Chairman of the day

Prof. dr. Bert Koopmans

Bert Koopmans obtained his PhD from the University of Groningen. After a period as postdoc at the Radboud University Nijmegen, he spent three years as a Humboldt Fellow at the Max-Planck Institute for Solid State Physics in Stuttgart. In 1997 he joined the Department of Applied Physics at TU/e, where he became a Full Professor and leader of the group Physics of Nanostructures (FNA). Since 2014, Bert has been on the management team of the Research Centre for Integrated NanoPhotonics. In 2004 Bert was awarded an NWO Vici grant. He has been coordinator of the center for NanoMaterials (cNM) and program director of the Program on Advanced NanoElectronic Devices within NanoNextNL, a Dutch national consortium for nanotechnology research. At present, he is a member of the board of NanoLabNL, a Dutch national facility providing an open-access infrastructure for R&D in nanotechnology, as well as the advisory board of NanoLab@TU/e.

Bert Koopmans is a Full Professor and Group leader of the group Physics of Nanostructures (FNA) at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). His areas of expertise include nanotechnology, nano-electronics and spintronics. Koopmans' earlier work has been in (non-linear) optics of fullerenes and semiconductor quantum structures. His present research activities are in spintronics, nanomagnetism and ultrafast spin- & magnetization-dynamics. Key research achievements have been made in femtosecond magnetization processes, controlling domain wall motion in nanodevices and organic spintronics in many cases combining advanced nanoscale experiments with the development of novel theoretical frameworks. Within IPI, Bert has initiated research on integrated magneto-photonics. Among other applications such as optical isolators and reconfigurable photonics, he envisions spintronic-photonic memories where data is transferred between a photonic waveguide and a magnetic 'racetrack' without intermediate electronic steps. These approaches are considered to contribute to future energy-efficient and versatile information technology.

Arno Wielders MSc.

Topic: Future of Space Travel

Arno Wielders studied Physics at the VU in Amsterdam, where he graduated in 1997. After his graduation he worked for the Leiden Observatory on the Very Large Telescope Interferometer Delay Line project. Later he worked as research scientist at TNO TPD. He was involved in several NASA/ESA projects, such as the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI), part of a satellite launched by NASA in 2004. End 2004 he was hired as a contractor at ESA where he also worked as instrument scientist on BepiColombo, a mission to Mercury, and was involved in JUICE, a mission to Jupiter. He is co-founder of the Mars Society Nederland, an organisation that focusses on a human settlement on Mars in the future. In the same area, Arno Wielders co-founded Mars One 2011 with the goal of settling humans on Mars before 2033.

This year 50 years ago, mankind set foot on the moon for the first time. Since then, developments in spacecraft have been going faster and faster. Satellites orbiting the earth take care of our communication, navigation, weather measurements and espionage. We have visited the other planets in our solar system. The Voyagers have even passed the borders of our solar system, now flying in interstellar space. The plans for humans on Mars grow more and more solid. Companies are starting to think of mining rare materials on asteroids, and the first tickets fore space tourism have been sold. Many of those developments were difficult to foresee when Apollo 11 landed on the moon. So what developments will occur in the next twenty years and beyond? What physical borders will we meet, and how can we overcome these? Arno Wielders will enlighten us on this topic.

Karin van der Wiel

Topic: To combat global climate change

To combat global climate change, the world is preparing a renewable energy transition. Existing power systems will be re-designed to integrate increasing amounts of renewable energy production. Karin van der Wiel will describe the meteorological sensitivity of a highly-renewable European energy system. Wind and solar electricity production is highly dependent on the weather, and also energy demand, mostly for heating and cooling of the build environment, depends on the weather. In this lecture we will explore the co-variability of electricity production and demand, and discuss its consequences for energy security. Society will become dependent on the weather in new ways, introducing new risks that need to be managed. The energy transition is a complex challenge. The spatial and temporal variability of the weather is one of the factors that needs to be taken into account when engineers design the energy system of the future.

Karin van der Wiel studied meteorology at Wageningen University. Since 2016 she works at the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), originally as a postdoc but was granted a permanent position this year. KNMI has scientific research departments, and uses this and other knowledge to advise the government on all topics associated with the weather and climate. Van der Wiel works on topics related to extreme events and the interplay of weather and society. In the coming years she will contribute to the development of an updated version of the KNMI climate scenarios for the Netherlands. In 2017 she was awarded an early career price for atmospheric science by the American Geophysical Union. This year she received the World Meteorological Organisation's research award for young scientists.

Prof. dr. Erik Verlinde

Topic: Grand Unifying Theory

Erik Verlinde was born in 1962 in Woudenberg. His interest in physics started at an early age by reading physics magazines and discussing the content with his twin brother Herman Verlinde. Erik Verlinde studied theoretical physics in Utrecht, where he was introduced to professors as Gerard 't Hoofd. During his PHD, he studied the string theorem and field theorem supervised by Bernard de Wit. During his investigation he introduced two new physical terms in his articles which were later named after him: the Verlinde-algebra and the formula of Verlinde. Furthermore, he formulated the mathematical equations together with his brother, Robbert Dijkgraaf and Edward Witten known as the Witten-Dijkgraaf-Verlinde-Verlindeequations.

After finishing his PHD, Verlinde moved to Princeton where he did research at the Institute for Advanced Study in a theoretical research group of CERN in Genève. He travelled up and down between Princeton and Utrecht. He mainly focused on the entropy of black holes and new theories to explain gravity. In November 2016, the paper 'Emergent Gravity and the Dark Universe' was published in which Verlindes new theorem about gravity as entropic force was elaborated. At this time, he worked as researcher and teacher at the University of Amsterdam (UVA).

Erik Verlinde has won a lot prices in his career so far. The most prestigious one was the 'Spinozapremie' in 2011, which is the highest award for science in the Netherlands awarded annually by the Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO).

In his lecture Erik Verlinde will give us an insight in the world of the current theoretical research in physics. We all have heard of the big physical historical breakthroughs, but what are the most educated professors working on nowadays? On which current developments do we need to keep an eye on and what will be their influence on the future of physics? We are looking forward to a theoretical lecture in which the audience is challenged to think about Our lack of actual knowledge of the universe around us.

Peter Joosten MSc.

Topic: Impact of Biohacking

Peter Joosten is a biohacker and DIY-futurist. He investigates the impact of biohacking, human enhancement and transhumanism in his keynotes, articles and Youtube channel. He is a TEDx speaker and consultant at various companies and institutions. He gave talks at events like Biohacker Summit Stockholm (Sweden), University College London (United Kingdom), Darefest Antwerpen (Belgium) and KPN Telecom (the Netherlands).

He is the curator of the platform Superhuman Talks where he writes and interviews experts about the coming era of upgraded humans. He wrote the (Dutch) book 'Biohacking' about human enhancement and its implication on organizations, education and healthcare. He is a guest lecturer at the Technische Universiteit Eindhoven (master Human Technology Interaction) and the Hogeschool Utrecht (theme: human enhancement). He was member of the 2019 class of the Biohack Academy at De Waag in Amsterdam.

What is the impact of biohacking? What if we can significantly upgrade our physical, cognitive and emotional capabilities? How will human life change in the coming 50 years? In this talk Peter Joosten will discuss the consequences of this Superhuman Era on mankind, society and ethics.