At the Stimuli-Resposive Functional Materials and Devices group we educate and coach quite a few PhD students each year. They are involved in both fundamental and applied research projects. Below some of them introduce themselves to you and tell what what their four year period at our group brought them.

Hitesh Khandelwal

PhD Student:

June 2013 to May 2017

Current position:

European New Product Development Leader at Owens Corning


"SFD helped me in becoming an independent researcher and gave me exposure to many industrial and academic collaborations. SFD also groomed me as a leader through the opportunities I was given to supervise Bachelor's and Master's students. This was possible because of the ecosystem that faculty members have created for students to grow themselves. SFD played a key role in making me who I am today and who I want to be in the future."

Jurica Bauer

Postdoctoral researcher:

March 2013 to July 2014

Current position:

Assistant Professor at the MERLN Technology-Inspired Institute for Regenerative Medicine within the Faculty of Health, Medicine & Life Sciences at Maastricht University


"During my time at SFD I worked on an EU project in close collaboration with the industry. This allowed me a glimpse into the world of industry. Furthermore, I was given much freedom in my postdoc project which allowed me to develop my project management skills. And finally, I also expanded my network. All these are very valued experiences in the labor market and have helped me get where I am today."

Marc del Pozo Puig

PhD Student:

2017 to 2021

Current position:

Team Leader for New Product Introductions (NPI) at IAI industrial systems. Here I lead a team of around 10 people (developers and  software, mechanical and electrical engineers) that develops new technology  for the company.


“During my studies I have jumped from different topics and universities around Europe. First I though that that would hinder my career, but now I know that it actually helped it; I learned that at SFD. This group  showed me that having a different perspective and background is beneficial to problem solving. I enjoyed all my time at SFD and I would not mind to do the PhD again here as the freedom and fun I had were tremendous”

Marina Pilz da Cunha


January 2017 to December 2020

Current position:

Lead technology scout at Findest

"My time at SFD was so much more than a dive into scientific learnings. It taught me new ways to formulate challenges and approach solutions, it was a time of immerse personal development surrounded by the best support I could imagine. One of the key elements which I value from the 4 PhD years was the freedom to explore. This allowed me to investigate and understand my interest and motivational triggers and needless to say this was fundamental knowledge in the decision for my next steps! Nevertheless I miss my SFD times and the people I was surrounded with! I would do it all again!"