Brochure fellowship event 2018 digitaal low res for mailing

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“At VUB, in the heart of the Brussels Metropolitan Region, we prepare our students for tomorrow’s knowledge economy. We stimulate innovation, entrepreneurship and openness to the world. We want to break down walls between academia and society and build bridges that link our university to the civil society, the business community and policy makers. Our Fellowship programme perfectly meets our aims and objectives.” Caroline Pauwels, Rector VUB


Content Where academia and society meet


Arts and Humanities Fellows VUB


Engineering Fellows VUB


Kurt Lewin Fellows VUB


Law and Criminology Fellows VUB


Movement and Rehabilitation Fellows VUB


Science Fellows VUB


Solvay Fellows VUB


UMC Fellows VUB


VUB Fellows


Fellows VUB - Classes of 2016, 2017 and 2018


Honorary Fellows VUB


Contact 63


Where academia and society meet Since Vrije Universiteit Brussel initiated its Fellowship programme with five Solvay Fellows VUB in 2012, the VUB Fellowship had a significant impact and definitely changed our university. Our Fellows have improved the quality of our research and our education, the employability of our graduates and our overall capacity for innovation and competitiveness. For the seventh time now we are privileged to warmly welcome a new class of Fellows. They will help us to further connect academia and society. Through the VUB Fellowship programme, all who are involved discuss joint challenges, exchange experiences, share good practices and learn from one another for the benefit of research, academic education and society in general. “Fellow VUB� is the highest grade of membership at our Alma Mater, a title bestowed upon unique personalities: top level business people, visionary decision makers and socially relevant personalities. Vicerector Hugo Thienpont



This year we are introducing 37 new Fellows. In total, VUB now has almost one hundred outstanding Fellows while 63 Honorary Fellows have agreed to continue their commitment.

Vicerector Hugo Thienpont University Fellowship Coordinator


“The most important raw material we Europeans have - and that we should invest in - is our knowledge. At the same time, we need innovative ideas, fresh insights, and a healthy portion of entrepreneurship. Only this will lead to tangible, real-life applications with commercial potential that will improve the world we live in.� Eddy Van Gelder, Chairman of the Board of VUB


Arts and Humanities Fellows VUB 2018 FACULTY FELLOWSHIP COORDINATOR:

Martina Temmerman

Kader Abdolah Dirk BrossĂŠ Ilke Froyen Claire Tillekaerts* * Claire Tillekaerts is both Arts and Humanities Fellow and VUB Fellow (see page 58)


Kader Abdolah

Proximi: Philippe Humblé & Arvi Sepp Bio: Kader Abdolah grew up in a religious Muslim family. At the age of 12, he became interested in Western literature and became acquainted with Western society. He studied physics at the University of Tehran (Arak College of Science) and graduated in 1977. At that time, he joined a left-wing political party that opposed the Shah’s regime and later that of the ayatollahs. He adopted his current name as a tribute to two friends who were executed, one during the reign of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the other under Khomeini. Abdolah fled to the Netherlands in 1985, where he mastered the Dutch language with the help of children’s books, such as those by Annie MG Schmidt, and Dutch-language poetry. In 1993 he made his debut with De Adelaars, a collection of short stories that won the Gouden Ezelsoor prize. Many of his subsequent books became bestsellers and his work has been translated into many languages. His literary work deals with life between two cultures, between languages, and the difficulties of living in exile. His literary and intellectual achievements have also resonated within academia. In 2009, for example, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. Writer

“For me, this is a special way of putting students into contact with the real world. Normally it takes a long time before students make contact with the tough world outside the university, but in this way you bring representatives of that tough world into the university. As far as literature is concerned, I’ll do my best to make this contact possible.” 8 | Faculty LW|Arts and Humanities Fellow VUB 2018

Dirk Brossé

Proxima: Kristin Van den Buys Bio: Dirk Brossé is passionate about music and has worked all over the world as a conductor and composer. Currently music director of the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia and Ghent Film Festival, he has conducted all the leading Belgian orchestras and more than 120 orchestras all over the world. He has written some 400 works, including concerti, oratorios, lieder, chamber music and symphonic works, and is known for his film scores and musicals. His score for the BBC/HBO series Parade’s End was nominated for an Emmy Award, while his score for the Dutch film Knielen was nominated for the Golden Calf Award. Brossé has been awarded the title of Cultural Ambassador of Flanders, the Flemish Parliament’s Gold Medal for Merit, the Achille Van Acker Prize, the Joseph Plateau Honorary Award and the Global Thinkers Forum Award for Excellence in Cultural Creativity. In 2013 he was elevated to Belgium’s hereditary nobility, with the title of Knight. He is a member of the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts.

