Prize winners of the Marc de Smidt Master Thesis Award


On September 1st  we honoured in a festive ceremony the three alumni with the best master theses written and finalized in the academic year. All brand new master students were invited to this ceremony, not only to see what their predecessors had achieved, but also witness examples of excellent master theses and as such, inspiring role models. The alumni showed the new students that studying and analyzing human geography and spatial planning is worthwhile and wonderful. This year the jury members of the Marc de Smidt Master Thesis Award were Friedel Filius, Lilian Bosten and Hans Verhorst, Jan Jaap Harts, Martin Stijnenbosch and Pieter van den Heijde (CEO, Bureau Stedelijke Planning).

The jury members had the difficult and time consuming task to select the best three theses from a large group of 25 nominees. The criteria they used in the selection process were:
1) the extent to which a perspective and approach was chosen in the field of human geography or planning
2) the extent to which a bridge was built between science and society, a translation of the results in useful recommendations,
3) sound methodology and structure
4) language and style

The Jury (picture: Veronique Schutjens)

Jury Marc de Smidt scriptieprijsvraag

In the presence of new master students, teachers of our department Human Geography and Planning and two family members of Marc de Smidt, the three nominees Nadja Pronk, Karin de Vries and Lizzy Butink presented their master thesis project in a short pitch. Nadja told about her research on the perception of wilderness in the Netherlands (master Geo-communication), Karin de Vries presented her study on business premises preferences of independent professionals in Utrecht (master Economic Geography). Finally, Lizzy Butink sketched her research project on the attraction of inner cities to real estate developers (master Economic Geography). Based on these pitches the audience chose the winner of the Audience Award.

Both the Jury Award and the Audience Award were won by Lizzy Butink.

Marc de Smidt’s daughter Marinda (in blue) handed over a voucher of €800.
Nadja Pronk and Karin de Vries shared a well-deserved second prize in the Jury Award.


Veronique Schutjens

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