Vidi grants for eight leading TU Delft researchers

News - 01 July 2022 - Webredactie 3mE

The Dutch Research Council has awarded 101 experienced researchers a Vidi grant worth 800,000 euros. The grant enables them to develop their own innovative line of research and set up their own research group in the coming five years.

TU Delft’s Vidi laureates:

Game Theory Empowered by Data Science and Control Theory to Improve Metastatic Cancer Treatment

Dr. Kateřina Staňková (TPM)

This research investigates novel game theoretic models and combines these with data science and control theory to improve standard of care in cancer treatment. With these models a physician will be able to anticipate the cancer cells’ response to the treatment and subsequently steer the eco-evolutionary dynamics of the cancer cells towards better patient outcomes. This research will in particular focus on Stage IV non-small cell lung cancer. The methodology itself will also be applicable for treatment of other diseases and in domains where we attempt to preserve or contain evolving resources (e.g., pest management, fisheries management, antibiotic resistance management).

Space duster on sunlight

Dr.Ir. Jeanette Heiligers (AE)

SWEEP investigates the idea of a “shuttlebus” to clean up space debris. It picks up debris objects and transports them to a place where they no longer pose a threat to satellites. It does so in a sustainable manner using a wafer-thin mirror to “sail” on the stream of solar photons.

Physics-informed data-driven modelling and control of floating wind turbines

Dr. Ir. Axelle Viré (AE)

Floating offshore wind energy has been identified as a key enabler in order to make Europe climate neutral by 2050. A barrier to the deployment of large floating wind farms is the level of flow unsteadiness and associated uncertainty around the rotor, whose dynamics is vastly different from that of existing bottom-mounted wind turbines. The blades can interact with their wake, hence decreasing annual energy production and turbine lifetime. This research will develop a new probabilistic surrogate model for the unsteady aerodynamics of floating turbines, trained on physics-based models and suitable for control of floating wind turbines.

Moire materials from one-dimensional van der Waals heterostructures

Dr. Sonia Conesa-Boj (AS)

Van der Waals materials are most peculiar, since they keep functioning even when stripped bare-bones down to layers with single-atomic thickness. In the same way as one can assemble monumental constructions with humble Lego bricks, van der Waals materials can also be combined such that novel unexpected properties emerge, such as electrical currents that can flow indefinitely. This research will design novel classes of van der Waals materials based on a one-dimensional, pillar-like configuration suitable for building blocks of nanometer-sized electronic circuits and ultra-secure quantum communications and will study them with atomic resolution using electron-based microscopes.

Democratizing Cloud Application Programming

Dr. Asterios Katsifodimos (EEMCS)

Every single tap on our phone or click on our laptop triggers computations taking place in the cloud, a computational infrastructure offered on demand. Only very few skilled, and hard to hire programmers can program cloud applications that operate at internet scale. This research project sets out to change this.

Hydrogen Bubbles Quantified

Dr. ir. Willem Haverkort (3mE)

Green hydrogen can be produced through electrolysis of water. The efficiency of this process can be improved by better understanding and influencing the behaviour of bubbles generated at the electrodes. A unique new physical model describing the complex interaction between electrodes, bubbles, and flows will provide the necessary insight. After experimental validation, it will be used to design improved electrodes and the next generation of innovative, efficient, safe, and highly compact electrolysers.

Robots with a gentle touch

Dr. Michaël Wiertlewski (3mE)

Robots have improved working conditions by handling dirty, dangerous, or dull tasks present in many industry sectors; however tiring manual labor is still necessary in sectors such as agriculture, recycling or care, where a soft touch is required to grasp and handle delicate objects. To be skillful, robots need to perceive the texture, shape and softness of the object in hand and to detect when it can potentially slip, via their sense of touch. Using machine learning and new tactile sensors, I will endow new dexterous robots with the sense of touch inspired by the remarkable human tactile perception.

Sustainable learning of Artificial Intelligence from large-scale noisy data

Dr. Kim Batselier (3mE)

Computer models play an essential role in modern society. Learning models from data is not sustainable due to the ever-growing requirement of computational power. I will develop ground breaking methods that will learning model from data much faster and with a much smaller carbon footprint than currently needed.

NWO Talent Programme

Vidi is aimed at experienced researchers who have carried out successful research for a number of years after obtaining their PhDs. Together with Veni and Vici, Vidi is part of the NWO Talent Programme. Researchers in the Talent Programme are free to submit their own subject for funding. NWO thus encourages curiosity-driven and innovative research. NWO selects researchers based on the quality of the researcher, the innovative character of the research, the expected scientific impact of the research proposal and the possibilities for knowledge use.

A total of 625 researchers submitted an admissible research project for funding during this Vidi funding round. Eighty-one of these have now received grants. That amounts to an award rate of 16%. See the online list below of awarded grants for the 2021 round which contains the names of all of the laureates and brief summaries of their research projects.