Promotion date: 05 April 2002
Peter Bouwman conducted his PhD research at the research group Inorganic Materials Science, one of the participating groups in the MESA+ institute. In the following interview we ask Peter Bouwman about his research project and his experiences at MESA+.
What was the subject of your dissertation?
The topic of my research was lithium intercalation. I studied the ceramic structure that absorbs and yields lithium. This is the basic principle of the rechargeable lithium battery. My research means a huge improvement in the understanding of this process. During the four years of my research I also developed a new prototype. In the next month I hope to finish a micro battery demonstrator. Although the capacity of this battery is limited, it can deliver its energy within a very short notice.
How did you like your PhD-research?
I enjoyed it very much, but it also feels very satisfactory now that it is finished. I worked for two days at Philips and for the rest of the time at the University of Twente. I also had a lot of contact with people from the University of Delft. It was a hectic, but very valuable period of my life. I have definitely learned a lot.
Why did you choose to become a PhD-student?
I saw this PhD-research as both a technical and a personal challenge. Furthermore I am especially interested in the coupling between chemistry and electrical engineering. In this project I had the opportunity to conduct unique research. There were no other people in the research group working on this subject.
What did you find remarkable during your PhD-period?
One of the special things here are the excellent facilities that you can use for your research. Moreover, the technicians and other scientists are very helpful. There is often more collaboration possible on a multidisciplinary subject as my own than on a mono-disciplinary subject, probably due to the competition among scientists, working within one discipline. The reputation of a scientist and his or her ideas are cherished areas so to speak and should always be handled with care.
What are you planning to do now?
I will be working as an electrochemist. I am going to Washington and will conduct research in the field of fuel cells.