VI. Remote Labs (with Leyla Özkan)

VI. Remote Labs (with Leyla Özkan)
Researching in Times of Covid-19

 
 
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In this episode of Researching in Times of Covid-19, host Barry Fitzgerald (Science Communications Officer at TU Eindhoven) speaks to Leyla Özkan, Assistant Professor at the department of Electrical Engineering at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e).

Education at TU/e has changed in the current Covid-19 situation. While traditional lessons have made the transition from the classroom to online platforms, it is more difficult to facilitate such a change when it comes to the delivery of practical lessons in the laboratory.

Remote Labs is an initiative from the Control Systems group at the department of Electrical Engineering that seeks to alleviate this issue by providing students with 24/7 access to test setups using remote login.

In this episode, Leyla talks about Remote Labs, how it has been used thus far, how it will be used in quartile 4 at TU/e, and what might be in store for Remote Labs in the future.

You can also read more about Remote Labs in this TU/e Cursor article.

Stay safe and stay healthy.

V. Safe Aerosol Treatment (with Liza Boormans and René van Donkelaar)

V. Safe Aerosol Treatment (with Liza Boormans and René van Donkelaar)
Researching in Times of Covid-19

 
 
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In this episode of Researching in Times of Covid-19, host Barry Fitzgerald (Science Communications Officer at TU Eindhoven) speaks to Liza Boormans, a 1st year masters student in medical engineering, and René van Donkelaar, Associate Professor at the department of Biomedical Engineering at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e).

Together, they are working on a project or challenge entitled “Safe Aerosol Treatment System for Children”. The aim of the challenge is to develop a safe aerosol treatment system for children in hospitals. Such approaches are used to administer liquid medication in the form of an aerosol to patients with breathing issues.

With the current Covid-19 situation, it is even more important to ensure that this medical treatment can be carried out in safe and reliable manner so that it does not endanger the patient or anyone in the surrounding environment.

In the episode, Liza and René talk about the establishment of the platform “TU/e against Covid-19” at the TU/e Innovation Space. This platform is used to host challenges such as the safe aerosol treatment challenge. They also discuss the process of putting together a student team, problems that need to be solved for this challenge, and the possibility of implementing innovations from the challenge in a clinical setting.

Stay safe and stay healthy.

IV. Suzanne Koch (Biomedical Engineering)

IV. Suzanne Koch (Biomedical Engineering)
Researching in Times of Covid-19

 
 
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In episode 4 of Researching in Times of Covid-19, host Barry Fitzgerald (Science Communication Officer at TU Eindhoven) spoke to Suzanne Koch, a PhD candidate in the department of Biomedical Engineering at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e).

Suzanne is from Utrecht. Before her position at TU/e, Suzanne completed a Bachelors in Biomedical Sciences and Masters in Cardiovascular Research at VU University, Amsterdam. In addition, she spent 8 months in Berlin as part of her graduation project. At TU/e, Suzanne is based in the Soft Tissue Engineering and Mechanobiology group.

In early March, Suzanne and some work colleagues went to Germany for a research visit. However, when they returned to Eindhoven, they came back to a completely different campus as you’ll find out in this episode.

Stay safe, stay positive, and stay healthy.

II. Evan Milacic (Chemical Engineering and Chemistry)

II. Evan Milacic (Chemical Engineering and Chemistry)
Researching in Times of Covid-19

 
 
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In the second episode of Researching in Times of Covid-19, host Barry Fitzgerald (Science Communication Officer at TU Eindhoven) spoke to Evan Milacic, a PhD candidate in the department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e).

Evan is from the Netherlands and his work is focused on the plastic industry. He is working on improving the production of polyolefin using both experiments and computer simulations.

And that’s where things get interesting for Evan. Although he can’t do any more experiments for the moment, his safety net is his work on simulations. However, that also comes with some concerns as you’ll find out in this podcast episode.

Stay safe and stay healthy.

The Cross-Country Science Week Tour continues

At this very moment I’m sitting in a hotel bar in Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan awaiting the arrival of my sustenance for the evening. The last two days have been for the majority spent on the road, listening to my specially prepared Spotify Science Week playlist. And yes there are some superhero musical scores in there in case you’re wondering.

Yesterday started out with two talks at the University of Limerick (UL) at the Bernal building. The talks focussed on Iron Man and superheroes in general respectively. In total more than 450 attended the talks. It was fantastic to spread the word on superheroes, superpowers, science and STEM to such a large audience. The image at the top was taken at the start of the talk. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bigger picture of myself on a wall before.

After the talks at UL, I made my way across Limerick to speak at Thomond Community College. Finally, yesterday evening I gave an outreach talk in Roxboro in Limerick to an audience with Leaving Cert students and the general public. Once that talk finished I made my way up to Dublin in order to cut my today’s journey to Monaghan in half.

Today was actually my first ever visit to Monaghan and I marked it by speaking at two all-girls schools in Carrickmacross and Monaghan Town. The students heard about advancements made by women researchers in the real world and the superhero films as well as the science behind the powers of some of the most powerful female superheroes in the films. For example, I promoted the great work of Jalila Essaidi BioArt Laboratories in Eindhoven, the amazing research of Associate Professor Ilja Voets and her team at TU Eindhoven. In addition I spoke about the development of the CRISPR/Cas system by Jennifer Doudna and her collaborators.

