Michelle van der Helm


Michelle (1994) was born and raised in Delft, the Netherlands. After completing her B.Sc. in Molecular Science & Technology (summa cum laude) at both the Delft University of Technology and Leiden University, she continued the MSc Chemical Engineering programme (cum laude) in Delft, majoring in Chemical Product Engineering. Her M.Sc. thesis was awarded with the AkzoNobel graduation prize for Chemistry and Process Technology. Currently, she is a PhD candidate under professor Rienk Eelkema. Her research focuses on signal transduction in organic materials and involves both (organo)catalysis and out-of-equilibrium system engineering.  

Career & Education

2017 - present PhD candidate - Delft University of Technology Advanced Soft Matter - 'Signal transduction in organic materials'
2017 Graduate research intern - DSM Delft (Food specialties) Downstream processing, Integrated bioprocessing
2015-2017 M.Sc. Chemical Engineering - Delft University of Technology
Master thesis - 'Enzyme reactions in monolithic microreactors', collaboration with the Silesian University of Technology Poland, Cum laude, average grade 9.4
2016 Summer School, Future Food Utrecht: Sustainable food production - Utrecht University, Faculty of Science (UU)
2012-2015 B.Sc. Molecular Science and Technology - Delft University of Technology and Leiden University
Bachelor thesis - 'Biocatalytic reduction of activated alkenes using whole cells from Rhodococcus rhodochrous ATCC 17895' Summa cum laude, average grade 9.0

Research Interests

Catalysis, Organic chemistry, Biotechnology, Out-of-equilibrium systems, Soft materials, Self-assembly    


2017 AkzoNobel Graduation prize in Chemistry and Process Technology, Best master thesis in academic year 2016-2017
Award made available by AkzoNobel, The Royal Holland Society Of Sciences And Humanities
2017 Best Graduate Faculty of Applied Sciences, Best MSc student of the Faculty of Applied Sciences (Delft University of Technology), award made available by the Delft University Fund
2013 Young Talent Award in Chemistry, Best grades in academic year 2012-2013
Award made available by Shell Global Solutions International, The Royal Holland Society Of Sciences And Humanities