Eindhoven Young Academy of Engineering welcomes six new members

October 21, 2022

The six researchers want to make the TU/e a better place for early-career academics, engineers and designers.

From left to right: Bart Jansen, Olga Mula Hernández, Josefine Proll, Lenneke Kuijer and Bas Overvelde. Alexios Balatsoukas-Stimming is absent from the photo. Photo: Odette Beekmans.
From left to right: Bart Jansen, Olga Mula Hernández, Josefine Proll, Lenneke Kuijer and Bas Overvelde. Alexios Balatsoukas-Stimming is absent from the photo. Photo: Odette Beekmans.

The Eindhoven Young Academy of Engineering (EYAE), founded in 2018 to foster the scientific and organizational leaders of TU/e of the future, has inaugurated six new members. They are Bas Overvelde, Bart Jansen, Olga Mula Hernández, Lenneke Kuijer, Alexios Balatsoukas-Stimming and Josefine Proll. In this story, we introduce the six new members, and hear more about their ambitions for AYAE.

Welcoming the new members during a special inauguration dinner, rector Frank Baaijens said he was happy that within only a few years EYAE has developed into a vibrant group that is committed to making TU/e a better place. He is also grateful for the advice – both solicited and unsolicited -  that EYAE has given to the executive board.

The new members have been appointed for a four year term. They join 23 other members who represent all departments at TU/e. The appointments coincides with a transition in the leadership of the Young Academy. Sandra Loerakker has taken over from Yoeri van de Burgt as chair. Roy van der Meel will take on the position of vice-chair. Max Birk and Karin Smolders will make up the rest of the board. 

Alexios Balatsoukas-Stimming

Alexios Balatsoukas-Stimming is an assistant professor in the Electronic Systems group of the Department of Electrical Engineering at Eindhoven University of Technology. He joined TU/e in 2019. His research lies on the intersection between communications, hardware design, and machine learning. His aim is to make future communications systems faster, more reliable, and more energy efficient by combining information-theoretic principles, machine learning and the implementation of modern communication chips.

“I am convinced that joining a group of brilliant like‐minded people will enable me to contribute towards improving the overall working conditions at our university. I am particularly interested in the challenges early‐career academics face in finding funding from industry, seeing that the main reason to pursue an academic career is often fundamental research. I would also be interested in seeing more scientific evidence for challenge‐based learning (CBL), which is pushed quite strongly by the university, but requires significant effort from the side of the already overworked lecturers”.

Olga Mula Hernández

Olga Mula Hernández is an associate professor in the department of Mathematics and Computer Science, where she leads the group Data-Driven Computational Science. She joined TU/e in 2022. Her research revolves around optimally combining data of different nature in order to solve seemingly different problems in a systematic way.

“I hope that through the Young Academy, my experience and ideas on artificial intelligence can benefit other people working in the sciences. I also hope to be in a more visible position to convey a realistic view to the general public of what AI can and cannot accomplish. Finally, I believe that we need to take urgent concrete actions to make our activities sustainable. The EYAE  could play an influential role in this.”

Bart Jansen

Bart Jansen joined TU/e in 2014, where he is an associate professor in the Algorithms group of the department of Mathematics and Computer Science. In his research he investigates the limits what can be computed efficiently, by developing new algorithms, analyzing their performance using mathematical tools, and developing proofs that faster algorithms cannot exist.

“I believe EYAE provides an important platform to young researchers and educators that speak from experience, are inspired to lift research and education to a higher level, and have the ambition and personal drive to make it happen. My interests lie especially in the quality of education, the career trajectories of young researchers, and the quality of university services. This includes IT support for education, better paygrades for service personnel and policy for promotion of young academics.”

Lenneke Kuijer

Lenneke Kuijer is an assistant professor in the Future Everyday research cluster of the department of Industrial Design. She joined TU/e in 2017. She is a leading expert in practices-oriented design, a field within design and human-computer interaction research that draws on social practice theories. Her latest research project focuses on the way Dutch households deal with the increasing summer heat, and how we can meet this challenge in a more sustainable way.

“I believe my profile can bring valuable new perspectives to the EYAE. Around me, I see excellent young academics struggling to capitalize their potential, because they simply can’t find enough time and mind space to focus on them. This type of work-pressure is detrimental to work satisfaction, work-life balance and employee retention. Through the Young Academy I hope to improve work conditions, not just for the ‘excellent’ academic superhero, but also for a wide variety of talents”.

Bas Overvelde

Bas Overvelde is an associate professor in the Dynamics and Control group of the department of Mechanical Engineering. He is also associated with AMOLF and the Institute for Complex Molecular Systems. He joined TU/e in 2020. His research focuses on the design and fabrication of robotic materials that are capable of adapting autonomously to variations in their environment.

“The EYAE is an excellent way to connect and work with other early-career researchers from a diverse range of backgrounds, and to contribute to TU/e policy. The aims and the topics of the Young Academy resonate well with my drive to make science and education interdisciplinary and open, and to enhance outreach to industry and the general public.”

Josefine Proll

Josefine Proll is an assistant professor in the department of Applied Physics, where she is part of the Turbulence in Fusion Plasmas and Science and Technology of Nuclear Fusion groups. Her work focuses on making nuclear fusion a reality, in particular by designing a new and clever shape for the magnetic cage that keeps the heat within the reactor and avoids unwanted turbulence.

“As a member of the Young Academy I want to look into work pressure and mental health of the academics within TU/e, including PhD students and PostDocs. I hope we can come up with a bunch of immediately-implementable measures to alleviate the pressure, but also consider long-term and structural changes. In addition, I want to work on the onboarding of new staff, something that I think is particularly important for academics coming from outside of TU/e and outside the Netherlands.”

Media contact

Henk van Appeven
(Communications Adviser)