Agnites Vrolik Award
Winner 2023: Ralph Temmink
Dr Ralph Temmink can proudly call himself the winner of the fourth Agnites Vrolik Prize. He received the prize for his pioneering research on restoring ecosystems with 3D printers on Friday 9 June from Professor José van Dijck worth €25,000.
Ralph Temmink, nominated by the Faculty of Geosciences, is researching how to design and produce 3D-printed biodegradable structures that mimic nature and can be used in large-scale nature restoration. This approach has already been used to develop artificial reefs to restore mussel and oyster beds in the Wadden Sea. "My fascination stems from the fact that we have already lost many ecosystems. I want to use my work to contribute to gaining knowledge about how specific ecosystems work and then see how we can then actually apply that knowledge in restoring those ecosystems. Currently, the methods to do this successfully and cost-effectively are still missing," Temmink said.
The jury, consisting of Prof Erik van Sebille, Dr René Kuijten MBA, Prof Marca Wauben, mr. drs. Steven Martina and Jury President Prof José van Dijck named several reasons for the win:
The research on ecosystem restoration touches on a large and current global problem.
The social impact of the research is very evident.
It involves high-quality, transdisciplinary fundamental research.
Ralph Temmink actively seeks to connect with stakeholders, such as conservation organisations, government and educational institutions and industry.
He makes great efforts to highlight the importance of nature conservation and ecosystems in various media (e.g. in NOS news, National Geographic and Klokhuis).
Leaving a lasting legacy to the university
Founding this award was possible thanks to alumna mrs. Cobi de Bree who left a legacy to the Utrecht University Fund. In today's rapidly changing society, private contributions for scientific research and education have become more important. The number of alumni, (former) employees or other committed parties who choose to allocate (part of) their inheritance to a university goal is increasing. A good example is a large legacy received by Utrecht University in 2018.
Agnites Vrolik Award
The Agnites Vrolik Award was established in 2017 by the Utrecht University Fund to show that the impact of UU research is important and deserves rewarding. The awards includes a sum of € 25,000, intended for extracurricular research. The Agnites Vrolik Award is awarded once in the two years.Dr. Agnites Vrolik studied mathematics and physics at the UU and also obtained his PhD here, in 1836. From 1854 to 1858 he was Minister of Finance. He was the first chairman of the Utrecht University Fund.