Composer and conductor

“I see the Fellowship as a permanent dialogue between enterprising, playful, creative and critical-thinking people. It’s an exciting confrontation at the crossroads where old and new thoughts complement, challenge and reinforce one another.” FACULTY LW | ARTS AND HUMANITIES FELLOW VUB 2018 | 9

Ilke Froyen

Proxima: Elisabeth Bekers Bio: Ilke Froyen is general director of Passa Porta, the International House of Literature in Brussels, and director of the biennial Passa Porta Festival, Europe’s most international literary festival. She sits on the board of various cultural organisations in Brussels and Flanders, including Brussels Kunstenoverleg, Cultuurraad Stad Brussel, reading foundation “Iedereen Leest” and youth theatre Bronks. Having studied literature at the universities of Leuven, Aberdeen and Hull from 1990 to 1995, she developed her professional career in the field. She was an assistant in English literature at KU Brussels, worked as an editor, became a literary reviewer for cultural programmes De Wandelgangen, Dito and Neon on Flanders’ Radio 1, and in 2002 became communication and festival programme manager at Het Beschrijf/Passa Porta. She ran several editions of the Passa Porta Festival, Het Groot Beschrijf, Vers Brussel/Poëzie in de Stad and Literair Rendez-vous, coordinated the Passa Porta writer-in-residence programme and curated the international graphic short story competition Brussels in Shorts, before becoming general director in 2015. General director Passa Porta

“Writers are unique thinkers, not tied to the interests of others. The university wants to be a similarly independent space for free thinkers. A rapprochement of both groups of free thinkers, with ‘free’ in the sense of ‘independent, radical, innovative’, can increase engagement and commitment to use this free thinking in a targeted and meaningful way.” 10 | Faculty LW|Arts and Humanities Fellow VUB 2018

Claire Tillekaerts

Proximus: Georges Declercq Bio: Claire Tillekaerts is CEO of Flanders Investment and Trade, as well as co-founder of the Aurore Ruyffelaere Fund, created in 2016 under the auspices of the King Baudouin Foundation. She is the most prominent commercial diplomat of our region. She founded the Aurore Ruyffelaere Fund to continue the work of her daughter Aurore, a history teacher and VUB-student, who was grievously taken away from her in 2013. The aim of the organisation is to bring attention to remembrance education in the fight against all forms of extreme nationalism, racism and discrimination, and in the promotion of the Enlightenment principles of liberty, equality and fraternity. It supports projects in remembrance education in secondary schools.

“Building bridges between the academic, the economic and the governmental levels is key to the further development of an open, innovative and future-driven society. Exchanging experiences, getting to know each other with an open mind and no boundaries, discovering new shared paths to follow... all this can enrich our joint efforts to the benefit of all our fellow world citizens.�

CEO Flanders Investment and Trade


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Abdellah Touhafi

Hilde Crevits*

Anneke Hunninck

Marc Demarche

Fauzaya Talhaoui

Steven Dewitte

Sven Vandeputte

* Hilde Crevits is both Engineering and Kurt Lewin Fellow VUB (see page 22)

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Hilde Crevits

Proxima : Annick Hubin Bio: Hilde Crevits studied law at Ghent University and spent time as an independent lawyer. From 1990 to 1996, she was a part-time assistant at the Department of Civil Law in the Faculty of Law at UGent. Her political career with CD&V began in 2000 as a member of the provincial council of West Flanders, until 2004. In 2001 she became an alderman of the city of Torhout. After the local council elections of 2006, she was the first alderman to have responsibility for, among other things, public works and housing policy. Following the regional elections in 2004, she was elected to the Flemish parliament until 2007, then became Flemish Minister for Public Works, Energy, environment and nature. After the regional elections of 2009 she became Minister for Public works and mobility. Since 2014 she has been Flemish Minister for Education.

Vice-Minister-President of the Government of Flanders and Flemish Minister for Education

14 | Faculty IR | Engineering Fellow VUB 2018

“As Minister for Education, I’m a great believer in an academic world that has both feet firmly in society. At a time when volatility and superficiality often dominate public discourse, such an independent, free-thinking yet engaged academic world is the best guarantee of an honest and democratic debate.”

Marc Demarche

Proximi: Marc Van Overmeire & Dirk Lefeber Bio: Marc Demarche obtained a master’s degree in electromechanical engineering from VUB in 1988, and an MBA from the same university in 1997. His professional career started as assistant professor at VUB in 1988 before joining Ondraf/Niras, the Belgian National Agency for Radioactive Waste and Enriched Fissile Material, in 1991. He began as a project engineer for storage buildings until 1996 before becoming head of the waste acceptance criteria division in 1997. From 1999 to 2008, he was director of EIG Euridice, a joint venture between the Belgian Nuclear Research Center and Ondraf/Niras. Currently, he is director-general of Ondraf/ Niras and chair of the board of EIG Euridice.

“In my professional life I have to implement technically complex projects in society. In general, this happens by discussing the technical proposal with the different stakeholders and thus bringing balance between technical and societal aspects. This is how stakeholders become shareholders. I want to share this experience because I am convinced that one day this will help graduates in their professional journey.”

Director-general Ondraf/Niras

FACULTY IR | Engineering Fellow VUB 2018 | 15

Steven Dewitte

Proximus: Francis Berghmans Bio: Steven Dewitte received his PhD from VUB in 1998. His research on ‘Local instantaneous radiation budget, measured from geostationary and polar satellites’ was conducted with the RMI and he joined this institute permanently following his graduation. He is now in charge of services and research related to weather and climate observations and of the core activity on satellite observations (such as the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites), which are the most important input for weather prediction and climate monitoring. He has made groundbreaking contributions to solar radiation observations and earth radiation budget measurements. He is also a part-time lecturer at Ghent University, where he teaches on aspects of teledetection in the postgraduate Weather and Climate Modelling programme.

