Abstracts 2020

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

Dr. Sébastjen Schoenaers

Rapid signaling in plants: controlling cell wall flexibility during growth

Contrary to their initial appearance, plants are some of the fastest growing organisms on the planet. Plants rapidly sense changes in their environment and optimize their growth accordingly. Using state-of-the-art techniques, we can now study this ‘rapid plant signaling’ at unprecedented resolution. In this talk, we will highlight the dynamic nature by which plants control their growth, and how this knowledge is fundamentally changing the way we look at plant growth in a changing environment.

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 will explore a CFD-based approach for the design of chemical reactors for multiphase turbulent flows.

Dr. Sam Van der Jeught

The fascinating physics of the eardrum: from the lab to the hospital

The 3D shape of the human eardrum plays a crucial role in the process of sound transmission and any structural change to its topography is an important indicator for existing or impending middle ear pathology and subsequent hearing loss. The 3D tympanoscope is a new medical device, capable of measuring high-resolution eardrum deformation in 3D and in real-time. In addition to weak spot detection, tympano-topography can be employed in the ENT-office as a non-invasive indicator for inadequate Eustachian tube (ET) functioning.

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).

Dr. Pieter Mampuys

So you think ... you can be green? A chemist's view on sustainability

Over the last decade pressure on the pharmaceutical industry to change their practices and develop more environmentally friendly and sustainable technologies has drastically increased as the synthesis of fine chemicals typically involves a large amount of waste produced per kg of active ingredient. This therefore brings challenges, but also generates opportunities for chemists and engineers! In this lecture, the importance of green chemistry research and non-self-evident character of determining the greenness of a chemical transformation will be discussed.

Dr. Marc Spiller

Environmental impact of microbial protein from potato wastewater as feed ingredient

Livestock production is utilizing large amounts of protein-rich feed ingredients such as soybean meal. One alternative for soybean meal is Microbial Protein (MP), i.e. dried microbial biomass. The objective of this study is to evaluate the environmental impact of MP production. Three different types of MP production were analysed and compared to soybean meal. Soybean meal showed up to 52% higher impact on human health and up to 87% higher impact on ecosystems. However, MP production resulted in an 8 to 88% higher resource exploitation than soybean meal.

Prof. dr. Bert De Munck

History of science: the crafts and the scientific revolution of the 16-17th century

Western culture is deeply entrenched by the idea that scientific and technological innovation necessarily start with a concept in the human mind, which explains why the scientific revolution has mostly been written as a history of new ideas emerging in the mind of ingenious scientists. The last few decades, this narrative is increasingly criticized, up to the point that a great deal of importance is now attached to the hands-on skills of artisans. Sixteenth- and seventeenth-century artisans would have contributed to the shift from natural philosophy to experimental sciences because of their daily trail-and-error experimentation with matter (raw materials), which would have fostered new understandings about nature and new views on the materiality of the universe. These views lead to new questions about the epistemological origins of our present-day natural sciences.  

Sarah Ahannach, Prof. dr. Katrien Kolenberg, Dr. Ben Van Duppen

History of science: science in the Arabic world

During the dark ages of medieval Europe, the legendary “Golden Age” of Arabic science brought historical scientific and intellectual contributions to civilization. The tributes to the Arab world’s era of scientific achievement, roughly spanning the eighth through the thirteenth centuries, are often forgotten. Nonetheless, these intellectual advancements have had an immense impact on today’s science, culture and technology. This articulates brilliantly into the fact that science is not only universal but a common language of the human race. Therefore, a more representative scientific workforce in a diverse and inclusive environment draws from the widest range of perspectives and experiences. This is necessary to maximize innovation and creativity in science for the benefit of humanity. Diversity is essential to delivering excellence in STEM. 

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