Five Vici grants for leading TU Delft researchers
The Dutch Research Council (NWO) has awarded five TU Delft researchers a Vici grant of up to 1.5 million euros. This will enable them to develop an innovative line of research and further expand their own research group for a period of five years. Vici is one of the largest personal scientific grants in the Netherlands and is aimed at advanced researchers. A total of 34 Vici grants were awarded.
TU Delft’s five Vici laureates are:
Slowing down premature obsolescence: Keeping the value of consumer electronics high by design
Prof. dr. ir. Ruth Mugge, Industrial Design Engineering (IDE)
Replacing consumer electronics has a negative impact on the environment. Nevertheless, consumers often replace their products prematurely while these are still functioning well. This research project will investigate what design interventions can slow down this premature obsolescence by preserving and strengthening the value of products in ownership. Through these design interventions, consumers will be intrinsically motivated to use their products for a longer period of time and the environmental impact of today’s consumption can be reduced.
Bridging the gap: From quantum hardware to a universally programmable Quantum Internet
Prof. dr Stephanie Wehner, QuTech (QT)
The vision of a Quantum Internet is to enable radically new Internet applications by bringing fundamental elements of quantum mechanics – entanglement – to Internet users around the world. Amongst many other new applications, such entanglement makes it impossible to eavesdrop on communication. Unfortunately, we currently lack the knowledge to program and control these new types of networks. The gap between hardware and usable software applications must be closed first. This project will develop the first architecture that can make the Quantum Internet programmable so that anyone can develop useful software applications in the future.
Go with the flow — Understanding the flow physics of novel multiphase reactors
Dr. Valeria Garbin, Applied Sciences (AS)
The quest for more sustainable chemical processes leads to more complex reactions involving multiple chemicals (organic/inorganic) in different phases (solid/liquid/liquid). Scaling these reactions up to industrial scale requires total control over them, which in turn requires a full understanding of the underlying flow physics. However, the interplay of multiple components and phases as they react makes this aspect extremely complex. Researchers combine the latest insights and techniques from fluid mechanics, colloid & interface science, and soft matter to describe the flow physics of multicomponent, multiphase systems containing complex interfaces with unprecedented precision.
Controlling mechanical motion through individual spins
Prof. dr Simon Gröblacher, Applied Sciences (AS)
Does quantum mechanics we know from the nanoscale still work with macroscopic objects? Creating quantum states of large mechanical systems can answer this intriguing question, but the larger the system, the more difficult it becomes to do so. As a new approach, researchers will directly couple a quantum system, in this case the spin of a single erbium ion, to the motion of a mechanical oscillator, in order to create complex quantum states at macroscopic scales. This will open up a path to full quantum control of mechanical motion and to testing quantum theory like never before.
Operando description of catalytic activity from the reactor-scale gradients
Prof. dr. ir. Atsushi Urakawa, Applied Sciences (AS)
Catalysis is the enabler of future sustainable and circular technologies. This research develops novel analytical tools to gain unprecedented insights about catalytically active sites and species as well as fluid concentration under working, operando conditions. Together with complementary analytical tools, reactorscale gradients such as fluid concentration, temperature, surface active sites and species, electronic states of catalysts will be elucidated. This research aims at uncovering reaction mechanisms and kinetics at the highest accuracy to accelerate rational development of next-generation catalytic processes and their commercialisation.
The Vici grant, together with the Veni and Vidi grants, is part of the NWO Talent Programme and consists of the science domains of Exact and Natural Sciences (Stephanie Wehner and Simon Gröblacher), Applied and Engineering Sciences (Valeria Garbin and Atsushi Urakawa) and Social Sciences and Humanities (Ruth Mugge) and Health Research and Development.
The Vici grant targets senior researchers who have successfully demonstrated the ability to develop their own innovative lines of research. In doing so, they have also supervised young researchers. Researchers who receive a Vici grant have the opportunity to further develop their research group, often in anticipation of a tenured professorship, if they do not already have one.
Please read the press release of NWO.