Five Vici grants for leading TU Delft researchers

News - 23 February 2023 - Webredactie Communication

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.
More information

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.
More information

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.
More information

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.
More information

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.
More information