Wouter Westerveld


We study and develop integrated photonic waveguides as optomechanical sensors in microsystems. Mechanical sensors in microsystems, such as pressure sensors, accelerometers, gyroscopes, and ultrasound receivers are used in many industries including consumer electronics, healthcare, and high-tech. The core element of such mechanical sensors is typically an electric displacement sensor, while light can measure displacement with extreme precision and low disturbance. And with integrated photonic waveguides, light can be guided and manipulated in a photonic microchip. Therefore, our research vision is to study integrated photonic waveguides as extreme precision sensors in microsystems and to develop new application in healthcare and industry, among others in the field of ultrasound. We consider the whole system: sensing, electrooptic interrogation, and applications.



  • PhD Position in high-precision opto-mechanical microchips to analyse cell bio-mechanics.
    • Explore new concepts at the crossroad of silicon photonics and bio-mechanics to realize a next-generation platform to study cells. Design, simulation, fabrication, photonic and biological experiments.
    • Check details and appy here.
  • TU Delft MSc and BSc thesis projects available in the combination integrated photonics (chips that work with light) and micro-mechanics, to realize the next-generation of opto-mechanical sensor chips for applications ranging from consumer electronics to healthcare.
  • Motivated MSc and BSc students from another university are welcome to apply yet need to take the following into account. (1) This thesis project will be part of the curriculum of the university where you are currently enrolled. You have to align with a professor of your university how this thesis project fits in your curriculum. (2) TU Delft does not offer scholarships. To cover the additional cost of living abroad, please consider programmes such as Erasmus+. (3) Minimum duration of the thesis project is 6 months.


Selected publications & news

First price in the design contest

CORNERSTONE and EUROPRACTICE announced the winning projects in their design competition for first-time users of CORNERSTONE’s range of silicon photonics platforms.
First place goes to the project titled “Exploring silicon photonics to sense graphene mechanics”, which was submitted by a team of researchers led by Dr. Wouter Westerveld.

Read more: LinkedIn / EUROPRACTICE

Silicon photonic optomechanical ultrasound sensor, published in Nature Photonics

Review talk: ultrasound sensors in silicon photonics

  • W.J. Westerveld, et al. Optomechanical ultrasound sensors in silicon photonics (invited). Proc. SPIE 11691, Silicon Photonics XVI (2021).
  • Review presentation (video duration 19 min.). Link. 

Textbook: Silicon Photonics – Electromagnetic Theory

  • W.J. Westerveld and H.P. Urbach. Silicon Photonics – Electromagnetic Theory  (IOP Publishing, 2017). Link.


Wouter J. Westerveld is Assistant Professor at the Precision and Microsystems Engineering (PME) department since January 2021. He is member of the Micro-optics and Opto-mechatronics (MOOM) and Dynamics of Micro- and Nanosystems (DMN) research groups.

Dr. Westerveld holds a MSc degree in Applied Physics (cum laude, 2009) and a PhD degree (cum laude, 2014) from Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands. His professional positions include both academia and industry. He acquired multidisciplinary expertise in on-chip optomechanics, silicon photonics, micromechanics, and ultrasound. He is skilled in idea generation, theory, simulation, design, layout, fabrication process definition, characterization, and valorization.

Dr. Westerveld gave invited lectures at SPIE Photonics West 2021, CLEO 2022, and will provide a tutorial at MNE 2022.

Detailed CV and publications list: http://orcid.org/0000-0001-5658-2394



  • ME46020, Micro- & Nanosystems Design & Fabrication, incl. MEMS Lab

Westerveld, W. J. (Wouter)

ORCID (publications)

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