Joris Dirckx

Gewoon hoogleraar - woordvoerder onderzoeksgroep Biomedische Fysica en Biofysica


Joris J.J. Dirckx was born in Antwerp , Belgium , in 1960. He graduated in Physics and in Didactics at the University of Antwerp , taught physics and mathematics in high school, and then became assistant at the University of Antwerp . In 1991 he obtained the PhD in Physics, with the dissertation “Automated moiré topography and its use for shape and deformation measurements of the eardrum”. From 1992 to 1993 he worked as scientific advisor for the government (IWT), where he assessed and audited industrial research projects. In 1994 he returned to research and worked at the ENT department of St. Augustinus hospital as clinical audiologist, and performed research on oto-acoustic emissions and cochlear implants. In 1996 he joined the University of Antwerp as post-doc researcher, and was appointed lecturer in physics in 2000. He became professor in 2003, and is now director of the laboratory of Biomedical Physics ( and full professor in the department of Physics. In 2014 he was elected chair of the department. He teaches courses in general physics for pharmacy, biology and biochemistry students, physics of optical microscopy, and courses in practical holography and biomedical imaging for physics students.

 His current research interests focus on the development of opto-electronic metrology systems, and on the mechanics of biological systems. In the field of measurement techniques, he focuses on the development of optical metrology to measure shape, deformation and vibration of small objects, such as the eardrum, the middle ear ossicles, blood vessels and bird skulls. In the field of middle ear research, his interest is mainly in middle ear pressure regulation and its effect on middle ear mechanics, and in high resolution imaging and modelling of the middle ear system.Current projects involve interferometric measurements of ossicle and eardrum movements, middle ear pressure monitoring, measurements of quasi-static pressure transfer from the eardrum to the cochlea, studies of non-linear acoustic behaviour of the middle ear system, mechanics of bird beak movement, measurement of pulse waves in blood vessels, high resolution optical tomography and real-time moiré interferometry. He is author of over 150 scientific papers in journals and conference proceedings, and is editor of the books "Optical measurement techniques for systems and structures".

 Apart from research and teaching, he is also involved in popularisation of science and the recruitment of science students. Projects include the development of a self-contained physics experiment kit for high school and elementary school teachers, lab-experiment sessions for high school students, and technology projects for youngsters. He served as the university’s coordinator of the Science Week and Science Fair, an event which is organised every two years by the Flemish Government. He developed science shows on mechanics, electrostatics and the physics of music. Every year, he presents science shows at the Antwerp Children’s University, an event which attracts over 1.500 attendees.

 He is married to Greet Eyckmans, and has one daughter, Margo. Greet is mathematician and teaches in high school, Margo is medical doctor and is in training to become an orthopedic surgeon. His personal interests are in architectural design, gastronomy, and music. He designed the house and its furniture in Duffel , Belgium , where he and his family have been living since 2002. In the field of gastronomy he is both an enthusiastic amateur cook and pastry baker, and a keen "investigator" of the pleasures of life served in restaurants. In the field of music, he prefers both jazz and classical music. For a number of years he studied classical traverse flute and holds a degree in solfège. Since 2007 he took up jazz playing on the alto saxophone and is enrolled as a student at the Academy of Music, Word and Dance in Lier, Belgium. He is currently member of the jazz formation Jazz Notes and the tango orchestra Conventillo, and he occasionally plays the euphonium. He is a keen skier, and enjoys camping, mountain hiking and travelling.