SVTN “J.D. van der Waals” is the study association for Applied Physics students at the Eindhoven University of Technology. It is most commonly known as “Van der Waals”. It was founded on the 6th of October 1960 an is named after the famous Dutch physicist and Nobel laureate Johannes Diderik van der Waals.

The main goal of the study association is to guard the interests of Applied Physics students. It tries to show the students all perspectives of physics by organising company excursions, lectures, symposia and study tours. Besides these career activities the association also organises lots of leisure activities like; sport competitions, parties, the weekly Borrel, weekend trips and many other fun activities. (to strengthen the bond between its members)

Van der Waals tries to accommodate interaction between students and other faculty members since it thinks that these are vital for itself and its members. Van der Waals’ biggest strength is the its large share of active members. Out of the more than 400 members a quarter is active within the association. This is due to the fact that almost all Applied Physics students automatically become member of Van der Waals. Active members not only participate in Van der Waals activities, they also help in organising these activities. By becoming member of one of many committees within Van der Waals students can learn and gain experience in more practical skills. However it is of course very rewarding to organise cool and successful activities for your fellow students.

Career oriented activities

One of the principal activities of Van der Waals is the book sale for all Applied Physics courses. The association tries to obtain discounts for its members. At the start of every quartile it is always very busy with students buying their books at Van der Waals.

Van der Waals also keeps close contact with business. These contacts are primarily in place to let its members orient themselves on the different opportunities and career paths they can follow after completion of their study. Nowadays physicists can work in virtually all sectors of the job market. Company visits and lectures are the first gateway for students to the job market. Van der Waals is also part of Wervingsdagen which is the career expo of the Eindhoven University of Technology.

Yearly a large study trip with a destination outside of Europe is organised. This means that a group of students accompanied by a professor of the faculty visit local universities, research institutes and companies. Of course students will also get the chance to learn about the new cultures they encounter via the several cultural excursions during the journey. Recent destinations of the study trip were Brazil, Russia, Japan and China.

Another successful yearly event organised by Van der Waals is the physics symposium Eindhoven. A group of Van der Waals members works for about a year to organise this event. Every year the symposium has a new theme. Throughout this day several academics and people from business shine their light on the theme and inform us about the new developments in this area. The 2013 symposium had for example the theme ‘Brain vs computer’.

Association magazine and almanac

Van der Waals, the faculty and the alumni association VENI work together to write an association magazine, this magazine is called the N! (N-Faculty). This magazine is published four times a year. A wide range of topics, like recent discoveries in physics, career opportunities and pieces on recent Van der Waals activities. Due to a collaboration with STOOR, the student education organisation, pieces on educational activities like reports on internships and results of educational surveys also get published.

Besides the association magazine Van der Waals yearly publishes a almanac. This yearbook is a collection of all the activities organized by Van der Waals throughout the year. It is a great way to look back upon the year and recollect all the awesome activities of the year.

Other activities

In addition to the career oriented activities Van der Waals has a lot of committees and fraternities which organise lots of less serious activities. The most eye catching of all of these is the weekly, famous and well visited Thursday Borrel in de ‘Salon’. Of course this is not all! Yearly a lot of weekend trips, like the first year camp and the WiXi, are always a great success! On top of that the activities committee organises a lot of parties and other activities. For example the renowned N-parties, bowling, karting, sport competitions and the traditional dropping game. Year after year these events are great successes! Another important aspect of Van der Waals is the fraternity life. Throughout the years several fraternities were founded (and disbanded again), these groups of friends connect themselves with Van der Waals through organising activities for the association and its members.