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Thirteen AES scientists receive Veni grant

Thirteen AES scientists receive Veni grant

28 July 2017

Thirteen promising AES researchers can get started with a Veni grant. With this grant, which is part of the Talent Scheme, they are given the opportunity to develop their ideas further for a period of three years. The maximum grant is 250,000 euros.

Veni scientists have recently gained their PhD. The grant gives them the freedom to choose their own research topic. In this way, NWO stimulates curiosity-driven and innovative research. Veni offers researchers an important step in their scientific career.

A total of 1127 researchers submitted an admissable proposal this Veni round, 107 of them within NWO Domain AES. 154 proposals are granted, 13 of which within AES. The list of Veni awards lists the names of all laureates, short summaries of their research projects and some facts and figures in this round.

A completete list of this year's Veni laureates, working titles and brief summaries of the research projects is given here.

Overview of the granted Veni projects at NWO Domain AES

Backflow of gut contents in chicken S (Sonja) de Vries (f), Wageningen University, Animal Nutrition Group
In chickens, feed travels from beak to cloaca AND reverse. How much feed travels upstream and whether this depends on age, breed, and diet of the birds is unknown. Researchers will study flow of gut contents in young and mature chickens from various breeds for different diets.

BladeMan: Reliable Manufacturing of Wind Turbine Blades I. (Ismet) Baran (m), University of Twente, Faculteit Engineering Technology
As the era of fossil fuels will come to an end, we urgently need cheap renewable energy sources such as wind turbines. This VENI project will enable the control of bonding performance during the manufacturing process. This will contribute developing more reliable and efficient very large wind blades in future.

Deploying Uncertainty Quantification in Particle Image Velocimetry
Dr.Eng. A. (Andrea) Sciacchitano (m), Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Aerospace Engineering
Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) is a leading measurement technique for aerodynamic research. However, uncertainty of PIV data is mostly unknown, making PIV data unsuitable for aerodynamic certification and validation of numerical simulations. This VENI realises the complete uncertainty quantification of PIV results by embedding uncertainty quantification in the experimental design.

Engineering goes Beauty – A computational multi-physics modelling approach towards the preservation of historical oil paintings.
Dr. E. (Emanuela) Bosco (f), Eindhoven University of Technology, Department of the Built Environment
Degradation of historical oil paintings is a major issue for cultural heritage conservators. My goal is to propose a computational multi-physics approach to predict chemo-mechanical damage phenomena in oil paintings, and to translate the improved understanding into guidelines for conservation experts. This will ensure timely and effective preservation treatments.

Integrating mechanical metamaterials in soft robots J. (Johannes) T.B. Overvelde (m), AMOLF
Mechanical metamaterials have properties arising from the shape of their microstructure, rather than chemical composition. In this project an actuated metamaterial is developed with reprogrammable behavior, which will be embedded in a new generation of versatile soft robots.

Mangrove-RESCUE: Mangrove resilience for enhanced coastal safety
Dr E. (Erik) M. Horstman (m), University of Twente, Civil Engineering
Mangrove ecosystems shelter tropical and subtropical shorelines. Their natural resilience allows them to recover from erosion events and to adapt to changing conditions. This study measures and simulates processes that influence this resilience, enabling the long-term prediction and protection of mangrove development and their contribution to coastal safety.

NeuroBeta: Creating an organ-on-a-chip screening platform of functionally innervated Islets of Langerhans P. (Paul) A. Wieringa (m), Maastricht University, Complex Tissue Regeneration
Nerves in the pancreas are poorly understood, although evidence suggests nerves regulate pancreatic function and neural malfunction leads to Diabetes. A 3D in vitro platform will be developed that recreates the nerve-pancreas circuit for the study of neural regulation of pancreatic function and the development of relevant therapies.

New imaging technique sees the heart attack before it happens
Dr. T. (Tianshi) Wang (m), Erasmus University Medical Center, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Thorax center
Most heart attacks and strokes are caused by the rupture of lipid-core atherosclerotic plaques in the artery wall. Seeing the heart attack before it happens may potentially save millions of lives. Dr. Wang is developing a new technique named thermo-elastic deformation imaging, targeting early detection of the lipid-core plaques.

Novel highly transparent metal oxides to enable 25% conversion efficiency for industrially viable silicon solar cells J. (Jimmy) Melskens (m), Eindhoven University of Technology, Department of Applied Physics
Revolutionary approaches are needed to further increase the conversion efficiency of future industrial silicon solar cells. Therefore, highly transparent metal oxides will be developed as contact materials in this project to enable the successful extraction of charges from the silicon while avoiding significant electrical and optical losses.

Safe and socially intuitive robot navigation
Dr. J. (Javier) Alonso-Mora (m), Delft University of Technology, 3mE
In the near future millions of robots, autonomous cars and boats, will coexist with humans. This research will provide algorithms that allow a mobile robot to safely navigate and coordinate with other robots and humans.

Super quality pictures through a tiny endoscope
Dr. L.V. (Liubov) Amitonova (f), Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Biophotonics & Medical Imaging
Optical microscopy is a basic tool for biological research, but light scattering restricts imaging deep inside living organisms. Researchers will use advanced technology of light control in combination with unique fiber probes to create new optical methods for deep-tissue imaging with an unparalleled quality.

Trace hidden fingerprints of diseases
Dr. Ir. E. (Edwin) van der Pol (m), University of Amsterdam, Academic Medical Centre, Biomedical Engineering & Physics
Cancer, cardiovascular disease, and preeclampsia can be predicted earlier by minuscule fingerprints that are hidden in blood. In this project, researchers develop the technology to rapidly trace these precious fingerprints and predict diseases in an early stage, like a security agency of the human body.

Tuning growth/defense trade-offs in plants by dissecting their molecular basis: grow and defend?
Dr. A. (Anneke) Horstman (f), Wageningen University and Research, Department of Plant Developmental Biology
Insect herbivory and plant pathogens cause severe crop losses. Plants can defend themselves against these attackers, but this generally reduces their growth. With this research, we explore the regulation of the balance between growth and defense. The results can be used to develop resistant crops with decreased yield loss.