Head of observations, scientific division Royal Meteorological Institute (RMI)

16 | FACULTY IR | Engineering Fellow VUB 2018

“I enjoy working in an environment that combines intellectual and technological challenges with societal relevance. Observing the earth from space, to deliver advanced weather forecasts and to understand climate change, is my main area of expertise. I appreciate VUB for its stimulation of free thinking and as a partner for innovation.”

Anneke Hunninck

Proxima: Annick Hubin

Bio: Anneke Hunninck graduated as an electromechanical engineer at VUB in 1998 and started her career at the refinery of Total in Antwerp. In 2000 she obtained a second master’s degree at VUB, as a safety engineer. After Total, she gained experience in several multinational services companies, including SGS and Securitas. She successfully restructured sales teams and managed several operational teams. In 2012 she became technical director at inspection and certification organisation Vinçotte. In 2015 she decided to broaden her perspective and started a global executive MBA programme at Erasmus University Rotterdam, gaining a master’s degree in 2017. Today she is part of the management team of Eriks, an international industrial service provider that offers high-quality mechanical engineering components.

“Some characteristics that come to my mind when I think of VUB are liberal-minded, open communication at all levels, free from prejudice, decisions based on facts and figures. These are all principles I identify with. As a Fellow I will continue spreading these fundamentals within my circle of influence, whether it is in the academic world or industry. And secondly, I will motivate others to continuously reinvent themselves.”

Division manager Eriks

FACULTY IR | Engineering Fellow VUB 2018 | 17

Fauzaya Talhaoui

Proximus: Svend Bram Bio: Fauzaya Talhaoui received her master’s in law from Antwerp University in the early 1990. After the elected she became a member of the Belgian senate, creating a milestone as the first woman of Moroccan origin to reach this political level. In 2013 she co-created the consultancy FDM Invest, in which she is active as CEO and project facilitator between European companies and North African stakeholders. The company’s main mission is to actively assist and coach entrepreneurs to create viable and successful enterprises in Belgium or Morocco.

CEO FDM Invest

18 | FACULTY IR | Engineering Fellow VUB 2018

“Since my early university years, I have combined studies with social engagement in the youth and women’s movement and academic research in the human rights and refugee movement. We created Green Goat, a startup studio in the bio-based and circular economy in the Oriental region of Morocco. This is a company with a social and environmental goal to contribute to sustainable development and innovative change supported by science-based technology and know-how. Interactive collaboration and exchange between these startups and VUB is in the pipeline and should lead to applications and training.”

Sven Vandeputte Proximus: Herman Terryn

Bio: Sven Vandeputte has worked at Ocas, the Research Centre for the Application of Steel, since 1997. The centre used to be part of Sidmargroep, then Arcelor and now ArcelorMittal. In the beginning he was the coordinator of research into deepdrawing steels, then programme leader for research into high-strength steels, then department head of substrate development, and since 2003 managing director. Ocas is responsible for research for all industrial non-automotive applications of steel, for both product development and application research. Since 2010 he has also been responsible for sister company Finindus, an investment society targeting innovative companies in the metal sector, and 1-SenS, a property association and serviceprovider that counts various R&D centres among its clients.

“Whether you think of the old ‘Scientia vincere tenebras’ or the fundamental ‘Redelijk eigenzinnig’, both reflect very well VUB’s specificity in the academic landscape. With this mindset, establishing and reinforcing links between industrial innovators and VUB will be of mutual benefit. I am more than willing to put VUB in contact with researchers from the multinational and startup companies I am active in to help solve relevant technological and societal challenges.”

Managing director Ocas

FACULTY IR | Engineering Fellow VUB 2018 | 19

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Kurt Lewin Fellows VUB 2018 Faculty Fellowship Coordinator:

Dominique VertĂŠ

Hilde Crevits* Piet Goddaer Fons Leroy Goedele Liekens * Hilde Crevits is both Kurt Lewin and Engineering Fellow VUB (see page 14)

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Hilde Crevits

Proximus : Dominique Verté Bio: Hilde Crevits studied law at Ghent University and spent time as an independent lawyer. From 1990 to 1996, she was a part-time assistant at the Department of Civil Law in the Faculty of Law at UGent. Her political career with CD&V began in 2000 as a member of the provincial council of West Flanders, until 2004. In 2001 she became an alderman of the city of Torhout. After the local council elections of 2006, she was the first alderman to have responsibility for, among other things, public works and housing policy. Following the regional elections in 2004, she was elected to the Flemish parliament until 2007, then became Flemish Minister for Public Works, Energy, Environment and Nature. After the regional elections of 2009 she became Minister for Public Works and Mobility. Since 2014 she has been Flemish Minister for Education.

Vice-Minister-President of the Government of Flanders and Flemish Minister for Education

22 | FACULTY PE | Kurt Lewin Fellow VUB 2018

“As Minister for Education, I’m a great believer in an academic world that has both feet firmly in society. At a time when volatility and superficiality often dominate public discourse, such an independent, free-thinking yet engaged academic world is the best guarantee of an honest and democratic debate.”

