The Team

Assistant Professor at TU/e, Visiting Professor at SCNU

dr. ir. Danqing Liu

Danqing Liu is a materials scientist. In the work, she attempts to fill the field between molecular sciences, such as synthetic organic chemistry, and the dimensions of the more macroscopic materials including morphology and shape control. Special in the approach is the transfer or even amplification of the responsive (dielectric-, ferroelectric-, piezoelectric-, and/ or photo-chemical) effects of a single molecule to the macroscopic level of a device. This is realized by incorporating the functional molecules into suitable and cooperative host materials, such as liquid crystals.

Emeritus Professor

Prof. dr. Dirk J. Broer

Dirk J. Broer is a polymer chemist specialized in polymer structuring and self-organizing polymer networks. This entails the development of polymers with new functionalities and integrating them into devices to meet industrial and societal challenges in the fields of sustainable energy, water-management, healthcare & personal comfort. The research follows the complete chain of knowledge from molecule to device. i.e. from organic synthesis to prototype. Both top-down and bottom-up methods are employed for the preparation of hierarchically structured materials in the fields of Energy Materials, Stimuli-responsive Materials, and Nanostructured Materials.

PhD students

Dongyu Zhang 
1st February 2021

Dongyu Zhang obtained her Mater degree in University of Science and Technology of China, majoring in applied chemistry. She is interested in stimuli responsive liquid crystal materials for liquid secretion.

By mimicking the natural liquid secretion phenomenon, smart liquid crystal polymeric materials can be made for robotic application such as “pick and place” or “chemical communication”. Her position is funded by China Scholarship Council. A fun fact about Dongyu is that she can “self-control” the motion of her ears.

Email: [email protected]

Yuxin You
TU/e Guest researcher
(01-09-2020 )

Yuxin You is a materials researcher with a master’s degree in optical engineering. She is interested in developing smart coatings made of liquid crystal polymers that can generate predesigned topographies at the coating surfaces reversibly. These dynamic surfaces are anticipated to benefit many functions in the fields of optics, haptics, robotics, etc. A fun fact about Yuxin is that she always likes to invite friends to try out her cooking!

Email: [email protected]

Jacques Peixoto
1st April 2021

Email: [email protected]

Mert Orhan Astam 
1st July 2021

Mert O. Astam is a materials scientist and engineering with an MEng from Imperial College London. He is interested in turning liquid crystal materials into electrically driven devices, seeking to extract the benefits to society of this technology. He has recently shown the intelligence of soft robots in his latest paper “Self-regulating electrical rhythms with liquid crystal oligomer networks in hybrid circuitry”. His project is a part of the STORM-BOTs initiative and he is collaborating with colleagues in Spain, Finland, Italy, Germany and the UK. A fun fact about Mert is that he used to work at a chocolate factory!

Email: [email protected]

Duygu Polat 
1st August 2021

Duygu is a chemical engineer with a M.Sc. from Middle East Technical University, Turkey. She is interested in developing liquid crystal actuators which can apply force in a rapid manner. Fast responses can be accessed by designing instabilities into liquid crystal actuators Her project is a part of the STORM-BOTs initiative aiming to train next generation researchers in the field of soft robotics. A fun fact about Duygu is that her favorite artist is David Bowie.

Email: [email protected]

Pengrong Lv 
1st September 2021

Email: [email protected]

Vincent van der Doef 
1st October 2022

I’m Vincent van der Doef and I have started my PhD here at ECO and HIM since 17 October. I studied Molecular Life sciences at Wageningen University where I finished my master thesis working on 3D-printed micropatterned surfaces. I also did my internship in Hokkaido University in Sapporo on hierarchical Macroscale double-network composite structures. For my PhD I will work on Programmable lenses for optical wireless communications assisted by liquid crystal elastomers which will be used in the Beam-steered Reconfigurable Optical-wireless System for Energy-efficient communication project. I also used to write short fables and horror stories for my student association.

Email: [email protected]

Samuël A. M. (Sam) Weima

9th January 2023

Sam Weima obtained his masters degree in chemical engineering from Eindhoven University of Technology. He is interested in device integration and exploring new ideas with interdisciplinary cooperation. He is currently occupied with applying machine learning to the development of interactive materials. A fun fact about Sam is that he once voluntarily went 2 years without wearing a jacket, just to make a point.

Email: [email protected]

Tom Bruining

9th January 2023

Tom Bruining is a chemical engineer with a master’s degree in molecular systems and materials chemistry from the Eindhoven University of Technology. He is interested in creating liquid crystal based stimuli responsive surfaces that can change their texture to provide haptic feedback. These surfaces have applications in virtual reality and augmented reality systems to provide an improved sense of touch. A fun fact about Tom is that he often makes his own gifts out of wood.

Email: [email protected]

Elif Kurt

1st March 2023

Email: [email protected]


Damian Thijs

1st April 2023

[email protected]

Master Students

Ting-Hsuan Lee

Email: [email protected]

Laxsa Nagalignam

[email protected]

Vera Buurman

Vera has started her master thesis at HIM at the beginning of 2023. Under the supervision of Duygu, she is studying photo responsive liquid crystal actuators which are able to perform rapid motion. During her studies at the technical university of Eindhoven, she had the opportunity to expand her knowledge about stimuli responsive materials. For her bachelors end project she studied thermochromic liquid crystal oligomers for near-infrared reflectors. Later her masters she did an international research project for three months in Florence, Italy about liquid crystal networks as a scaffold for muscle cell engineering. Did you know she has performed at the World Cup artistic roller-skating when she was 13?”

[email protected]

Finished postdocs

dr. Yuanyuan Zhan

Yuanyuan is currently working at Canon Production Printing

dr. Thierry Slot

Theirry is currently Azrieli Fellow at Technion – Israel Institute of Technology

dr. Ievgen Kurylo

Ievgen is currently working at Dimenco

Defended Master students

  • Tom Bruning (defended in March 2022)
  • Serena Calierno (defended in February 2022)
  • Gabriëlle Muermans (defended in April 2022)

Defended PhD students

  • Matthew Hendrikx (defended in 2018)
  • Wei Feng (defended in 2020, he is currently a postdoc at Max Planck Institute, Germany)
  • Yuanyuan Zhan (defended in 2021, she stays with us as a postdoc researcher)
  • Fabian Visschers (defended in 2021, he is currently working at Bosch)