This page is intended to house documentation for lab members that describes the nuts and bolts of how the lab functions. It's primary purpose is for on-boarding new members, but is also a reference for current members. For this page to be useful, all lab members will need to provide their collective knowledge and experiences. It is up to all of us to make this guide useful. You are expected to contribute to the guide and edit it to do so. Discuss with the lab any desires to change any of the guidelines.

Getting Started

  • Join the lab communication channels: Ask Jason <> to add you to the lab email list and someone in the lab how to join the lab's element/matrix chat room or read the instrutions in the Google Drive "How to join the Element/Matrix chat room".
  • Send an introduction email to the lab email list ( who you are, a bit about yourself, what you will work on, etc.
  • Add your name and portrait to the lab members page by sending a PNG or JPG 300px x 400px portrait to Jason or by submitting a pull request on Github.
  • Setup regular mentorship meetings with your mentor(s). This should at least be a weekly or biweekly depending on your needs and the mentor(s) recommendations.
  • Attend biweekly lab meetings. Ask a lab member for the calendar invite with the video chat link.
  • Get campus card access to the bicycle lab and bicycle lab storage (if needed). These can be requested from Jason by sending him an email with your student ID number, TU Delft email address, and expected duration of access. Ask for a tour of the space from a current lab member before you start working there.
  • Request access to the lab's shared Google Drive from Jason.
  • We have the optional "Cheese for Thought" lunch every Wednesday at 12:00, meet at the lab. This is a chance to discuss topics informally.
  • Every other week (opposite lab meeting weeks) we go for snacks and drinks in Delft on Fridays @ 17:00.
  • See the recommended reading list below for some reading materials to get you started.


Postdocs, PhDs, and other staff

  • You are expected to attend the lab meetings and other common lab work sessions (e.g. lab cleanup) unless you are sick or on holiday.
  • You are expected to spend some of your time to help Jason manage and organize the lab and research group. In particular, you should help improve and maintain the website, help tidy, organize, and clean the lab space, keep physical equipment maintained and running.
  • If you are not able to work at standard capacity, you must take sick leave or holiday leave.
  • If you need to take sick leave, report this to your immediate supervisor and the secretariat when you become sick. When you return, also inform your immediate supervisor and secretariat. Make sure your sick leave hours are logged in TIM.
  • All holiday time has to be requested via TIM and approved by the department manager. You must take your holiday time before the end of your contract. Note that you can sell some holiday time (up to 38 hrs/year via IKA). If you decide to take a holiday please inform Jason by email so he are aware you are unavailable and can mark it on his calendar. If you are going to take a week or more at a time, please inform your supervisor well in advance for planning purposes so we can cover any of your duties.
  • TU Delft's policy is that you can work from home 2 days per week if your supervisor approves. The other 3 days should be on campus. You have Jason's blanket permission to work from home or other locations the equivalent of 2 days per week. If you want to work from home more that this, discuss with Jason. You should, in general, complete your contracted work hours during typical working hours 8-6 so that you can interact with the lab members. When you work from home you should be easily reachable by email, phone, or video chat, etc.
  • You likely have a budget associated with your position or projects. Ask Jason or the relevant supervisor to tell you this budget. You can mange your own budget and don't need to ask permission for purchasing things < 250 EUR. If you need to spend more than that, then inform your immediate supervisor of the purchase before purchasing so there are no surprises. The secretariat can purchase items for you or you can purchase items and request reimbursement.
  • Work related travel outside of the Netherlands must be pre approved via Digiforms and pre-approved by Jason.
  • Postdocs will have an annual review with your supervisors (R&O). These should occur in the first quarter of the year. It is up to you to make sure this is scheduled. PhDs follow the graduate school review process and do not have R&O's.
  • Postdocs may use 20% of their contracted time to pursue their academic and career endeavors not related to their contracted work, e.g. finishing papers from their PhD or gaining teaching experience, given that progress on your contracted project is satisfactory. Discuss workload with Jason if you are not able to take advantage of this as you desire and we will do our best to make this possible, but this is mostly dependent on your ability to be efficient with your primary research tasks.
  • If you supervise BSc, MSc, or PhD students that regularly use the lab resources and/or Jason is the main supervisor of, those students need to follow join the Bicycle Lab and follow the expectations in this guide.


