Dr.ir. W.J. (Wouter) Westerveld

Dr.ir. W.J. (Wouter) Westerveld


Wouter J. Westerveld is Assistant Professor at Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands. His vision is to realize optomechanical microchips that enable new applications in healthcare and industry. He is pursuing this vision with an enthusiastic team of 9 PhD and MSc students.

Mechanical sensors in microchips are nowadays ubiquitous in healthcare, industry, and consumer electronics. However, virtually all of them use electronic displacement sensing with limited precision. Instead, light can measure displacement with extreme precision, while integrated photonics enables light guiding and manipulation in a microchip. Hence, we study how the challenging combination of integrated photonic and micro-mechanical functionality in a microchip can empower next-generation precision devices for future applications with societal impact. For example, to cause breakthroughs in medical ultrasound. 

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Research interests

Research interest includes: optomechanical microchips, silicon photonics, micromechanics, ultrasound, and especially their multidisciplinary combination.

Professional interest ranges from conceptual ideas to implementation in poducts. Expertise in idea generation, theory, simulation, design, layout, fabrication process definition, characterization, and valorization.

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Academic background

Dr. Ir. Westerveld received the MSc degree in Applied Physics (cum laude, 2009) and the PhD degree (cum laude, 2014) from Delft University of Technology. With positions in academia and industry, he acquired a multidisciplinary expertise in physics, photonics, micromechanics and ultrasound. He worked as Laser Scientist in a start-up (2014), as Ultrasound Engineer in the oil & gas industry (Applus RTD, Rotterdam, 2014-2016), and as post-doc in optics for quantum technology (TU Delft/QuTech, 2017, prof. Ronald Hanson). Thereafter, became he R&D Engineer at a world-leading institute in electronic and photonic technologies (Imec, Leuven, Belgium, 2017-2020). In 2021, he joined Delft University of Technology as Assistant Professor. He is staff of the Precision and Microsystems Engineering (PME) department and the Dynamics of Micro- and Nanosystems (DMN) research group.

Dr. Ir. Westerveld published in Nature Photonics and authored a textbook on silicon phonics. He gave invited lectures at SPIE Photonics West 2021, CLEO 2022, IEEE OMN 2022 and MNE 2022. He serves in the board of the IEEE Photonics Society Benelux Chapter, as member of subcommittee S&I 7 of the Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO 2023), and in the scientific commitee of Measuring By Light conference (MBL 2023).

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