Inaugural lectures

Since 2017, our newly appointed professors present their current research in an inaugural lecture at the Faculty Research Day. Their presentation is accompagnied by a short introduction film. You can enjoy the films on this page.

Inaugural lectures 2019

Prof. dr. Timothy Pennycook - Seeing how atoms build materials

Our world is composed of atoms and their arrangement determines the properties of all the materials we use and interact with. Determining the atomic scale structure and composition of materials is vital to understanding them fundamentally. Electron optics has advanced to the point that all major interatomic spacings can be resolved with the electron microscope. However, peering into the atomic structure of materials can still be a challenge. In this talk I will discuss the power, challenges and outlook for the future of using electrons for atomic scale vision. Read more about this research on Electron Microscopy for Materials Science (EMAT).

Prof. dr. Patrice Perreault - Model-based design of intensified chemical reactors for hydrogen release for ship applications

Maritime transport is responsible for 3% of the global CO2 emissions: hydrogen-powered ships is a sustainable solution. However, H2 storage represents a challenge, and Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carriers (LOHC) are regarded as an alternative to compressed and liquid storage. The design of H2 release systems from LOHC is far from trivial and process intensification provides the most interesting approach. In this presentation, we explored a CFD-based approach for the design of chemical reactors for multiphase turbulent flows. You will learn more on this subject on the website of Institute of Environment and Sustainable Development (IMDO).

Prof. dr. José Oramas Mogrovejo - Towards intelligible artificial intelligence

Representations learned via deep neural networks (DNNs) have achieved impressive results for several automatic tasks (image recognition, text translation, super-resolution, etc.). This has motivated the wide adoption of DNN-based methods, despite their black-box characteristics. In this talk, I will cover several efforts aiming at designing algorithms capable of revealing what type of information is encoded in a learned representation (model interpretation) and justifying the predictions made by a DNN (model explanation). More information can be found on the IDLab research group website.

Inaugural lectures 2018

Professor Jan De Beenhouwer - Tomography from limited data

Professor Jan De Beenhouwer and his team are specialised in tomography, a technique that allows you to look inside objects without actually opening them. In many circumstances however, the measured data is not sufficient to accurately reconstruct a 3D image of the object. To solve these types of problems, they are developing techniques that exploit prior knowledge of the object and the imaging system in the form of parametric models. Read more about their research on the website of research group Visionlab.

Professor Jeroen Famaey - Low-Power Wireless Networks

Professor Jeroen Famaey and his team design low-power wireless network protocols, to allow communication over the Internet with anything, at any time, and anywhere. By creating such energy-efficient network protocols, devices can last longer on a single battery charge, or even live without batteries by harvesting small amounts of energy from the environment. This will enable a more sustainable, environmentally-friendly, and cost-effective Internet of Things. More information can be found on the IDLab research group website.

Professor Guillermo A. Perez - Automatic Verification of Hardware and Software Systems

Hardware and software systems are hard to design and implement correctly. Professor Guillermo Perez studies formal logics that can be used to precisely specify what such systems are intended to do, and formal models like automata and games to abstract their behaviour. With his co-authors, they use these mathematical tools to develop algorithms that enable the verification of systems against their specifications.

Professor Hannes Svardal - What genome sequences can tell us about evolution

Professor Hannes Svardal and his group are interested in how the astonishing natural diversity we see on earth came into being, by which forces it formed, and how it is changing today. Genome sequences provide a record of the evolutionary past of organisms and of their adaptations. The Svardal lab uses statistical genomics and experiments to understand how organisms adapt to their environment. For example, they are currently trying to understand how fishes rapidly adapt to fishing pressure.

Inaugural lectures 2017

Professor Sofie Cambré - Carbon nanotubes

The one-dimensional hollow structure of carbon nanotubes (CNT's), combined with smooth inner walls and a wide range of different chiral structures and diameters, makes them ideal nano containers for encapsulation of various molecules. Read more about the research of the ECM group on their website.

Professor Kris Laukens - Hacking the molecular patterns of life

Professor Kris Laukens and his team develop methods of modern large scale data mining. Recent evolutions in biotechnology deliver an avalanche of data (DNA, proteins ...). The methods professor Laukens is developing help to make sense of this huge mass of information. More information on the Biomina group is on their website.

Professor Filip Meysman - Microbial electricity

Professor Filip Meysman and his team do research on bacteria living in the bottom of the sea. These long filamentous bacteria are capable of generating and mediating electricity over centimeter-scale distances. Quite a disruptive finding! The work of the ECOBE group (now ECOSPHERE) is explained on their website.

Inaugural lectures 2016


Inaugural lectures 2016

Prof Siegfried Vlaeminck - Clean technology solutions

Professor Siegfried Vlaeminck applies a holistic view to water treatment, developing microbial clean tech processes that are cost-effective. In the lab, his team cultivates phototrophic microorganisms that capture and fixate nutrients from waste streams, making them useful as fertiliser or as feed. Read more about the research on the website of the Sustainable Energy, Air and Water Technology research group.

Presentation Introduction film


Prof Toon Calders - Data mining

Professor Toon Calders and his team at the University of Antwerp are specialised in data mining. To be able to analyse huge amount of data, they are developing techniques to find irregularities in the data that are interesting to observe. That way, in stead of querying the data, they let the machine find the right questions to ask. Read more about their research on the website of research group ADReM.

Presentation Introduction film


Prof Sonja Hohloch - Symplectic geometry in dynamical systems

Professor Sonja Hohloch's research areas comprise -- among others -- symplectic geometry, Floer theory and its applications to dynamics and hyperkähler geometry, and integrable Hamiltonian systems. Recently, she is getting more and more interested in more applied topics, seeking a good connection and interplay between pure mathematics and applied problems. Her favorite hobby is climbing which she loves for its combination of strength, elegance, and dynamic moves. Read more about her research on the web pages of research group Fundamental Mathematics.

Presentation Introduction film


Prof Erik Verbruggen - Plant & Soil Microbial Ecology

A large part of what lives beneath our feet is still unknown to us. Professor Erik Verbruggen, ecologist at the University of Antwerp, talks about the research of the team at the Plant & Soil Microbial Ecology Laboratory.

Presentation Introduction film