Lab Email List

When you join the lab you should request access to the lab email list:!forum/mechmotum

This can both be used by everyone as both an announcement list and a discussion list. All lab members need to join and pay attention to this list for announcements and are welcome to use if for discussion. Write to the email list by sending a message to

Text, Audio, Video Chat Room
We host a matrix server which can be accessed using or any other supported clients. This is used for quick chats, meetings, etc. We'll keep the chat histories around, but its best to treat the data as transient. Lab members can use as needed for lab related communication. There are a number of rooms that you can join where we share papers, conference announcements, etc.
Issue Trackers

We make heavy use of issue trackers on Github and Gitlab to communicate. This is good for topic oriented, long form discussion that needs permanency, organization, and/or task control. General lab issues can be tracked in this repository (in addition to the website issues):

Quarterly Blog Posts
In general, we would like each project to write at least one blog post for the lab website. This post should at least describe project results. This writing exercise will help build the content for future papers and theses and provide outreach to the public about our work. If you write more than one blog post, it is helpful to do these on a schedule (quarterly, semi-annually, etc.). If your project is of a proprietary nature, you'll need to select aspects of the project or work that can be shared or embargo the blog post to a later date. Discuss these things with your supervisor.

Laboratory Meetings

We meet every two weeks as a lab, where we will have a designated person (picked in advance at random in our very own weighted raffle) take the proverbial stage and share and teach any topic that can be useful in our academic endeavors.

The topic can be anything bicycle or research related. It may be content-related, soft-skill related, practical-skill related or harking to your personal interest in bicycles. It might be an expertise or skill you have, but also be a skill or software program you want to learn. Co-presenting is fine (and a great way to meet your peers) provided your topics align. Options galore:

  • 10-20 minute presentation with Q & A
  • tutorial
  • have us read something (a paper) we could review (journal club)
  • watch and discuss a video
  • invite a speaker
  • play a game
  • practice your colloquia or conference talks
  • bicycle-themed stand-up
  • etc.

Members are expected to attend and participate regularly. It's fine to miss a meeting here and there, but avoid making that regular. If the meetings are not useful to you, please be proactive about helping us make them useful for all.

The MC position rotates approximately every quarter. See the MC Guide for instructions on being the MC.

At lab meetings we do a quick round of AIOs. "AIO" stands for Accomplishments, Issues, and Objectives. Be prepared to give a brief updated on:

  • what you or your team accomplished in the previous week,
  • what issues you encountered during that week and would like help with, and finally
  • what your objectives are for the coming week.

See the archive of past meetings for prior topics and examples.

Research Ideas

Specific MSc project advertisements can be found on the jobs.

Check out our research ideas Github repository to read, post, and discuss new ideas:

Have a look at current and past projects on the research page

Open Science

The default science and engineering practice from the lab should be open practices (open access publications, open source software, open data, accessible and public sharing etc.). If unsure whether to make information public ask you supervisor, otherwise please default to sharing early and often. We do work with organizations that value or require privacy (human subject data, student protected data, proprietary company needs). Always check with the involved parties before sharing when this is the case. This is something that should be discussed at the beginning of all projects.

TU Delft offers several resources for open science:

Research Tools Contributions

Researcher have to use and develop a variety of tools to complete their work. For example, we will develop experimental equipment and software often in the lab. Many tools are potentially useful to other people inside and outside of the lab. Lab members should build on and contribute to the tools we use and develop in the lab. There is a general expectation to create and contribute to open source software and open hardware efforts while working in the lab.

Lab Website

The lab website is a Pelican based static website hosted through Github pages. The source for the website is here:

Lab members should help collectively maintain and update the website. Please use the Github pull request mechanism to submit changes for review. As long as one lab member reviews the pull request and approves the changes, the changes can be merged. Keep in mind that content here should reflect the whole of the lab.

Software Tools

Shared Cloud Space

We have a directory named "Fietslab Commons" on Google Drive. To access this, request that it be shared with you by your supervisor. This folder and it's contents should only be shared with other <netid> addresses that are members of the lab. <netid> is also the login username/email that you will need to use when logging into Please avoid using the "Share" button to share with non-TUD accounts, until we determine best practices for this. Read and update the README files present in the Google Drive directories to learn how to use the space. If you create new directories, add a README file to explain what the purpose of the folder is. If you want to add large amounts of data (>10 Gb), inform your supervisor first because there may be a more appropriate long term storage solution for certain types of data.

Reference Management

The lab has a shared Zotero group which can be used for lab related reference management (currently 20 GB plan). Zotero is an open source reference management system backed by a consortium of libraries. Create an account and request membership to the mechmotum group. Note that all lab members can view the contents of this library.

Version Control

The lab currently has group accounts on Gitlab and Github for version control of text based sources (software, text, etc):

The services are more or less interchangeable. We used Gitlab in the past because it provided free unrestricted private repositories, but Github does now too. Gitlab's core software is open source. You may prefer the features of one service over the other.