Piet Goddaer

Proximus: Free De Backer Bio: Since David Bowie praised Ozark Henry’s debut album as one of his favourites, the Belgian artist has produced music ranging from avant-garde electronica to pop and a symphonic album with the National Orchestra of Belgium. Ozark Henry’s universe is defined by a blending of craft with experiment, audio with visual, heritage with technology TEDx and Google New York invited him to talk about his ground-breaking work in 3D immersive sound. He is also a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador against human trafficking, working with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and local NGOs to raise awareness about this modernday form of slavery and to support the Blue Heart Campaign and the Trust Fund for Victims of Human Trafficking.

Artist (stage name Ozark Henry)

“Science helps us to find answers to the biggest challenges we face, but I have learned that one needs to be active in their domain outside the academic world to be able to ask the right questions.” FACULTY PE | Kurt Lewin Fellow VUB 2018 | 23

Fons Leroy

Proximus: Joeri Hofmans Bio: Fons Leroy is the founder, former chair and current vice-chair of the non-profit organisation Synerjob, the association of Belgian public employment and training services, and a member of the federal government’s High Council for Employment. He is also chair of the European Network of Public Employment Services and board member of the strategic work group of the World Association of Public Employment Services.

Chair European Public Employment Services

24 | FACULTY PE | Kurt Lewin Fellow VUB 2018

“Our society, including our labour market, is facing important transformations linked to digitalisation, robotisation and AI technologies. These transformations require new holistic answers that are to be found in strong networks among a diversity of actors in society. Renowned knowledge institutions such as VUB should be at the centre of such networks because of the necessity to critically analyse these transformations, to scientifically underpin new thinking and action schemes, and to prepare our young people for tomorrow’s society.”

Goedele Liekens

Proxima: Gina Rossi

Bio: Goedele Liekens is a TV presenter, psychologist and sexologist. After years as the leading lady of Flemish television, she now presents TV shows about sex in Flanders, the Netherlands and the UK. As a campaigner for a better sexual experience, she has written various bestsellers that have been published in several languages. For more than 15 years, she has served as a Goodwill Ambassador for the UN’s Population Fund. She calls for better access to sexual and reproductive health, and campaigns on issues including the needs of female refugees, the tragedy of obstetric fistulae and the HIV epidemic. Thanks to her work with the UN, she has met women and girls in countries such as Afghanistan, Botswana, Ethiopia and Iraq. In 2010, she was named a Millennium Development Goal Champion by the UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon. Today she is best known for her work to promote sex education as an essential part of schooling in Flanders and the Netherlands.

Television presenter, psychologist and sexologist

“I feel honoured and moved to receive this VUB Fellowship acknowledgement. I don’t feel I have earned it, since all I have done has been to enjoy myself while trying to find out about some of the mysteries of the brain and mind! How lucky can one be… Psychology teaches you all you need to understand and do well in the world.” FACULTY PE | Kurt Lewin Fellow VUB 2018 | 25

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Law and Criminology Fellows VUB 2018 Faculty Fellowship Coordinator:

Guido Van Limberghen

Bruno Luyten Paul Friedrich Nemitz Ricardo RamĂ­rez-HernĂĄndez Anne Vanderstappen Brigitte Vermeersch | 27

Bruno Luyten

Proxima: Elisabeth Alofs Bio: Bruno Luyten studied law and notarial law at the VUB. He was first sollicitor and became a judge in a civil law chamber at the tribunal of first instance in Mechelen in 1991. Between 1996 and 1999 he dealt with seizure proceedings. In 1999 he became a judge at the Antwerp Court of Appeal. In 2014 he was appointed president of the Antwerp Court of Appeal. At the VUB he held the 9th Gommaar Van Oosterwyck Chair.

President Antwerp Court of Appeal

28 | FACULTY RC | Law and Criminology Fellow VUB 2018

“The law training I enjoyed at VUB was practice-oriented. We learned what the law is for. Too often, lawyers lose themselves in endless theoretical arguments that have nothing to do with those people who are seeking justice. The first goal of legal training should be to shape competent, ethical lawyers who can make a valuable contribution to society. I found that at VUB.�

Paul Friedrich Nemitz Proximus: Paul De Hert

Bio: Paul Nemitz currently serves as the principal advisor in the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers. In his previous post as director for fundamental rights and union citizenship, he led negotiations on the code of conduct against hate speech on the internet, the EU-US Privacy Shield and the EU General Data Protection Regulation, which contains the right to be forgotten. He launched a justice policy workstream on democracy, freedom of speech and press plurality in Europe, starting with the Colloquium of Fundamental Rights hosted in November 2016 by Frans Timmermans, the first vice-president of the European Commission. Nemitz has published extensively on EU law and holds a position as visiting professor of law at the College of Europe in Bruges.

