Watch the stories of our researchers

Read the stories about our people

Manon Kok

Assistant Professor at the Delft Center for Systems and Control

Why 3mE?

I studied in Enschede. Then I started to work for a company doing motion tracking technology. I found it very exciting and wanted to explore it in more depth. That’s why I began doing PhD work in this area in Linköping in Sweden. That was followed by a post-doc at Cambridge, and I’ve been working as assistant professor at the Delft Center for Systems and Control at TU Delft since April 2018. This faculty offers excellent opportunities: many interesting people work there and it provides good support. My research is about ‘Sensor Fusion’, combining data from different types of sensors with the aid of algorithms so you can extract the most accurate possible information from it. So my work exposes me to a large number of disciplines. For example, motion sensors are used in biomechanics to measure human movement. I may develop an algorithm to extract as much information as possible from the sensors, for example. And my colleagues in biomechanics then use this information in their work.

What are you proud of?

I’m proud that there is a great deal of variety in my career, and that I have diverse activities and work experiences. I’ve worked both in industry and academia, in various disciplines and in different countries. I’ve learned a lot as a result, also about myself and what I enjoy. It has made it clear to me what I want, namely conduct research at a university. I work with interesting people in different disciplines: biomechanics, machine learning and indoor localisation, for example. I love this diverse and international field of work: doing research, teaching and supervising students.

Where do you want to be photographed and why?

In my research there’s no hall full of objects or lab facilities where I can be photographed. I use extremely small sensors in my experiments. They’re located in my office, and in fact I even take them with me to research locations. That’s why I would like my picture taken in my room with my sensors and other things on my desk.

Ajith Anil Meera

PhD student at the department of Cognitive Robotics

Why do you work at 3mE?

I was always a curious kid. I loved mechanisms and machines. The curiosity didn’t end just by opening up toys and observing the mechanisms inside. I wanted to recreate it, in a better way. Once that was done I wanted it to be automated. This curiosity gave me an early introduction to robotics. I found myself observing and recreating motion mechanisms from nature; this turned out in the form of fish robots that I built during my bachelors.
During my masters in mechanical engineering I was more driven towards the perception side of robotics; the way we perceive the world and make decisions. The functioning of human brain amazed me. So, I decided to do my PhD on recreating one of the most influential neuroscientific theory that seems to explain how our brain works: the free energy principle by Karl Friston. If this theory is brought into robotics in its full form, it has a potential to bring about a big leap in artificial intelligence! We might be getting closer to a robot that can perceive the world similar to how a human brain does it. This excites me to work on cognitive robotics in 3mE. A perfect place to build your dreams and test it out, before setting it free to the benefit of the world!

What are you proud of?

The most satisfying feeling coming from my work is the feeling that I get when my robots work exactly like how I was planning it to be! I was really proud the day when my fish robot actually swam like a real fish under water; flawlessly generating the desired motion patterns. I got the same feeling when my drone autonomously flew around and found all the humans in a search and rescue environment, exactly like how I wanted it to be. These are the little moments within your work life where you feel extremely proud of your creation! Those moments when you realize that your design actually works and is going to benefit the society one day! This feeling has always been a motivation for me, and will remain to be so.

Where on the faculty or the TUD campus do you want to be photographed and why?

I would like to be photographed inside our new Cognitive Robotics lab. Once this brain theory that I am working on is found to work, I will be moving down here to apply it into these real robots. In robotics, you dream first, and then transform it into reality if it is found to work. Roboticists dream in software simulations and I’m dreaming now! Too excited to transform those dreams into a reality! Fingers crossed!

Yaiza Gonzalez-Garcia

Assistant Professor at the Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Why do you work at 3mE?

I joined 3mE on a two-year postdoc project about self-healing coatings for protection against corrosion. I wasn’t planning to stay after that. However, during this period I was nicely surprised of how open is the working environment, with many opportunities for cooperation. Before coming to the Netherlands, I worked in Spain and Germany. Everything is a bit more rigid there, with less chances for interactions among researchers. The faculty provides many opportunities to develop your work. That appealed to me immensely, right away! My previous research was much more fundament-oriented. Here my work combines fundamental and applied approaches which is something I really enjoy. I work on projects with industrial application and social impact.  As a result of the many opportunities that 3mE offers me and the high quality of the research at MSE department, I decided to stay.