Lab members should be able to make use of version control and communication through these services. The Software Carpentry Git lesson is a recommended introduction. Create an account on one or both services and request group membership.

Private repositories are private for a reason. If you gain access to private repositories in the two organizations you are expected to keep the private and not to distribute the files in any way. Ask your supervisors if you'd like to share something that is set to private.

Our Software

This presentation gives a basic overview over the set of software packages we've developed:

Lab Space


  • The lab should be kept clean and tidy.
  • Place small trash into the two bins and paper into the blue box for pickup by the janitors.
  • Place large trash, paper, cardboard outside in the bins near the bike cage. Do not leave this lying in the floor of the bike lab. It will not be picked up.
  • Always leave the lab cleaner and tidier than you found it. If followed, this will tend towards a clean and tidy lab instead of the opposite.
  • Always clean up before the end of a work day (reserve last 15 minutes to do so).
  • Put items and tools back in their labeled locations. If there isn't a label or location, make one.


Our goal is to have ZERO injuries in the lab. Safety should be taken seriously and always prioritized. Some key things:

  • Wear safety glasses and other appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) when using tools. These are available in the lab or can be borrowed from the workshop. Contact your supervisor if we need more PPE.
  • Do not use tools that you are not familiar with. Always ask someone to show you proper use.
  • Any activities that have potential to cause injury performed outside of the 8:00-17:00 weekday (non-holiday) times should always have two people present. During the workday period it is recommended to have a buddy present when doing anything can cause injury, but the number of people in the halls and glass walls make this optional.
  • The large treadmill always has to have two people for operation. When the treadmill is operating the walker/rider must be wearing the harness properly and the operator must have their hand on the kill switch. Ensure that objects cannot fly off the back of the treadmill.
  • Human subject experiments must have an HREC plan and protocol (always for PhD, Postdoc and at minimum approval from your supervisors for MSc).
  • If you are ever asking yourself "should I do this?", that's probably a good signal that you shouldn't. Get help, advice, training, etc. so that you do your activity safely.

Equipment & Consumables

If you find something in the lab you would like to use, post a note to the Element/matrix chat or lab email asking if anyone else is using it or plans to use it. If no one is using it, then you can!

If a TU Delft student or staff that is not a lab member would like to borrow equipment from the lab, find out if anyone is using it (as noted above), and then make sure they fill out the checkout sheet (by the lab door) with their name, email, date, and your name (as the responsible person) before the item leaves the lab. When they return the item, indicate the return date on the sheet. Keep in mind that non-lab member students should look to the more general shared equipment resources available in 3mE before borrowing from us and we don't generally loan common things like screwdrivers and bike pumps but can loan specialized equipment that only we have.

If you take things from the lab to use elsewhere for more than one day you also need to sign the equipment checkout sheet. Note your name and the date you took the item. Once the item is returned to the lab, note the date returned.

If you damage or lose equipment you are responsible for fixing or finding a replacement. Please let your supervisor know if this occurs so you all can figure out a solution. Your caution and carefulness should be proportionate to the cost of the lab equipment. Treat things as if they were your own and you paid for it.

If you deplete some consumables, take the responsibility to replenish it so it is there for future use.


If the lab needs basic office supplies or computer supplies, a request should be made to the secretary. Don't purchase these yourself, because they should be purchased through the university vendors.

If you need some lab supplies or equipment for your project, talk with your supervisor about it and they can order what you need if there are funds available.

TU Delft 3mE VAT number: NL 001569569B01

Equipment Inventory

When new equipment arrives in the lab, the receiver is responsible for inventorying the equipment. This only needs to be done for items that cost more than 250 EUR. The basic steps are:

  • Log the equipment in the inventory spreadsheet on the shared Google Drive. This should include product name, manufacturer, serial number, manufacturer contact info, value, etc. (fill out the existing columns or make new ones if needed).
  • Make a folder in the Google Drive for the product and deposit any documentation.
  • If the item doesn't have a storage container, obtain one so that it can neatly be stored in the lab and things don't get lost. Leave paper documentation in the container.
  • Permanently mark the item(s) and container with "TU Delft Bicycle Lab" (use a paint pen, inscribing tool, etc.)
  • As you learn the device, leave any relevant documentation you obtain or create in the Google Drive folder so that future users can learn from your work. Include the manufacturer's documents as well as your personal tips and explanations on using the equipment. If any documentation is more appropriate for storing and tracking with version control, then add that to a lab owned Git repository.


