Record of eight Veni grants for TU/e

Eight young TU/e researchers have received a “Veni” grant of 250,000 euros. This is the highest number of Veni laureates ever gained by TU/e.

The eight TU/e winners will be undertaking research in fields ranging from polymer electronics and innovative materials for improved solar cells, to the possibility to better control human crowds or rely on ethical reasoning via artificial intelligence. Previously, the highest number of winners from TU/e was achieved in 2017, when seven Veni grants were awarded.

Awarded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), the “Veni” grant is targeted at outstanding researchers who have recently obtained their PhD. The grant allows scientists to conduct independent research and develop their ideas for a period of three years. In total, this round saw 1115 submissions by researchers of research projects for funding, 154 of which were ultimately honored. 

The TU/e winners of the Veni call of 2018 are:

Stability and structure in infinite-dimensional spaces

Dr. Rob Eggermont  - Mathematics and Computer Science (prof.dr. Hans Cuypers)

It becomes increasingly important to deal with data structures involving a large number of variables. Eggermont will investigate such structures and show that even as the number of variables increases, the difficulty of analysis does not.

Lattices and nearest neighbour searching

Dr. Thijs Laarhoven - Mathematics and Computer Science (prof.dr. Tanja Lange)

Lattices, repeating arrangements of points in space, can be used to describe extraordinary symmetric structures, and lie at the basis of secure digital communication in the age of quantum computers. This research project will explore the remarkable interplay between lattices and techniques from the field of nearest neighbour searching.

Polymer monolayer electronics

Dr. Mengmeng Li – Chemistry ( René Janssen)

Semiconducting polymers are cheap and easy to produce, holding great potential in next-generation electronics. The development of their functional single molecular layer allows for charge transport investigation and realization of bottom-up plastic electronics.

Understanding and controlling the flow of human crowds

Dr. Alessandro Corbetta – Applied Physics (prof.dr. Federico Toschi)

Overcrowding, queues, inefficient visitors’ management: how familiar are they? What if an automatic system could manage in real-time crowd flows improving comfort and safety? This project will leverage automated tracking, modelling and machine learning to advance the understanding of crowd dynamics and bring unprecedented improvements in our daily pedestrian experience. For more information about the research carried out at TU/e on statistic and fluid-dynamics properties of crowds: (

The Artificial Ethicists

Dr. Elizabeth O'Neill – Ethics, moral philosophy ( Anthoine Meijers)

Artificial intelligence (AI) of the future could be better at ethical reasoning than humans. If an AI advised you to modify your most fundamental moral beliefs, is there any context where you should follow its advice? This project examines the practical and philosophical implications of artificial ethicists.

Flexible, fast high-voltage pulses for a better environment

Dr. Tom Huiskamp - Electrical Engineering (prof. Guus Pemen)

By shaping electrical energy into short high-voltage pulses, we can clean air and water and make water disinfecting and nutritious for plants. The researcher will develop a novel, very fast solid-state flexible high-voltage pulse source to significantly boost the robustness, efficiency and controllability of these applications.

Two -dimensional materials as innovative contacts to solar cells

Dr. ir. Bart Macco – Applied Physics ( Erwin Kessels)

Due to their exceptional properties, two-dimensional materials are considered an important new building block for nanoelectronics. In this project, the use of 2D materials will be explored in a very new field: to improve the efficiency-limiting contacts of silicon solar cells in an industrially-viable way.

System for Information-Driven Modeling of Urban Activity-Travel Routines of Generic Households

Dr Soora Rasouli – The Built environment (prof.dr. Harry Timmermans)

Predicting travel demand is a core activity of transportation planning. The current models are becoming increasingly less relevant due to developments such as shared cars and mobility-as-a-service, enabled by ICT. This project aims at developing a prototype of the next generation of travel demand models that incorporates these new developments.