Principal advisor European Commission

“Where academics speak to truth and are heard by practitioners, a new age of enlightenment dawns. Where academics are inspired by practitioners to seek relevance, together they can give purpose to technological and economic progress. This is what Fellowships in which ‘Academia meets Society’ are about.” FACULTY RC | Law and Criminology Fellow VUB 2018 | 29

Ricardo Ramírez-Hernández Proximus: Kim Van der Borght

Bio: Ricardo Ramirez was judge of the highest court on international trade, the Appellate Body of the World Trade Organization (WTO), for more than 8 years (2009-2017). He was the first Mexican to be part of the WTO’s Appellate Body and was elected for two consecutive terms as Chair. In 2017, he was appointed by the Chairman of the Administrative Council of the World Bank to the Panel of Arbitrators of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) for a period of 6 years. Prior to this appointments, Ricardo Ramírez worked at the Ministry of Economy where he represented Mexico and served as the lead attorney in several international trade negotiations, as well as in several disputes brought before the WTO and other trade agreements. Ramirez is Professor at the Faculty of Law of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and Chairman of the International Trade Professors Association of UNAM. He holds a Law Degree by the Autonomous Metropolitan University of Mexico and a Master of Laws on International Legal Studies by the American University.

ICSID Arbitrator (World Bank)

“‘Academia meets Society’ nurtures two of the most valuable aspects of learning: integration and the value of diversity. In these convoluted times, the value of economic and social integration and diversity should be promoted. More than ever, ‘Academia meets Society’ needs to instil the importance of these values.” 30 | FACULTY RC | Law and Criminology Fellow VUB 2018

Anne Vanderstappen

Proximus: Guido Van Limberghen Bio: After gaining a master’s degree in history, Anne Vanderstappen started her career as a teacher. After a short time, she joined the organisation for the self-employed that later became known as Unizo. She began in the marketing department and after a few years became an advisor on social affairs. She represented her organisation on many public consultative bodies, thereby contributing to the improvement of social rights for the self-employed entrepreneurs. From 1999 until 2012 she was chair of the Overall Management Committee for the Social security of the Self-Employed. This public committee advises the government and the legislator in matters of the social well-being of self-employed people. In 2013, she became General Administrator of the National Institute for the Social security of the Self-Employed.

“In a world of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity, where everything changes faster and faster and new technologies are rapidly superseded, learning and development are central key concepts. The meeting between universities and society can play a crucial role in this new world and make an exciting future possible.”

General Administrator National Institute for the Social Security of the Self-Employed


Brigitte Vermeersch Proximus: Michel Maus

Bio: Brigitte Vermeersch is a respected notary with a great network. She has an academic interest as well, since she has a history as an assistant at the VUB Law Faculty. She was appointed as academic director for the recent Notarial Congress in Ghent in September 2017.


32 | FACULTY RC | Law and Criminology Fellow VUB 2018

“If young people follow an academic training, their view of their environment changes, and thereby that environment and society will also change. The role of academic education in society is a great one. I myself was shaped academically at VUB; as a working student I gained my law and notarial law degrees there. I am proud and enthusiastic that I can share my experience and knowledge with these young people.�

MOVEMENT AND REHABILITATION Fellows VUB 2018 Faculty Fellowship Coordinator:


Harriët Jager-Wittenaar Jo Vander Schueren

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Harriët Jager-Wittenaar Proximus: Aldo Scafoglieri

Bio: Harriët Jager-Wittenaar is lecturer in clinical malnutrition and healthy ageing in the Healthy Ageing, Allied Health Care and Nursing research group at Hanze University of Applied Sciences in Groningen, the Netherlands. She is also a lecturer in nutrition and dietetics and senior researcher at the Department of Maxillofacial Surgery at the University Medical Center Groningen. She gained her PhD in medical sciences on the topic of malnutrition in head and neck cancer patients. Her current research line focuses on nutritional assessment, malnutrition and risk factors and imaging techniques to assess body composition. Other main research themes are the relationship between malnutrition and frailty, and the role of physical activity in the development and treatment of malnutrition, in older adults and patients with chronic diseases. Since 2017, she has led the European Specialist Dietetic Network for Older Adults, an expert committee within the European Federation of Associations of Dietitians.

Lecturer in clinical malnutrition and healthy ageing at Hanze University of Applied Sciences in Groningen

“By combining our expertise on body composition assessment and healthy ageing, and while sharing free but critical thinking, the honourable Fellowship is a great opportunity for conducting collaborative research that will contribute to prevention and treatment of frailty, and add healthy life years to the ageing citizens in our society.”


Jo Vander Schueren

Proximus: Aldo Scafoglieri

Bio: Jo Vander Schueren has been general manager at SecureLink Belgium since 2015. He studied accounting and finance at Vlerick Leuven-Gent Management School and has been with SecureLink for the past 11 years, first as account manager, then as corporate account manager and quality coordinator and finally as sales manager. He is responsible for the operational management of SecureLink in Belgium. His principal task is to maintain a balance between focusing on quality and putting the expertise available to the best possible use on the one hand, and creating a pleasant working environment for his staff on the other.

“Data and digital innovation are changing – and will keep changing – our lives at a very fast pace. But is it always for the better? As a Fellow, I hope to contribute and learn in this discussion. Knowledge and information need to be shared. The value of knowledge lies in sharing that knowledge and using it to create a better place for all. A place for business, society and academia to meet and share is something we need to support and something I am honoured to contribute to.”