This evening I’ll be giving a workshop at the Iontas Theatre in Castleblayney about the Secrets of Superhero Science. More super-science and superhero secrets to be revealed.

Until the next Science Week update, take care and always think super.

BWF

Biosensors/Secrets of Superhero Science at Physics at Veldhoven

It’s March 1st. Where did January and February go? Time flies when you’re working working.

Yesterday I managed to see a pre-screening of Logan in Eindhoven. I won’t delving into the film right now (I’ll do that at a later date) but all I’ll say is that both Jackman and Patrick Stewart were impeccable in the film, a testament to their portrayal of these two famous X-Men characters.

Back in January (seems like a long time ago now) I presented a series of experiments at Physics@Veldhoven, a huge conference for all of the physics researchers in the Netherlands. These experiments were all superhero-themed and the photographer for the event took some quite memorable photos from the event. Over the next few days I’ll be sharing some of the images with you and giving a brief overview of the experiments that were presented. For each experiment BW Science linked up with a  business or university in the Netherlands to present their work with a tangible link to superheroes.

First up it’s biosensors. The Iron Man suit is one of the greatest inventions in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). It is the ultimate wearable technology and allows Tony Stark, the inventor and principle wearer, to fly and fire weapons as he desires. In addition to being an incredible suit, it is also makes use of advanced biosensors that monitors Stark’s bodily functions round-the-clock.

The vision of personalised medicine is that of miniature biosensors for personal sensing near, on, or inside the body. SensUs, a competition organised by students at TU Eindhoven, has the aim of stimulating innovation in biosensing worldwide. The first competition took place in 2016 during which five teams developed biosensors to monitor creatinine, a waste product biomarker that is normally filtered by the kidneys, in the blood. Team T.E.S.T. from TU Eindhoven took part in the competition and went home with one of the competition awards. It was a fantastic competition and as Master of Ceremonies for the final in September 2016 I sampled the event firsthand.

For my Physics@Veldhoven experiments members of the T.E.S.T. team and Menno Prins of TU Eindhoven brought along there ingenious biosensor to display, a biosensor smaller than a smartphone and one that can be connected to a smartphone to give a digital interpretation of the biological data. The development of devices like this can have huge benefits for health care in the future. But it might also hold the key towards the development of biosensors for a future Iron Man-like suit.

BWF

Secrets Soars into 2017 with Studium Generale talk in Eindhoven

So it’s 2017 and it’s another year. After an epic 2016 and a very busy promotion schedule at the end of the year for “Secret Science of Santa Claus” 2017 kicked off with a talk in de Blauwe Zaal at TU Eindhoven as part of the program for Stadium Generale.

An audience of more than 200 people attended and met by a wave of superhero facts, trivia and clips as the talk opened with a trailer for the highly anticipated Spider-Man: Homecoming which reaches cinemas in July 2017. After testing their superhero knowledge, the audience were taken on a short tour of the science behind possibly creating the superpowers of their favourite heroes.

The Vision, Iron Man, the Invisible Woman and Spider-Man were all the subject of discussion. And the powers of these four superheroes will also be the subject of a huge presentation I’m giving next week at the Physics@Veldhoven conference. Stay tuned for further updates over the coming days on that event!

BWF

Cursor Puts Science of Santa Claus in the Spotlight

This year has been a remarkable year. While many will wave goodbye to 2016 with a level of distain and good riddance I’ve got to say from a personal point of view it’s been a good year. Naturally I acknowledge that we have lost many great artists and actors this year while on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean there was an interesting battle for the presidency that ended with a surprising result. But yes this year has been a good year for me in terms of BW Science.

Back in March, the Cursor Magazine/Newspaper put my mug on the cover in recognition of my first book “Secrets of Superhero Science”. The cover image of me in a laboratory in the ICMS building at TU/e was accompanied by a great article within the pages of the Cursor. Naturally I was very happy with their coverage of the book so when I published “Secret Science of Santa Claus” I contacted Judith van Gaal once more about writing an article on my second book.

Although I am officially based at TU Delft I am also a visiting researcher at TU Eindhoven and value my time, continuing collaborations and friends there greatly. I met with Judith earlier this month and we had a great chat about Santa Claus and the amazing science behind his Christmas Eve deliveries.

On the back of that interview Judith wrote a fantastic article for the Cursor which has appeared in the latest version of the magazine/newspaper. And like the first time I’ve made the cover the newspaper! Absolutely delighted to have done so and many thanks to Judith for writing a great article.

Here’s the article to read if you wish. It’s mainly in Dutch but there is some English text in there as well.

As you can see the layout is unique with a Christmas tree made from Christmas decorations. Very cool indeed. If you get a chance have a read of the article.

BWF

 

Secret Science of Santa Claus has arrived!

all_book      bwf_ivi_book

It’s official – the Secret Science of Santa Claus has arrived!

You can order it now from my webshop at bwscience.com.

Here are some pictures marking the arrival of the book with illustrator Ivi van Keulen and the book designers Julinka van Keulen and Edwin Verbruggen of Number 42 in Eindhoven.

Are you ready to unlock the Secret Science of Santa Claus?

BWF