Three Vidi grants for UT researchers

UT researchers Chao Sun, Anthony Thornton and Mark Huijben (all MESA+) have received a Vidi grant from NWO, the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research. This grant of up to €800,000 is earmarked for talented researchers, giving them the opportunity to develop their own line of research and to create their own research team. Sun's research is concerned with the reduction of friction caused by turbulence, Huijben is carrying out research into the spontaneous formation of complex batteries and Thornton is examining granular segregation.

Mark Huijben (MESA+/Faculty of Science and Technology, Inorganic Materials Science)
Batteries play an important role in today's energy storage, but do not yet meet our needs. Mark Huijben and the researchers from his group will be improving the internal connections of batteries by means of complex, three-dimensional structures. These are spontaneously formed from the separate parts by means of self-organization.

Chao Sun (MESA+/Faculty of Science and Technology, Applied Physics)
Multi-phase flows with particles or bubbles can be found everywhere, especially in industrial applications. These systems suffer huge losses due to friction caused by turbulence. The aim of Sun's project is to understand the physical mechanism of friction reduction with bubbles, drops, and particles. This will provide opportunities for improving current industrial processes.

Anthony Thornton (MESA+/Faculty of Engineering Technology, Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mathematics)
Granular segregation is a major problem for numerous industries who often rely on empirical rules of thumb. The aim of Thornton’s project is to develop a novel model of this effect allowing us for the first time to control and shape segregation to our will.

Vidi is one of the three forms of funding from NWO's Innovation Impulse. The two other grants are Veni (for those who have just obtained their doctoral degree) and Vici (for very experienced researchers). For this round of funding, 540 researchers submitted an application for a Vidi, of which 88 (including 30 women) were accepted.

Vidi is aimed at outstanding researchers who have already successfully carried out research for a number of years following their doctoral degree defence. According to NWO, the researchers rank among the best 10-20% in their discipline. A Vidi grant allows them to carry out research for a period of five years.