I went to school in Belgium, including uni (at the KULeuven) and spent a year in France (Grenoble) as well.
BSc in Bioscience Engineering, MSc in Engineering (Nanoscience en Nanotechnology)
The European Synchrotron Radiation Facility
PhD student in biophysics/bioengineering
I work/study at the University of Dundee. I’m part of a project called PHOQUS (PHotonic tools for Quantitative imaging in tissUeS), that aims to develop new techniques (for example imaging tools and state-of-the-art microscopes) to study cells and tissue and for medical applications.
I aspire to be a superhero (my name is an anagram for "Inevitable Avenger") and try to use LEGO in any way I can (both at work as in my free time!)
I’m a person of many interests and probably fewer talents. In my free time, I enjoy finding creative ways to do talk about engineering and science (and my work). So far I have tried stand-up-comedy, using LEGO to explain how a microscope works, making balloon models of the intestine and writing STEM-inspired songs.
I secretly aspire to be a superhero. As an engineer, I try to solve problems and create new technology. My name is an anagram for “Inevitable Avenger”, that’s a pretty good sign, right?
I am a PhD student trying to find methods for studying "biomechanics", which looks at the physics of cells and tissues.
I am part of a larger PhD project that explores the meeting point of physics, engineering and medicine. In my current project, I look at the biology and physics that happens during the onset and development of colorectal cancer. I use a range of different techniques, such as microscopy, ultrasound (similar to what is used in the clinics to monitor pregnancies), cell culture, and computer simulations to understand how the physical properties of cells and tissues change during cancer.
My Typical Day
I currently spend a lot of time behind a computer running ultrasound simulations and comparing the results to experiment I've done a few months ago.
At the moment, I am using a computer programme to simulate an experiment I carried out a few months ago. I am trying to look at how sounds waves interact with tissue, and the simulation helps me better understand what is going on in a real-life experiment. I usually set up a new simulation to run that day (trying different situations), and while the computer does its job, I compare the results with the previous day with data from real-life experiments.
I take quite a few coffee breaks during the day with my colleagues. During these, we discuss what we are working on that day. This is really useful: talking about where we get stuck often helps us get unstuck. Sometimes we just talk about other things as well, but to be honest, it’s usually really geeky and about space or alternate realities or if we would upload our consciousness into a computer programme.
What I'd do with the money
I would develop an kit and lesson plan based on building a microscope with LEGO.
I have started creating a LEGO-microscope kit, and would like to expand this further, so it can be used in workshops, open days, and classrooms to explain the how we can get a magnification in microscopes. Some ideas would be to create a lesson plan to go along with the kit (that has enough LEGO bits to build the microscope, and a bunch more to be creative), and make an instruction video.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Nerdy, Tall, Clumsy
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
Use LEGO in my actual day job, with a real purpose.
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
The nutty professor in a comic book I used to read.
What was your favourite subject at school?
What did you want to be after you left school?
I wanted to be an inventor.
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Not really, I'd like to say I never got caught, but mostly I was just too much of a goody two shoes.
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What's your favourite food?
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Recently? Built a pillow fort, crawled in, watched Star Wars.
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
Finish my PhD successfully. Invent something really cool that would allow me to retire early. Become an astronaut.
Tell us a joke.
One guacamole is equal to 6.022x10^23 guacas. One might even call it avocado's number.