Wageningen University
1983 PhD Economics of Animal Diseases, Utrecht University
1977-1984 Assistant Professor of Agricultural Economics, Utrecht University
1984-1992 Associate Professor of Agricultural Economics, Utrecht University
1992-1998 Extraordinary Professor of Animal Health Economics, Wageningen University
1998-2002 Managing Director Business Group Agri Northern Europe, Nutreco
2002-2014 Chairman of the Executive Board, Wageningen University
2004-current Member of the Supervisory Board, Incotec
2005-current Advisor to the Governor of Fujian province, China
2006-current Member of the Supervisory Board, Dutch Public Broadcasting (NPO)
2006-current Member of the Advisory Board, Struik Foods Europe
2007-current Member of the Advisory Board, Hendrix Genetics
2008-current Member of the Supervisory Board, Refresco
2009-current Member of the Advisory Board, Pictet Agri Investment Fund
2012-current Chairman Supervisory Board, Gelders Orchestra
2013-current Member of the Advisory Board, Oxycom
2014-current Member of the Advisory Board, Harvesta GG
2014-current Member of the Supervisory Board, De Heus
2014-current Chairman Top Sector Agri & Food