General manager SecureLink


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SCIENCE Fellows VUB 2018 Faculty Fellowship Coordinator:

Freya Blekman

Marc Ceusters Françoise Chombar Aglaée Degros James Gitundu Kairo

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Marc Ceusters

Proximus: Frank De Proft Bio: Marc Ceusters is an organic chemist. He completed his PhD in peptide chemistry at VUB in 1992. Specifically, he studied enkephalins; these pentapeptides, occurring naturally in the brain, are related to endorphins and produce similar physiological effects. After obtaining his PhD, he began to work at Janssen Pharmaceuticals as a medicinal chemist in fundamental research. He is now a compound development teamleader in the field of neuroscience.

Compound development teamleader Janssen Pharmaceuticals

38 | FACULTY WE | Science Fellow VUB 2018

“The world is our laboratory. There is a huge need for collaboration and partnership between academia and industry to advance the understanding of central nervous system disorders and to find solutions for the high medical need in central nervous system disorders. As a Science Fellow I hope to contribute to building a bridge between VUB, industry and society.�

Françoise Chombar

Proxima: Ann Dooms

Bio: Françoise Chombar is the co-founder of Melexis, a mixed signal semiconductor manufacturer for the automotive industry. She has been the CEO for 12 years; before that she was COO for six years. She is also president of the advisory board of the Stem Platform, aiming to encourage young people to choose an education in science, technology, engineering or mathematics. In addition she has been a mentor for the Sofia Women’s Network, a mentoring, networking and educational programme for women working in management in the for-profit sector for 17 years. And for the past five years she has been committed to promoting female access to directorship roles within Belgian enterprises through her membership of the Woman on Board organisation. In 2016, she won the Vlerick Award.

CEO Melexis and president

“Universities and businesses are both breeding grounds for human innovative potential. Lifelong learning has become essential in these times of exponential change. Learning together makes us go faster, hopefully to match the groundbreaking speed of today’s technological progress. I’m highly grateful for the opportunity to contribute!”

Stem Platform

FACULTY WE | Science Fellow VUB 2018 | 39

Aglaée Degros

Proximus: Michael Ryckewaert Bio: Aglaée Degros is founding partner, architect, urban planner and participation expert at Artgineering, a renowned urban design practice originally based in Rotterdam and now based in Brussels. She was a researcher at TU Delft and guest professor at the Akademie der Bildenden Kunsten in Vienna. She has published extensively on public space and infrastructure design, has great expertise in urban projects and public space design – in particular in Brussels – and is a regular guest critic and visiting lecturer at numerous universities and architecture and urban design institutes in Europe. Since 2016 she has been a professor and Head of Institute of Urbanism at the Institüt fur Städtebau at Graz University of Technology in Austria.

Professor and head of Institute of Urbanism at Graz University of Technology

“The defining strength of the urbanism group at VUB is its engagement with the city. In order to genuinely improve the city, with regard to matters of mobility, air pollution and social inclusion, research and practice must go hand in hand.” 40 | FACULTY WE | Science Fellow VUB 2018

James Gitundu Kairo Proximus: Nico Koedam

Bio: James Kairo graduated from the University of Nairobi with a BSc and MSc in biology, focusing on forestry. His MSc promotor was dr. Dirk Van Speybroeck, a VUB alumnus who was teaching at the university at that time and was an official at the UN Environment Programme. This led to the launch of mangrove research at VUB, in which Kairo played a crucial role, covering the Kenyan coast from Somalia to Tanzania. Employed at the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute after completing his PhD at VUB, he has become a senior scientist with a high international profile. He is frequently invited to lend his expertise to blue carbon and mangrove management initiatives around the world. Besides this expert consultancy, he carries out his mandate as policy support through scientific reports, as well as research translated into peer-reviewed output. He often emphasises his roots at VUB, making him a window for the university on sciencebased sustainability issues in the developing world.

Principal research officer at the Kenya

“VUB opened up to me the world of scientific enquiry into humanity and its relationship with nature. With the changing climate, one can easily witness how humanity is vulnerable! Solutions rest on how we sustainably manage our natural capital, including the oceans, forests and biodiversity within. That is my vision.�

Marine and Fisheries Research Institute, Mombasa

FACULTY WE | Science Fellow VUB 2018 | 41

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Solvay Fellows VUB 2018 Faculty Fellowship Coordinator:


Lars Bové Ann Caluwaerts An De Pauw Shada Islam Daniëlle Jacobs | 43

Lars Bové

Proximus: Ike Picone Bio: Lars Bové is a journalist at the Belgian newspaper De Tijd and a teacher of journalism in Brussels (Campus Persgroep) and Antwerp (Lessius Hogeschool). He began his reporting career in 2003, first as an investigative journalist for the Belgian magazine Humo and later for De Tijd. As an investigative reporter he unveiled several scandals, such as the Fortisgate scandal that caused the Belgian government to resign in 2008, a corruption scandal within the Brussels justice system and the massive fiscal fraud in the Antwerp diamond business, as well as the Belgian chapters of both the Panama and Paradise Papers. He has received awards for his work, such as the Citibank Journalistic Excellence Award 2012 for an investigation into the profits of the criminal economy in Belgium, and the Belfius Press Award 2013 for an investigative report on the fiscal contributions of billionaire Bernard Arnault.

Editor & coordinator investigative journalism De Tijd

44 | FACULTY ES | Solvay Fellow VUB 2018

“As a journalist, I have to keep track of everything that’s going on in society. As an investigative journalist, I have to be able to bring ‘inconvenient truths’ into the light, however much opposition there might be to them. That’s an attitude I nurtured at VUB and is something I want to continue to spread.”

