Nadia Boulif

Alumni Chemical Engineering

"I chose the Chemical Engineering programme at TU Delft for the great attention it pays to training well-rounded engineers. The courses in the first year range from highly theoretical topics, such as molecular transport phenomena and thermodynamics, to hands-on group projects where you can use your acquired knowledge to find solutions to a certain challenge a particular company is facing.

Because of my interest in chemistry, I chose the Product Engineering track. During the courses I brushed up on aspects of chemistry such as organic chemistry, polymer chemistry and nanocrystals, and the underlying theories of various spectroscopy techniques.

My MSc thesis was done jointly at the Organic Materials and Interfaces group and the Storage of Electrochemical Energy group, where I researched the potential of certain polymers as sodium-storing materials for use in aqueous batteries. This work combined many facets of chemical engineering, such as organic and polymer chemistry, characterising the materials and testing them in sodium batteries.

During my thesis work, I discovered how urgent it is to find new energy storage solutions and the many challenges to the extensive use of renewable energies that exist within this field. I therefore decided to do my internship placement at AquaBattery on pH-gradient flow batteries, which eventually led me to a PhD position at TU/e where I am currently doing research on membranes for energy storage."