Who? Niels Willemen (1996).
Hobbies? Football (A1 at Quick ‘20), video games and hooking up with friends.
Education? Completed university preparatory education, currently in his first year of Advanced Technology, a broad technical BSc programme at the University of Twente.
Desired job? “Hard to say this soon. First I want to get my bachelor’s degree, then the master’s in nanotechnology. And perhaps go for a PhD.”
Nano? “For my subject combination project, I conducted research at the MESA+ NanoLab. It all started with a newspaper piece my father showed to me. It went into the various applications of nanotechnology, like tiny robots capable of injecting medicine in diseased cells. I turned to Google and found there was a NanoLab in Enschede - my very own home town. So I contacted Dave Blank. He showed me all the possible subjects. I went for the use of nanoparticles in combating cancer cells.”
Mark? “A ten out of ten. The only such grade awarded in my school. During the autumn school holidays, I spent a week at the NanoLab doing research. My research was about how specific nanoparticles are able to kill cancer cells. I want to continue researching this topic after completing my studies, so I don’t want to tell you too much about it now.”
Tip? “Pick a programme that suits you and talk your choice over with the people close to you. For years, I wanted to follow in my parents’ footsteps. The both of them are medical specialists. But they found that I am more of a scientist.”
Celine Baard and Niels Willemen were both given a tour of the NanoLab. Each year, over 1,800 high school students and other interested parties visit the MESA+ NanoLab. Would you like to know more? Visit www.utwente.nl/mesaplus/public/tour. The MESA+ researchers also provide lectures on nanotechnology. A two-minute sample, by scientific director Dave Blank, is available on www.vimeo.com/62565292