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NWO-Vidi of 800,000 euros for 2 UT researchers

The Dutch Research Council (NWO) has awarded a Vidi grant of 800,000 euros to UT-researchers  Tatiana Filatova and Rebecca Saive. This grant will enable the two laureates to strengthen their own, innovative line of research and set up a competitive research team over the next five years.

Prof. dr. Tatiana Filatova - A SOCIAL TIPPING POINT: climate-resilient futures through transformational adaptation
Department of Governance and Technology for Sustainability (CSTM), Faculty of BMS

Accelerating ramifications of climate change cannot be addressed via conventional adaptation. The adaptation strategies that proved successful in the past face their limits today under rapidly changing climate. Given the unprecedented scale of changes, the world needs to prepare for transformational adaptation – new radical grand changes in societal responses to hazards. 

Transformational shifts in society to increase socio-economic resilience to climate change raise an active scientific debate. People and social institutions evolve gradually, while transformational shifts often occur after critical, crisis situations. Yet, gaps in the theory of transformational climate change adaptation remain, impeded by our inability to follow adaptation processes across scales and over time, and to verify theory with data. Moreover, methods to integrate dynamics of individual behaviour and evolution of social institutions in climate change assessments are lagging.

The ambition of this Vidi project is to gain a fundamental understanding of social tipping points in climate change adaptation. It will develop methods and computational models that account for socio-economic dynamics in models for climate change adaptation and better inform climate adaptation policy assessments.

Dr. Rebecca Saive - Light-controlled nanosystems
Inorganic Materials Science, faculty TNW

Direct conversion of light into mechanical motion has fascinated mankind for centuries, examples including Sir William Crookes’ radiometer, light sails for space craft propulsion and Feringa’s molecular machines. Nanoscale propulsion systems enable novel technologies such as nanorobots for targeted drug delivery and enhanced mass-transport in photochemical systems. Novel, versatile light-driven propulsion systems are required to unlock better performance and new applications of such nanosystems.

In this Vidi project,  a new field of research is proposed, enabling direct light conversion into mechanical motion and displacement on-chip, hereby called piezo-photomotion. To achieve this goal, hybrid materials systems will be developed that combine the photovoltaic with the piezo electric effect. In photovoltaic devices light is transformed into an electric power while piezo electric materials convert mechanical displacement into voltage and vice versa. The goal of this Vidi project is to analyze fundamental properties such as the energy conversion efficiency as well as to explore possible applications of these novel materials systems such as light-driven nanorobots and agitation of photochemical systems. 

NWO Talent Program

Vidi is aimed at experienced researchers who have carried out successful research for a number of years after obtaining their PhDs. Together with Veni and Vici, Vidi is part of the NWO Talent Programme. Researchers in the Talent Programme are free to submit their own subject for funding. NWO thus encourages curiosity-driven and innovative research. NWO selects researchers based on the quality of the researcher, the innovative character of the research, the expected scientific impact of the research proposal and the possibilities for knowledge use.

J.C. Vreeman (Jochem)
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