Manipulating Porous Matter
Alexander John Cruz is selected as one of the winners of the prestigious 2022 International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC)-Solvay International Award for Young Chemists for his work in the chemical sciences and engineering.
Alex receives a cash prize and a full scholarship to attend the 49th IUPAC World Chemistry Congress at the Hauge, The Netherlands, in August 2023, where the award will be given. The selection committee includes members of the IUPAC Bureau and a senior science advisor from Solvay, all having deep expertise and experience in chemistry. Alex represents KU Leuven and Belgium and joins the roster of outstanding young researchers from Harvard University (USA), University of Strasbourg (France), McGill University (Canada), and the University of California San Diego (USA).
Dr. Cruz obtained his joint PhD in Bioscience Engineering at the KU Leuven and Doctor of Engineering Sciences at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel with the dissertation entitled, Metal-organic frameworks by vapor deposition processes. His main promoter is prof. Ameloot, and the PhD work was carried out at the Centre for Membrane Separations, Adsorption, Catalysis, and Spectroscopy for Sustainable Solutions (cMACS).
Check out this link for more information!
After a successful pilot run in November 2021, the outreach crew (also known as Teach STEM BE) of the Ameloot Group continues with their 2nd major activity, this time at the Ecole Internationale Montgomery (EIM) in Brussels on March 29. Curious learners from the middle years program (MYP) group of the EIM participated in the workshop with the support of the school head, Danielle Franzen, and chemistry teacher, Dr. Ricky Payen.
For this segment, the Teach STEM BE team divided the session into two parts. The first part was focused on an additive manufacturing (3D printing) demonstration with a special emphasis on food science and technology, medicine, and (aerospace) engineering applications. The outreach team brought a polymer (plastic) 3D printer and a chocolate printer to add more color to the scientific concepts. The second part was a hands-on modeling exercise using 3D design software. The learners designed their personalized phone cases that will be printed in Leuven and sent back to the school. The team ended the workshop with an interactive quiz, and the winners were awarded 3D-printed trophies. The international and diverse learners made the discussions rich and insightful. Furthermore, the real-life demonstration gave the workshop an experiential and interactive touch.
After the learning session with the group’s researchers, the crew prepared modules for the learners and the teaching staff to continue using one of the printers in the weeks after the workshop. KU Leuven supported the initiative as the team plans to expand its reach to more schools and communities in Belgium and beyond.
For more info about our outreach projects, or if you are interested in collaborating or supporting our cause, please reach out to Dr. Alexander John Cruz or Prof. Rob Ameloot.
About Teach STEM BE The Teach STEM BE is our research group's main science outreach initiative. It is a grassroots initiative inspiring youngsters to explore and discover STEM as part of their learning experience. The project also aims to provide access to innovative learning materials to the less fortunate and promote accessible and equitable science and technology education.
We are pleased to welcome a new postdoc to the Ameloot group! Nicolas received his Ph.D. at Aix-Marseille University in France with his thesis entitled ‘Using external parameters to improve gas adsorption in nanoporous materials: control of humidity and mechanical pressure.’ After finishing his Ph.D., he held a postdoctoral associate position at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, working on gas diffusion in disordered nanoporous materials and developing electrically-conductive cement for energy storage applications.
In the Ameloot group, he'll mainly study the diffusion of vapors in MOFs and work on combining adsorption and NMR measurements to unravel insights regarding their adsorption mechanisms.
A warm welcome to Nicolas!
A warm welcome to Neus Crespí!
Neus is a PhD student working at the Materials Chemistry Group of the University of the Balearic Islands, she will join the Ameloot group for a period of five months. During her stay, Neus will work on ultrathin films of electrically conductive MOFs via CVD for the fabrication of MOF-based electronic devices.
Last week Hanne presented some of her PhD work at the 18th edition of the Young Belgian magnetic resonance scientist (YBMRS) conference. Notwithstanding that it was the first oral presentation of her PhD, her presentation was rewarded with the 3th prize for 'best oral communication'. We can surely say that she did a great job! Congratulations Hanne!
To drive and champion education and science communication, inspiring the leaders of tomorrow in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), the outreach team of the Ameloot Group piloted their first major workshop at the International School of Leuven (ISL) on November 24.
The Teach STEM BE is one of the science outreach initiatives by our research group. It is a grassroots initiative aimed at inspiring the youth to explore and discover STEM as part of their learning experience. The project also aims to provide access to innovative learning materials to the less fortunate and promote accessible and equitable science and technology education.
With the talented learners reinforced by their multicultural background, the ISL is selected as one of the pilot schools for this science outreach initiative. The half-day session focused on additive manufacturing (3D printing) and its use for real-life applications. The crew brought a polymer-based (plastic) 3D printer to showcase its use in engineering, healthcare, and biotechnology applications. The team also demonstrated using a chocolate printer to make the experience much more enjoyable, experiential, and interactive.
After the learning session with the group’s scientists, the outreach team prepared modules for the students and teachers and trained them to operationalize the machine with the learners for two more weeks. With the support of KU Leuven, the group will seek funding to further expand its reach to other schools and underprivileged communities in Flanders, Belgium, and beyond.
For more information on our outreach projects, or if you are interested in collaborating or supporting our cause, don't hesitate to contact Dr. Alexander John Cruz or Prof. Rob Ameloot.
Hanne's research on improving medical imaging via 3D printing is featured in MediaPlanetBE and De Morgen. Hanne works on the development of a novel method to improve the efficacy of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) imaging, via patient specific 3D printed MRI hardware components. The article (in Dutch) can be read here.
Don't hesitate to contact Hanne for more info!
After postponing last year's teambuilding, the entire group was very enthusiastic about this year's edition. Adventure awaited, our first activity took us to the forests of Herent for a game of archery tag. Afterwards we went to the centre of Leuven for a delicious beer and chocolate tasting. We ended the day with a wonderful diner. We already look forward to next year's edition!