Ann Caluwaerts

Proxima: Katia Segers

Bio: Ann Caluwaerts started her career in 1990 as an engineer at Lernout and Hauspie Speech Products. In 1994 she started working for BT Global Services as product manager voice services, becoming director of marketing and regulation two years later and in 2001 being appointed Vice-President strategy and transformation. In 2011 she was asked to join Telenet as senior Vice-President Media Relations and Public Affairs. Today she is Chief Corporate Affairs. Since November 2016, she has also been a member of the board of directors of Voka and Imec.

“The world is changing at an exponential rate. In this changing world it is our responsibility to connect people and create experiences for a better quality of life. Being able to exchange ideas, share experiences, get fresh insights and engage with people from different backgrounds is a necessity. I look forward to playing my part in further breaking down the walls between science and society in the hope of ultimately improving the world we live in.�

Chief Corporate Affairs Telenet Group

FACULTY ES | Solvay Fellow VUB 2018 | 45

An De Pauw

Proxima: Elvira Haezendonck Bio: After a successful career built up from 2006 to 2015 at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, An De Pauw became Belgium and Luxembourg’s country manager for Tesla. Thanks to her experience with a world leader and market innovator in electric cars, D’Ieteren acquired her services in 2017 to strengthen its position in this sector, particularly for VW.

Electric & low emission manager D’Ieteren

46 | FACULTY ES | Solvay Fellow VUB 2018

“The automotive industry is going through its biggest revolution since Henry Ford introduced the principles of mass production in 1908. All aspects of automotive mobility are undergoing a tremendous amount of change, from powertrain technology (from internal combustion to electric or hydrogen) to the commercial operating model (from mono-channel physical point of sales to omni-channel retail) to the way mobility services are consumed (from owning to sharing and from driving to being driven). The VUB Fellowship programme provides an excellent opportunity to continue the cross-fertilisation between the academic and the industrial world in this fascinating domain.”

Shada Islam

Proximus: Luk Van Langenhove Bio: Shada Islam started her career as a correspondent for Asia’s leading news weekly, the Far Eastern Economic Review, where she worked for more than 20 years. At the same time, she worked extensively for the BBC on development issues, as well as on world trade, including the Doha Round trade negotiations. She joined the European Policy Centre think tank in Brussels in 2007, where she was responsible for EU-Asia relations. In 2011, she set up Friends of Europe’s successful Asia Programme, rapidly making it one of Europe’s most influential knowledge platforms on EU-Asia relations. Today, she is responsible for policy oversight of Friends of Europe’s initiatives, activities and publications. She also has special responsibility for the Asia Programme and for the Development Policy Forum. Finally, she is a visiting professor at the College of Europe in the European Interdisciplinary Studies Department in Natolin, Warsaw.

“In a world in turmoil, marked by uncertainty and anxiety over the future, academia has a vital role to play in informing and educating society about all the key political, economic and societal challenges of the day – while helping people to deal with these challenges. To do this, academics must be active participants of society, including through their interaction with students and other young people, their publications, speaking engagements and their engagement with media, including social media. There is no room for silos in the 21st century. We must all work together.”

Director of policy Friends of Europe

FACULTY ES | Solvay Fellow VUB 2018 | 47

Daniëlle Jacobs

Proximus: Michaël Dooms Bio: After studying economic sciences at VUB, Daniëlle Jacobs worked for Xylos, Febelfin and Beltug, the largest association of Belgian ICT professionals, where she is now general manager. In 2011, she was appointed chair of Intug, a mandate that she combines with Beltug. Intug represents business users of electronic services internationally. She is a member of the Belgian Consultative Committee on Telecommunications and a member of the board of, a non-profit organisation whose mission is to register domain names under the top level

General manager Beltug | chair Intug

48 | FACULTY ES | Solvay Fellow VUB 2018

“The use, opportunities and challenges of digital technology already influence the lives of every citizen and the universe of every company. And this is just the beginning, as we face the coming reality of artificial intelligence and the relevance of data privacy. To understand and address the ethical and social impacts, business and academia must work together. With its traditions of openmindedness, VUB has a key role to play in this joint effort.”

UMC Fellows VUB 2018 Faculty Fellowship Coordinator:

Dirk Devroey

Margot Cloet Pedro Facon Martine Huybrechts Leo Neels Frank Robben | 49

Margot Cloet

Proximus: Jan Beeckmans Bio: Margot Cloet is a pedagogue and started her career in youth care, first as supervisor and then as co-founder and director of the non-profit Minor Ndako. Then she was an advisor to public health and welfare Minister Steven Vanackere and spokesperson for his successor, Veerle Heeren. In 2010 she became Deputy Head of Cabinet, then Head of Cabinet of Flemish Minister for Welfare, Public Health and Family Jo Vandeurzen. From that position, she built a thorough understanding of the health and welfare landscape in Flanders and negotiated with the various policy levels. She has also contributed to the implementation of the sixth State reform, which has major implications for care and welfare. She was appointed CEO of Zorgnet-Icuro in 2017.

