Dr. ir. Elkhuizen, W.S.

Willemijn Elkhuizen is assistant professor at the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering. Her main research interests are in the use of digital technology to create meaningful and enjoyable cultural heritage experiences. Her research takes the lens of characterizing the materials experience of cultural heritage artefacts to shape novel digitally mediated interactions, using technologies like 3D scanning, 3D printing, and extended reality.

In her research she develops frameworks, methods, and tools to support designers in developing meaningful and enjoyable cultural heritage experiences. Her work takes the experiential material characterization of cultural heritage artefacts as starting point and explores how these characterizations can be used to inspire novel, digitally mediated interactions, using technologies like 3D printing and extended reality (i.e. virtual/mixed reality). Her current research in primarily situated within human-computer interaction and design, but also holds links to art-history, conservation and museum studies, psychophysics and perception, and (3D) imaging and computer vision.

Academic Background

In 2022/2023 Willemijn was Researcher-in-residence with the National Library of The Netherlands (KB) (as part of the Future Libraries Lab). The project centered around the augmentation of their (historical) collection of pop-up and movable books, using virtual and mixed reality.

In her current position, Willemijn is co-director of the Museum Futures Lab, where she collaborates with museums and other cultural heritage institutions, and supervises graduation projects related to her research.

She is also coordinator of the Minor Advanced Prototyping. In this program she aims to engage students (with diverse technical backgrounds), and teach them hands-on prototyping skills, ranging from low fidelity prototyping to the use of advanced tools such as 3D scanning, computational design (using Rhino Grasshopper), digital fabrication (incl. 3D printing), and extended reality. In 2022 Willemijn received funding from the TU Delft Open Education Stimulation Fund to develop new, self-paced course materials on computational design with Rhino Grasshopper for personalized fit, digital fabrication, and generative design (publication forthcoming).

In 2019 – 2020 Willemijn received funding from and participated in the ‘Operation Night Watch’ project, initiated by the Rijksmuseum. In collaboration with the Rijksmuseum, she developed and deployed a 3D scanning module, to capture the three-dimensional surface of Rembrandt’s ‘Night Watch’ at ultra-high resolution, aimed at supporting documentation and conservation of the painting.

In 2019, she obtained her PhD at Delft University of Technology, with her thesis titled: "This is not a painting, Scanning and printing a painting's appearance". It focused on the material appearance reproduction (color, topography and gloss) of paintings, using 3D scanning and 3D printing. in 2018-2019 Willemijn participated in the research project ‘Girl in the Spotlight’, initiated by the Mauritshuis, where is made a high-resolution 3D scan of Johannes Vermeer’s ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’, to evaluate the technique’s suitability for documentation and visualization of crack patterns. She also collaborated with various other museums throughout her PhD, and industry partner Océ Technologies (now Canon Production Printing), for the 3D printing research.

Willemijn started her career at the research department of Océ Technologies, gaining experience with (2D) printing technologies.


  • 2013 – 2019
    PhD in Industrial Design Engineering, Delft University of Technology
  • 2007 – 2010
    Master of Science in Strategic Product Design, Delft University of Technology
  • 2003 – 2007
    Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design Engineering,Delft University of Technology


  • 2020 – now
    Assistant Professor (tenure track) at Industrial Design Engineering, Delft University of Technology
  • 2018 – 2020
    Teacher/researcher at Industrial Design Engineering, Delft University of Technology
  • 2013 – 2019
    PhD researcher at Industrial Design Engineering, Delft University of Technology
  • 2011 – 2013
    Researcher and project leader, Research Department, Océ Technologies BV

Involved in the research project(s):

Media Coverage

Published books

Open interactive textbook 'Computational Design – Rhino Grasshopper tutorials and knowledge base' (forthcoming)