Professor and Head, Materials Performance and Non-Destructive Evaluation, Department of Materials Engineering, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
Country of birth: Belgium
Educational background: PhD Materials Engineering, MS Engineering: Materials Engineering, and BS Engineering, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
A typical work day
As a professor in the Department of Materials Engineering, I coordinate the research group Materials Performance and Nondestructive Evaluation. I lead a team of doctoral students and post-docs, which uses nondestructive techniques to assess the damage and damage development in materials in order to model the material behavior and develop new nondestructive testing (NDT) techniques for on-line damage monitoring. In the lab at MTM, my day involves research, teaching, and most of all mentoring. Together with problem solving comes writing research proposals based on new ideas born within the group. Our group is using the following NDT techniques: optical fibers for structural health monitoring, functionalized sensors, acoustic emission, ultrasonic techniques, Eddy currents, x-ray radiography, and x-ray computed tomography.
What I enjoy most
I enjoy the multidisciplinary research approach of our group. With engineers and scientists of different backgrounds we offer the bridge between fundamental science and engineering applications. Finding solutions to problems, being creative and innovative, and further developing the scientific knowledge in the world of NDT is what I like the most.
Words of wisdom
Believe in yourself and be determined and passionate about what you do. Women in science and engineering can make the difference. They should be encouraged and coached to explore a career in the exciting field of research-their ideas may solve some of the problems in the world of materials.