I am currently working on...
I’m lucky to work in an area that I’m interested in and where I solve technical challenges - in particular those related to materials properties and processing (but certainly not limited to these). One of the exciting projects I’ve been working on is the improvement of the cavitation strength of very soft coatings of optical fibers, in order to enhance the optical properties and – eventually – the bandwidth of internet connections. I’m also part of a project that aims to improve the stability of our Dyneema® (ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene) weight spinning process and electro spinning. Another project I’m involved with – in cooperation with academia – is understanding the toughening of Dual Networks by visualizing the molecular fracture process through the incorporation of mechano-luminescent monomers.
The aspect of my work that excites and inspires me the most is...
What really drives me is trying to solve technical issues in a creative way. It’s exciting to see these solutions implemented, and to see how they have a real significance for the business and society. For generating solutions, I follow the scientific route that also builds an understanding of why the solution works. My belief – supported by experience – is that if you approach a problem in the right way, you’ll find a robust solution along the shortest route. Something that I personally get a kick out of is having an understanding of mechanisms that, for the moment, nobody else has discovered or knows!
The breakthrough I would most like to see made in my field is...
I think that the word “breakthrough” suggests a sudden change. In my field, I see big things take place but they are continuous development. The big development at the moment is in the field of predictive modeling tools on macroscopic, mesoscopic and molecular levels. These developments go hand-in-hand with experimental techniques, which, in turn, will contribute to a more sustainable world by facilitating the development of materials that are lighter, more durable, and better designed for their purpose, whatever the feedstock.
Key areas of expertise:
- Fluid mechanics
- Polymer processing, i.e., compounding and shaping (fiber spinning, injection molding, wire coating, etc.)
- Polymer properties (deformation behavior and mechanics, physics, etc.)
- Problem analysis
- M.Sc., Physics, University of Twente, Enschede (the Netherlands)
I represent DSM externally at:
- Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at TU Eindhoven – Member of the Advisory Board
- Informal contact and advisory role in the field (e.g., various BACs)
Geleen, the Netherlands