What are you proud of?

I’m proud of the Delft Technology Fellowship for female scientists, which I received in 2014. This fellowship gave me the opportunity to set up my own research line on localised corrosion. At the time, the 3mE Faculty supported my application, and despite a tough competition, I got it! I’m benefitting from the strong network, which is opening me doors to other collaborations on the campus and outside TU Delft. One of my main research topics is the study of the influence of microstructure on the corrosion initiation of steels. The application of micro-electrochemical methods allow to study this localised phenomena. I am proud of the way I have managed to implement my expertise on (micro)-electrochemistry not only for corrosion but also for another research topics such as environmental friendly corrosion protection methods and conservation of heritage artefacts. I’m originally a chemist, so my chemistry background, my expertise on micro-electrochemistry and my experience as a materials scientist explains how I became involved in the e-Refinery consortium. My multidisciplinary vision gives a fresh perspective to the research on electrochemical reduction of CO2, which is my added value to it.

Where do you want to be photographed?

I want the photo taken in the lab, because this is where the fun is at! I would actually like to be in the lab a lot more, and would prefer to conduct all of the experiments myself, but unfortunately that’s not feasible anymore because of the other many responsibilities. Of course I work closely with the master’s, PhD students and post-doc researchers who perform the lab work. But, at the end of the day, I would prefer to be there myself.

Mahinder Ramdin

PhD student at the Department of Process & Energy

Why do you work at 3mE?

‘After finishing my master in chemical engineering at TU Delft, I began looking for a PhD position in the area of thermodynamics, the field I excel in. Before long I ended up at P&E, where I worked on experiments and molecular simulations. That went so well that after obtaining my PhD I was offered a postdoc. Since then I have been mainly devoting my time to capturing and converting CO2 into formic acid. Formic acid can be used as a fuel, as a preservative in animal feed, for energy storage and as a chemical building block. Recycling CO2 can reduce the use of fossil fuels and achieve lower CO2 emissions.
‘That is the nice thing about 3mE: your activities include extremely fundamental but also applied work. That enables us to contribute to a sustainable world and fight climate change. And this notion is already instilled in our bachelor and master students, who think it is great fun to participate in this process. Recently I supervised a group of students who built a CO2 electrolyser “from scratch”.’

What are you proud of?

‘I am proud that I studied and now work at one of the best universities in the world. It was a long journey to get to where I am now. I come from a small farmer’s village in Suriname. In 2002 I emigrated to the Netherlands with my mother and little sister. I went to secondary school, then higher professional education (chemical technology) and then to Delft for my master and PhD. As a postdoc, the next step I now want to achieve is the position of assistant professor. My dream used to be to become a doctor, but I am extremely happy with what I am doing now. My family is still very proud as well.’

Where would you like your picture taken and why?

‘The place that I would like to show is the P&E lab, near the high-pressure CO2 electrolyser. I used this setup in the past two years to convert CO2 into formic acid. This setup makes it possible to do that in an extremely efficient way!’

Arthur Vrijdag

Assistant Professor at the Department of Maritime and Transport Technology

Why do you work at 3mE?

I feel especially drawn to the field of marine engineering and its multidisciplinary character. Everything comes together when you design a ship (and in my case when you design and analyse the systems on board). We are a young group (in terms of age) working on many very different challenging subjects, and on top of that we are growing tremendously. All of that put together explains why I enjoy going to work.

What are you proud of?

I am proud of the development of a prototype ship propulsion control system. The system that I developed reduces and controls a ship’s propeller cavitation. Moreover, it ensures that the diesel engines are not overloaded even though the ship continues to manoeuvre ‘energetically’. What I enjoyed most were the successful tests conducted on board of a frigate of the Royal Netherlands Navy, where I was able to look, together with the crew, at the propellers with special sight glasses and saw for the first time that the system worked.

Why do want your picture taken here?

‘I like propellers because they symbolise the interaction between maritime engineering, on the one hand, and hydromechanics, on the other hand. The machinery is inside the ship and the propeller is outside the ship. This, along with the fact that I was an officer in the Royal Netherlands Navy and that this propeller in the garden at 3mE originally comes from a former navy ship, makes this a nice place for a photo.’