Three ERC Consolidator Grants for TU Delft researchers

News - 21 January 2016 - Webredactie Communication

Three ERC Consolidator Grants have been awarded to TU Delft researchers. These European grants (2 million euro’s per project) are awarded for five year projects. 

The three ERC Consolidator Grants are awarded to: 


Louis de Smet (TNW): nutrient recovery 

Louis de Smet is Assistant Professor at the Organic Materials & Interfaces section of Chemical Engineering. His research interests include molecular surface modification, sensor applications and membrane/water treatment technologies.

De Smet will use his ERC Consolidator Grant for research into ultrathin polymer coatings for the recovery of specific nutrients from waste water via electro-driven separation processes. The focus of the programme is on phosphate, which is of special interest as all life forms need phosphorus and its resources are limited. The increased understanding of ion transport and ionic interactions in membrane media offer also applications in the areas of batteries, fuel cells and solar fuel devices. 

Lucia Nicola (3mE): friction and wear 

Friction and wear are liable for enormous losses in terms of energy and resources in modern society. Lubrication is a commonly adopted solution to reduce friction. The objective of this project is to reach an unprecedented understanding of metal friction and lubrication by accounting, for the first time, for all relevant phenomena occurring from the atomic to the macro-scale, and their interplay. To this end, a multi-scale model will be developed. The materials chosen for the proposed research are copper and multi-layer graphene.  

Gary Steele (TNW): optomechanics  

Optomechanics is a field that aims to detect and control mechanical motion with light, ultimately at the quantum level. The current goal of the field is quantum superposition states of motion. An example of this is a mechanical ‘Schrodinger cat’ state, in which a drum is in a quantum superposition of vibrating up and vibrating down at the same time. From a technological perspective, such states could be used as a memory for storage of quantum information

Steele proposes a new optomechanical system coupling the motion of a millimeter-sized membrane to quantum microwave ‘light’ in a three-dimensional superconducting cavity. Using this new strong coupling, he will bring optomechanics to a new regime where one can create and explore quantum superpositions of massive, macroscopic objects. 

/* */