Phd Researchers



Phd Researcher KU Leuven - PREFER project

+32 16 37 22 92

Faculty of Engineering Technology

Educational Suppport Services

Willem de Croylaan 56 E box 2203



I was born in Leuven, Belgium. A complete science and maths adept in high school, but my interests in human behaviour won from the passion of science when I entered the university. As a BSc. in Political Sciences and Sociology, I continued a MSc. in Communication Sciences and a Teachers’ training at KU Leuven.

I took my first professional steps in the media as a researcher in a tv show about science Hoe?Zo! Afterwards, I became project coordinator at First Line Telecom, a company that upgraded the Nortel equipment from 2G to 3G mobile networks for both Mobistar and Base. I missed the ‘human aspect’, so after two years I changed job and started at KU Leuven as a recruitment officer. After 6 years focusing on study advice of 18 years old students, informing high schools, teachers, parents and policy makers, I started at the Faculty of Engineering Technology as the communication and external relations officer. I started to work on the PhD project since August 2017 at the Educational Support Services of the faculty.

I love living in my hometown Leuven, together with my partner-in-crime Thomas, a director at the national news channel and my two little, funny and curious boys Gus (° 2008) and Oskar (°2010).


Over the past 5 years, I realized that good orientation and awareness of one's own interests and competences are fundamental in the development of the future self - before, during and after study. The previous years, I focused on recruitment and science communication, i.c. the period before and at the beginning of higher education. I’m looking forward to focus on the period during study to be prepared when entering the labour market.


The PhD project is part of the PREFER project (Professional Roles and Employability for Future EngineerRs). The research aims to develop a Professional Roles Framework for Future Engineers. This framework will describe the different roles engineers can take on at the beginning of their career, independently of the engineering discipline (e.g. electrical, mechanical, chemical). Each role will be characterized by an associated set of transversal skills.

My work is under supervision of prof. Greet Langie.


Phd Researcher TU Delft - PREFER project

Faculty of Aerospace Engineering

Novel Aerospace Materials

Room: NB1.33

Kluyverweg 1



Phd Researcher DIT - PREFER project

CREATE Research Group

Bolton Street 1



I was born in Porto, north Portugal, and raised near Lisbon, Portugal. At Instituto Superior Tecnico, University of Lisbon, I obtain my BSc. and MSc. degrees in Biomedical Engineering, in 2014 and 2016, respectively. During my Master I did two ERASMUS programs in the Netherlands, first at 3mE faculty, TU Delft, and after at the orthopaedics department of Erasmus MC. I am a PhD candidate since April 2017 in the department of Structures and Materials of TU Delft.


I decided to pursue the PhD in engineering education due to personal feeling during studies of a discrepancy between the preparation of graduate engineering students and the academic work and the labour market. I am enthusiastic to reduce this mismatch improving the curriculum elements of engineering higher education institutes.


My PhD project is part of the PREFER (Professional Roles and Employability for Future EngineeRs) project. The research aims to design and implement curriculum elements to increase employability of engineering students in Europe and reduce the skills mismatch between engineering graduates and engineering companies. In order to achieve that a set of transversal skills (Entrepreneurial Skills, Innovation Skills, Communication and Networking Skill, Teamwork and Ways of Thinking, and Lifelong Learning) were defined and will be validated by industry and academia experts, following the development of curriculum elements that focus on the acquisition of these skills, and of methodologies to assess the learning outcomes of engineering students after curriculum elements implementation.

My work is under the supervision of Dr. ir. G. Saunders-Smits and Prof. dr. W. A. Groen.


When I was 16 I took part in the transition year program in my school. As part of the program we had to arrange work placement for 2 weeks of the year. I chose to shadow a physics lecturer from the National University of Ireland Maynooth. I sat in on many of his classes and he was kind enough to buy me several books about teaching and learning. He truly inspired me to pursue a carrier in academia, specifically in physics.

I am a chartered physicist and graduate of Physics Technology, an applied physics course offered by the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT). When I was about halfway through my undergraduate, I realised that, although I loved physics, my passion lay more in educational research. Sitting in lectures I was less interested in the physical concepts and more interested in the lecturers approach to teaching it and the tools used to convey the message. A short time after I met Prof. Bowe and the CREATE Research Group in Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT). I started working on a 7 month project in the area of engineering graduate competencies which resulted in the publication of our work. Since October 2017, I work as a PhD researcher.


After the publication of our work in the CREATE Research Group, I could see the impact of the work almost immediately and I found it very gratifying. My motivation to pursue a PhD is to further my career in academia and to have positive influence on how curricula are designed and implemented.


My PhD project is part of the PREFER (Professional Roles and Employability for Future EngineeRs) project. The research aims to evaluate software developed to test students' transversal skills.

My work is under the supervision of prof. Brian Bowe and Kevin Gaughan.

The PREFER project is cofunded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.

Erasmus+ Knowledge Alliance - 575778-EPP-1-2016-1-BE-EPPKA2-KA

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