SVTN "J.D. van der Waals", also know as “Van der Waals,” is the study association for all students in Applied Physics at the Eindhoven University of Technology. It was founded October 6th 1960 and named after famous Dutch physicist en Nobel Prize winner Johannes Diderik van der Waals. The study association aims at seeing to the needs of students of the faculty of Applied Physics. It tries to let its students see their area of work from a different angle. This is done by excursions, lectures, symposia, study trips and so on. On the other hand the association organizes sports tournaments, parties, weekends and it has its very own weekly opened bar called ‘Salon,’ all to stimulate the bond between its members. Also the relationship between students and staff members of the faculty is of great value to Van der Waals. Van der Waals’ strength lies in the large number of active members. Over a quarter of all four hundred members is very active within the association. The active members don’t only participate in Van der Waals’s activities, but also help organizing them. Taking place in a committee and organizing all these activities can be a great experience to the students. But more importantly, it’s just a hell of a lot fun!
Study related activities
One of the core activities SVTN "J.D. van der Waals" is selling the books needed for the study of Applied Physics. In doing so it tries to give its students as much discount as possible. Therefore the beginning of each semester is a busy time at Van der Waals. Another serious aspect of Van der Waals’ activities is keeping in touch with a lot of companies. The purpose of this is to allow its members to be able to orient and look for jobs in an early stage of their studies. Obviously there are a lot of options for a physicist nowadays. By means of excursions and lectures students can get to know a lot of companies in a comfortable atmosphere. Van der Waals also organizes a study trip every year. A group of students goes to visit universities, institutes and companies for about three weeks under the guidance of a scientific staff member of the faculty. But of course there is also room for culture and exploring the local nightlife. In recent years this trip has gone to for example Korea, USA, Japan and Brazil. Also the symposium Van der Waals organizes every year is a great success very time. A group of student work for about a year to organize a day around a central theme. For example the 2008 symposium was named "The future of energy, what will keep our lights on?" During the day some scientist from different areas will give their visions on the subject.
Magazine en yearbook
The association’s magazine "Koerier" (nowadays known as "N!") has, during its forty-nine years as the official association’s magazine, become a fun and informative magazine, which is looked forward to six times per year. Besides relatively pointless but funny articles, it contains reports of all the activities of Van der Waals, scientific articles and advertisements and editorials of companies about job opportunities. Also it contains a section from STOOR, the Van der Waals partner that handles education issues, which holds information on the education at Applied Physics. Every year a yearbook is made to remember all the activities of that year.
Besides all of these activities, that are all relatively serious, there are a lot of committees and fraternities that organize activities that are just meant for having fun. The most striking is the weekly opened bar, with over a hundred different beers! But that’s not all! The weekends Van der Waals organizes, like first year camp and WiXi, are a great success every year! Also throughout the year there are a lot of parties and other activities, mostly organizes by the always active activity committee. Things like bowling, quizzes and sports tournaments should come to mind. One last very important part of life a Van der Waals is fraternities. Throughout the year many fraternities have risen (and fallen), groups of friends that show their connection to Van der Waals through the organization of alternative activities for the entire association.