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In the shoes of Dries Vanoost, new president of the Belgian mirror TC 47


At the latest SMB-meeting, held on the 4th of February, Dries Vanoost was endorsed as new president of the Belgian mirror TC 47. The scope of this TC is to prepare standards for the design, manufacture, use and reuse of discrete semiconductor devices, integrated circuits, display devices, sensors, electronic component assemblies, interface requirements, and microelectromechanical devices, using environmentally sound practices.

Dries' professional side…
At the end of June 2010, I graduated magna cum laude as Master of Industrial Sciences: Electrical Engineering Automation. My passion for electric motors and the necessary power electronics in electrical driven mechatronic systems has always been great. Because of this, I very deliberately chose a subject for my master's thesis that is very closely related to this, namely the design of a new type of electric motor based on direct control of magnetic flux on the basis of magnetic valves. This thesis won an Innovation Award in 2010. This passion also prompted me to conduct further doctoral research on this topic, financed through an IWT-SBO grant. Through my doctorate, my skills as a researcher were further refined. An FWO grant for a short stay abroad enabled me to do a three-month research internship at the RWTH-Aachen, which gave me the necessary international experience.
After obtaining my PhD in December 2015, I was given the opportunity to pursue my passion as a postdoctoral assistant. In this position, I became responsible for the R&D project "EM-Compliant Design of Cost-Effective PCBAs based on Advanced High-Speed PCB-, EMC- and Simulation-Technology" (EMPass), in which I was able to conduct very practice-oriented research together with the industry. This project allowed me to further apply my simulation skills to EMC-specific problems and transient problems, more specifically ESD. Besides the necessary technical and scientific skills, this project has given me an enormous boost in communication and negotiation skills. Using these skills, I wrote in 2018 my first VLAIO Tetra project "EMC for Wireless Interconnected SystEms" (EWISE) and motivated enough companies to participate. This project was also effectively approved and started on 1 October 2018. Together with the companies, we developed new EMI-related design guidelines for IoT applications. EMI was and still is rightly seen as one of the big hidden challenges in the evolution towards Industry 4.0 and (I)IoT.

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Since September 2019, I have worked as the M-Group research manager at the KU Leuven Bruges Campus. Here I have formed the interaction between the industry and the academy. This interaction resulted in 2 projects. The first one is a European Cornet project with a consortium of 24 Belgium companies and 5 with our German partners. The second one is an O&O project with CNHi focusing on Smart Wireless Active Sensors on Agricultural vehicles (SWAS). Otherwise, I'm also following up on numerous projects within the field of dependable interconnected mechatronic systems. I'm also responsible for the daily supervision of the PhD in addition to a teaching and research assignment. In 2020, my first 2 PhD students that I daily supervised, graduated in the domain of EMI-risk management, and now I'm following seven additional PhD students.
As seen by the projects, my research activities are related to the theme "Dependable interconnected mechatronic systems under complex and/or harsh conditions". In this area, I wish to conduct innovative, progressive and socially/industrially relevant research that complements and support the research by the associated professors of the M-Group.

The man behind the president in a few questions…
1. What’s the best book you’ve read recently?
I do not have a lot of time to read, but I like to follow some podcasts. One of my favorite podcast is Nerdland, a monthly podcast that focusses on science and technology news, presented by Lieven Scheire, together with Hetty Helsmoortel, Jeroen Baert, Stephanie Dehennin, Els Aerts, Bart Van Peer, Peter Berx, Marian Verhelst, Kurt Beheydt and Natha Kerkhofs.
2. What animal would you consider your spirit animal?

During my childhood, I was an active member of the scouts and the totem combative moose was granted to me: this majestic deer is the largest deer in the world. It lives in swamps and forests in cold regions. This silence seeker usually lives solitary and exudes inner peace. When it comes down to it, though, it is a group animal and they live together. The moose defends itself well. He is strong, fast and courageous.
3. What’s your favorite food?

Food is for me a social gathering and taste much better when shared between friends and family. That is why my favorite food is a BBQ feast meal, where the spareribs are the highlight of this event. I prefer my spareribs marinade with honey and species such as sea salt, paprika, black peppers and then smoke to perfection, meaning the meat almost falls off the bone
4. What’s your favorite movie?

Since my childhood, I'm a major fan of the Jurassic park series. A passion that I now can share with my children.
5. Who inspires you?

Next to my father who I always look up to, I have always been inspired by Nikola Tesla. The inventor of the three-phase induction motor and founder of telecommunication systems.

6. Do you have any hidden talents or hobbies?
I like to spend my free time with my children (one girl who is 5 years and twin boys who are 3 years old). I like to guide them to learn new things and amaze them with some scientific experiments. I also like to go on a run when they are cycling beside me. On a sunny day, we go walking or we spend some time on a playground. On a rainy day, we play board games or we watch a (dino) movie.
7. If you could change one thing about your life, what would it be?

I'm quite happy with my life as it is right now. If I would have to change one thing about my life, it would be to live in Bruges, close to my job, so that it would be easier to combine the commute to my work and to get the kids from school.
8. What’s your biggest fear?

As someone who likes to think critically and dive deep into the hard problems and push my mind to find solutions, one of my biggest fears is young dementia. The lack of a cure or effective treatments only adds to the anxiety.
9. What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received?

I received numerous times the compliment that I'm a patient and insight full mentor who takes time to listen. I’m well known to argue and discussing scientific challenges, allowing them to reach new insight and progress in their scientific journey.
10. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Before I would like to be an engineer, I wanted to be an archaeologist or better said a palaeontologist. I was imagining uncovering and studying dinosaur's fossils, attempting to understand what life was like when dinosaurs roamed the Earth.

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