Dreams and goals for 2019: four TU/e people look ahead

A brand new year has begun! It is a time to reflect and think of what lies ahead. What are you looking forward to most? We asked four TU/e people about their goals and dreams for 2019.

Professor Erik Bakkers

If anyone at the TU/e is expected to achieve great results in 2019, it is Erik Bakkers. Last March it became clear that the evidence for Majorana particles is getting ever closer. Bakkers, professor at the Faculty of Applied Physics, expects to find conclusive evidence for these particles in 2019. Majoranas are long predicted particles that are their own antiparticle and can form the basis of a future quantum computer. Bakkers calls it a real life's work. Last year Bakkers set up the research group Advanced Nanomaterials & Devices. Together with professor Leo Kouwenhoven (QuTech/ TU Delft) and his research group, he has been searching for Majorana particles since 2012. The group is also investigating light emission of silicon and the application of nanowires in solar cells.

What do you hope to achieve in 2019?

‘I think that next year we will be able to conclusively proof the existence of Majoranas. By improving the materials, we now have the opportunity to show that two of these particles are intertwined. Each on one side of a nanowire. This is a quantum mechanical effect and provides strong evidence that these are Majoranas. In addition, we expect to find the 'holy grail' for the semiconductor industry: light emission from silicon. It would be a major breakthrough that has not been achieved before. An invention that makes computer chips faster, making it easier to connect them to the internet. Within our group we have changed the crystal structure of silicon and we see that light is emitted. I hope to complete our work soon and to send the results to a scientific journal.

'We expect to find the 'holy grail'.

Professor Erik Bakkers

Vice-chairman Nicole Ummelen

Since 1 January, Nicole Ummelen has been the new vice-chairman of the university's Executive Board. She looks relaxed and is clearly looking forward to her new job. She often uses the word ‘connecting’ while reflecting on the year ahead. ‘Being a strong team as the new Executive Board would make 2019 successful for me.’

What do you hope to achieve in 2019?

‘I want to make a good start with the implementation of our new strategy 2030. Over the past year, a lot of positive energy has gone into this and we must maintain that flow. My key words: working together! There is still a lot of room for improvement, such as in the collaboration between services and departments. But also between services themselves and between OBP (support management staff) and WP (scientific staff). I am committed to a better understanding of work that happens outside your own field of vision. Make more use of each other's knowledge and strengths. Personally, I want to dive deeper into my new role as vice-chairman. And I would love to travel with my children this summer. It is at the top of my list. And if possible, also visit a music festival like Early Music Festival or Best Kept Secret.’

My key words: working together!

Vice-chairman Nicole Ummelen

Solar Team Eindhoven

TU/e has a reputation to uphold when it comes to student teams. The Solar Team Eindhoven is a three-time champion of the World Solar Challenge in Australia. But can they live up to expectations this year? Marije Sesink, responsible for the press contact and communication, looks ahead.

What do you hope to achieve in 2019?

‘This year we want to design, produce and present an awesome new solar car. The most important goal for us is to embody the potential of solar cars in a real family car and share our vision with as many people as possible. We want to emphasize that solar cars are the solution in the energy transition. We aim to improve techniques to make the solar car concept more accessible and efficient. In October the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge will take place again, and of course we want to prolong our position as world champion. The event in Australia is the ultimate platform to showcase the impressive endurance of our car. Another big goal is a good score on 'practicality', where the jury judges the car on its practical applicability. We will show that the Netherlands, and especially the Eindhoven region, is a leader in technical innovations in this field.’

‘This year we want to design, produce and present an awesome new solar car.'

Solar Team Eindhoven

Master’s student Brandon Leal Perez

Besides being a student in Chemical Engineering, Brandon Leal Perez is also a Spanish ambassador for the Recruitment Days, a volunteer at special TU/e events and every now and then a speaker at webinars. He has never regretted his decision to move from Spain to the Netherlands. "The commitment of Dutch people to technological developments has convinced me to come here.”

What do you hope to achieve in 2019?

‘Firstly, I would like to complete my master's in Chemical Engineering. I look forward celebrating my graduation at Momentum 2019, the official ceremony of the academic year of the TU/e, which will take place on 27 September. And I look forward to my first professional experience in a company. I am also interested in improving my social and management skills and learning more about emotional intelligence. A great tool to understand human behavior and to improve your performance and work motivation.