Four UT scientists receive a ‘Vidi’ grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO): Wiebe de Vis, Sarthak Misra, Richard Stevens and Ivo Vellekoop. The 800,000 euro grant will enable them to start an innovative line of research and form a research group of their own.
Vidi grants are part of the ‘Vernieuwingsimpuls’ programme of NWO, aimed at excellent researchers with some years of experience after they finished their PhD. This time, 572 scientists in The Netherlands submitted a proposal and 87 of them actually receive a grant.
Dr. Wiebe de Vos, of the Membrane Science and Technology group (MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology), will develop a method for manufacturing membranes without using solvents that harm the environment. Water purification membranes that are made using just water as a solvent, that’s one of the goals.
Prof.dr. Sarthak Misra, of the Biomedical Engineering group (MIRA Institute for Technical Medicine and Biomedical Technology) and the University Medical Center Groningen, will develop flexible, robotic probes for diagnostics and delivering medication. Conventional probes are often too rigid to reach more difficult places inside the human body, and then lead to complications. Misra’s project, within the Surgical Robotics Lab, is called ‘SAMURAI’: Steering Actuated Probes for Targeted Interventions.
Dr. Richard Stevens, of the Physics of Fluids group, (MESA+), wants to enhance the performance of wind parks, by developing new physical models. One of the actual problems is that the air stream of one wind mill can reduce the performance of another. Using large scale computer simulations, Richard Stevens can predict these phenomena and develop simple models for optimizing the performance. He was recently appointed ‘tenure tracker’ in the ‘Computational Sciences for energy research’ of Shell, NWO and the FOM Foundation.
Dr. Ivo Vellekoop, of the Biomedical Photonic Imaging group (MIRA), will work on advanced optical techniques for looking through opaque tissue. Using a conventional microscope, it is very well possible to monitor the processes inside a cell. Cells inside a tumor or inside the brain, however, are far less accessible because of the opaque tissue around them. Using new techniques, even these cells can be made visible.