It is important to both learn the tools, methods, and techniques used in the lab and to teach the lab new things you've learned so we can collaborate efficiently and effectively.

Useful TU Delft MSc Courses

Multibody Dynamics B
Core high level dynamics principles that are the foundation for almost every project in the lab.
Special Topics Course in Sports Engineering
TU Delft organizes an annual two week course to train students in sports engineering. Cycling has been used as the motivating topic to learn the methods.
Musculoskeletal Modelling and Simulation (ME41005)
Learn how to develop and utilized computational neuromuscular models with OpenSim. Many projects in the lab make use of neuromuscular and biomechanical modeling.
Vehicle Dynamics and Control (RO47017)
Provides various fundamentals for understanding vehicle motion and how to control it. Focused on automobiles but many concepts transfer to single track vehicles.
System Identification and Parameter Estimation (ME41065)
We often make use system identification and parameter estimation for both vehicle and human control models.
Automatic Flight Control System Design (AE4301)
There are many similarities in single track vehicle control and aircraft control. This course also covers some topics on aircraft handling qualities which we make use of in understanding single track vehicle handling qualities.
Writing a Master's Thesis in English (TPM305A)
If you would like help and motivation on your writing assignments during your MSc, this course can be helpful to give structure, guidance, and others to discuss your thesis with.

The Carpentries Trainings

Each lab member will need to learn the collaborative software tools and open source development practices needed to work on code and other text based sources together. Carpentries trainings (Software Carpentry in particular) is a great way to get started on this. TU Delft offers regular courses:

Sign up by emailing Femke van Giessen ( to register for a slot. You will be directed to an Evenbrite. Sign up on Eventbrite immediately because these typically fill up in 10 minutes and there are large wait lists.

Writing Help

TU Delft Writing Center
Schedule a meeting with a writing coach to get advice on your thesis or other documents.

Connecting to Research Communities

We regularly participate in several research communities.


Biomech-L forum
A 30+ year old public discussion forum to connect to the international Biomechanics community. Lot's of great scientific discussions.
Single Track Vehicle Dynamics listserv
Public email based forum for discussing the dynamics and control of single track vehicles.
International Human Powered Vehicle Assocation
This group hosts the annual bicycle speed challenge in Battle Mountain Nevada.
World Human Powered Vehicle Assocation
Umbrella org for many associations around the world.
Ligfiets Vereniging
Dutch recumbent bicycle organization.


PhDs and Postdocs should submit to and present at conferences each year, if possible. MSc and BSc students are also encouraged to do so if resources allow.

Bicycle and Motorcycle Dynamics Conference
This conference is the most closely related to the bicycle lab's core research in single track vehicle dynamics, handling, and control. The conference series ordinated with Arend Schwab and his colleagues and was launched in 2010 in Delft. The lab should make a strong effort every three years to submit to and be involved in this conference.
International Cycling Safety Conference
This is the next most important conference to be involved in. We should aim to have at least one or two submissions to this conference each year.
ECCOMAS Multibody Dynamics Conference
This is a good conference for presenting topics that focus in multibody dynamics methods.
International Sports Engineering Conference
This is the best conference to submit sports engineering topics. It is held every other year. There are likely many other TU Delft participants, especially through the Sports Engineering Institute.
International Society of Biomechanics Congresses
Huge annual conference with a broad array of biomechanics topics. Great networking and a catch all for many topics from the lab. Every two years. The Technical Group in Computer Simulation holds a parallel symposium.
SciPy & EuroSciPY
Annual conferences. If your work involves open source Python software these are a great place to showcase the advances in library development and use of the tools.
Dutch Bio-Medical Engineering Conference
Nice way to connect with Dutch local researchers.
Science & Cycling
Annual European conference focused on performance and cycling as a sport.
Cycling planning conference for general audience: planners, advocates, researchers, industry, etc.
Annual bicycle tradeshow for Europe.


Human Power eJournal
Modern incarnation of the journal Human Power. Not necessarily an academic journal, but useful articles none-the-less.
Human Power: the technical journal of the IHPVA
Started by David Gordon Wilson; ran from 1977 to 2004.

Funding Opportunities

Dekker-Padget Internshiup Program: Dutch2USA
Funding for minority or economically disadvantaged college students to do an internship in the USA.
The Veni is part of the NWO's Talent Programme. It is the first of three personal grants. Postdocs in the lab that plan to continue in academia should apply for this. Final year PhDs are also encouraged to apply too. If you get this grant, you will gain a strong advantage in moving your academic career forward in the Netherlands. If you don't, you'll have practiced developing your personal research vision and goals, which is also extremely valuable.

Random TU Delft Tips