Successful Gravity proposal and other projects

September 5, 2019

The last few month several project proposals have been accepted again by national and European funding agencies. The most prestigious is a Gravity proposal on ethics of disruptive technologies such as AI. Other topics vary from more fundamental work on efficient algorithms, to early detection of heart problems and corresponding behavior change. In total some 20 new PhD positions will be opened soon.

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Wijnand IJsselsteijn (Industrial Engineering and Innovation Science) is the TU/e coordinator of a prestigious large NWO zwaartekracht proposal (overall lead: University of Twente). This 10 year program is launching major new research into the ethics of disruptive technologies. In this program, ethicists, philosophers and technical scientists are working together to advance and connect their fields. The researchers argue that these developments require a “reorientation in the field of the ethics of technology”. Within the program they will be developing new methods needed to understand the new disruptive technologies, to evaluate them from a moral perspective, and, if necessary, to intervene in the way in which the technology continues to develop. 

TU/e will focus on the influence of biomedical and digital technologies on the self-image and self-understanding of people. Concepts such as autonomy, corporality, mortality and transcendence will be called into question by innovations such as genetic manipulation and artificial intelligence. At least a dozen PhD positions will be opened as a result of this program over the next 10 years.

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Panos Markopoulos (Industrial Design) is leading a project in de Commit2data call from NWO on self-tracking for prevention and diagnosis of heart disease. The project is collaboration between TU/e, Eramus MC, TU Delft, Reinier de Graaf gasthuis and several partners from the public and private sector interested in healthcare. Three PhD positions at the TU/e will focus on developing and evaluating interactive applications to support patients to collect relevant data to support the early detection and prevention of secondary heart failure and to increase the efficiency in early diagnosis of heart disease. Important research factors are to ensure acceptance by patients, ensure adherence and the quality of data collection.

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Zon MW awarded the project proposal by Steven Vos (Industrial Design) on calibrating inclusive sporting encouters. This project will be executed in the context of the Vitality Academy with colleagues from the University of Utrecht. They aim to develop network configurations and professional routines on the organization of inclusive sporting encounters in order to improve the practical ability to design and organize inclusive sporting encounters for groups in vulnerable situations by diverse stakeholders. TU/e will employ 1 PhD on this project.

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Erik Bekkers (Mathematics and Computer Science) has received a Veni grant from NWO to make progress in the important field of AI in medical image analysis. The accurate mapping and analysis of patient-specific vascular networks is a complex task that is of great importance in medical diagnostics and surgery planning. Bekkers will enable systems with artificial intelligence to perform this task by equipping them with a sense of continuity, context, and hierarchy.

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Jesper Nederlof (Mathematics & Computer Science) received an ERC starting grant to work on faster elementary algorithms for optimization problems, with applications in planning, logistics and manufacturing. Take for example the travelling salesman problem. The problem asks, given a list of cities and the distances between each pair of cities, for the shortest possible route that covers each city and returns to the origin city. This problem, first formulated in 1930, is still intensively studied. And, surprisingly enough, the algorithms found in the 60’s are still the ‘best known’ for it. This project aims to achieve breakthroughs in this domain.

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People involved