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. From 1992 to 1993 he worked as scientific advisor for the government (IWT), where he assessed and audited major 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 became assistant professor in 1999. He is now director of the laboratory of Biomedical Physics (www.uantwerpen.be/bimef) 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 students, physics of optical microscopy, and courses in practical holography and biomedical imaging for physics students. Since 2019 he developed a new course on experiment-based physics teaching for future physics high school teachers.
His current research interests focus on the development of opto-electronic metrology systems, the mechanics of biological systems, and musical instruments. In the field of measurement techniques, he focuses on the development of optical metrology to measure shape, deformation and vibration of small objects. Current projects involve interferometric measurements of ossicle and eardrum movements, middle ear finite element modelling, intraoprative testing of middle ear function, acousto-mechanics of saxophone mouthpieces, high speed X-ray tomography and real-time optical profilometry. 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. 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 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 teached in high school. She is now involved in science popularisation projects and training of future teachers. Margo is orthopedic surgeon and is consultant in the UK. 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. For a number of years he studied 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 Performing Arts in Lier, Belgium, where he also studied the trumpet and the flugelhorn. He is currently member of the jazz formation Jazz Notes and the orchestra Art Deco. He is author of several theatre plays (https://www.toneelfonds.be), and composer of the musical "Curious", a humoristic play about the discovery of radio-activity. He is a keen skier, and enjoys camping, mountain hiking and travelling.