ARC CBBC member and physicist Marjolein Dijkstra has been granted an ERC Advanced Grant. Professor Dijkstra will receive 2.5 million euros for her project Rational Design of Soft Hierarchical Materials with Responsive Functionalities: Machine learning Soft Matter to create Soft Machines. The grant is awarded by the European Research Council and intended for established researchers with a recognised track record of research achievements.
Professor Dijkstra plans to investigate a variety of soft reconfigurable materials with responsive functional properties that arise from a hierarchical assembly of structures and materials over multiple length scales. She is inspired by fascinating examples abound in nature, such as chameleons changing color to regulate their body temperature, plants having the ability to bend towards sunlight and the motion of bacteria that is directed by chemotaxis. In all these cases, the ability to change shape is encoded in a sophisticated biological composite material, consisting of a solid nanostructure and an elastic biopolymer network.
In light of the crisis we face today, the President of the European Research Council (ERC), Professor Mauro Ferrari, commented after the official announcement:
“I am glad to announce a new round of ERC grants that will back cutting-edge, exploratory research, set to help Europe and the world to be better equipped for what the future may hold. That’s the role of blue sky research. These senior research stars will cut new ground in a broad range of fields, including the area of health. I wish them all the best in this endeavour and, at this time of crisis, let me pay tribute to the heroic and invaluable work of the scientific community as a whole.”
ARC CBBC wishes Marjolein Dijkstra all the best with her groundbreaking research project.
More information about the project can be found on the website of Utrecht University.
Source featured image: Utrecht University