CEO Zorgnet-Icuro

“Academia and healthcare organisations are strong partners for sharing knowledge and best practices. As a Flemish hospital, UZ Brussel has a unique position in a multicultural capital. As a Fellow, I would like to support networking and reinforce access to quality healthcare, equity and solidarity in a fast-changing society.� 50 | FACULTY GF | UMC Fellow VUB 2018

Pedro Facon

Proximus: Koen Putman Bio: From 2002 to 2005, Pedro Facon was a scientific researcher, teacher and trainer at the Public Management Institute at KU Leuven. From 2005, he was an advisor for the National Institute for Health and Disability Insurance with regard to strategy, organisational development and internal audit. In 2014, he was appointed chief of staff for healthcare for the federal public health and social security Minister Maggie De Block. In 2017, he was appointed director-general healthcare at the Belgian Federal Public Service Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment.

“Belgium enjoys high-quality academia. Our academic institutions play a key role in educating our citizens and preparing them for highvalue contributions to the challenges our society faces. Our academic institutions underpin this educational role with state-of-the-art research and development, especially in a sector like healthcare. We need to reflect on how we can even better create and reinforce synergies between academia, society and policymakers. I am happy to contribute to this beautiful challenge.�

Director-general healthcare at the Belgian Federal Public Service Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment

FACULTY GF | UMC Fellow VUB 2018 | 51

Martine Huybrechts Proximus: Marc Noppen

Bio: Dr Martine Huybrechts obtained the degree of doctor of medicine, surgery and obstetrics in 1983 at VUB, and set up a general practice in Wemmel in the same year. She is one of the leading general practitioners in the area and has served various functions, including presidency at the local association of GPs. She also trains GPs-in-training, linked to her Alma Mater. She is married to Dr Karl von Kemp, MD VUB 1983, who is a cardiologist in Wemmel and at the Centre for Heart and Vessel Disease at UZ Brussel.

Doctor of medicine

52 | FACULTY GF | UMC Fellow VUB 2018

“This Fellowship is an opportunity to improve communication between patients, easily accessible general practitioners and high-tech hospital medicine. This requires mutual respect and trust. The Fellowship is also an opportunity to stress that Poincaré’s maxim holds true for medicine, too: medical practice should be based on sound evidence whenever possible.”

Leo Neels

Proximus: Alain Dupont Bio: Leo Neels has been general director and board member of Itinera since 2014 and was a professor in media and communications law at the University of Leuven from 1980 until 2013. He was chair of the board of directors of Belga News Agency from 1994 until 2014. Leo Neels worked as a lawyer from 1975 until 1990 and from 1994 until 2002, and most recently as a partner at Allen & Overy. He was director-general at broadcaster VTM from 1989 to 1993. In 2003 he became general director of till 2013. He has been chair of the advisory board of Vlerick Healthcare Management Centre of Vlerick Business School since 2013.

“Academics have a privileged position and opportunities to contribute to society, while modern democracies and welfare states have difficulty inspiring trust and a collaborative spirit with their diverse population. We can’t afford to be negligent in that regard and have to take care of our societal model, stressing the importance of inclusion of all citizens. This calls for an active presence of universities and their researchers in civil society and in the public sphere, in order to feed the discourse on matters of public interest with insights and perspectives that can motivate all citizens to engage for a sustainable future for future generations. In our teaching capacity, we have the privilege to work with youngsters and to inspire them to be role models for the common good in challenging times.�

General director and board member Itinera

FACULTY GF | UMC Fellow VUB 2018 | 53

Frank Robben

Proximus: Michel Deneyer Bio: Frank Robben studied law at KU Leuven and graduated in 1984. He specialised in legal informatics and social security during his studies and afterwards at the University of Tübingen and at the Max-Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy in Munich. In 1987, he followed additional training in computer auditing at the Institute for postgraduate studies in Antwerp and in 1992 obtained a postgraduate degree in business administration at KU Leuven. In 2004, Frank was appointed CEO of Smals, the most important (not-for-profit) ICT-service provider in the Belgian social security sector. In 2014, along with a number of colleagues, Frank initiated the development of a government cloud (G-Cloud). Since 1991, Frank is general manager of the Crossroads Bank for Social Security, an institution he conceived and founded.

General manager Crossroads Bank for Social Security

54 | FACULTY GF | UMC Fellow VUB 2018

“Continuous cross-fertilisation between the academic world, companies and the government is crucial for social evolution. This is certainly the case in a domain like e-health, in which I am active. This Fellowship allows me to actively participate in a very valuable multidisciplinary network of knowledge- and experience-sharing.”

VUB Fellows 2018 university Fellowship Coordinator:

Hugo Thienpont

Bob Elsen Farida Lamkanfi Claire Tillekaerts* Guy Vanhengel *Claire Tillekaerts is both VUB Fellow and Arts and Humanities Fellow VUB (see page 11)

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Bob Elsen

Proxima: Caroline Pauwels Bio: Bob Elsen is the founder and managing director of Joker Tourism. The successful travel company grew out of the travels that he organised as a young man with his fellow students. Bob Elsen is co-founder of 18 ViaVia travel cafes on four continents – meeting places for travellers and locals. These cafes are the seeds of socialeconomic and cultural development with 300 employees worldwide. To give these various training projects structure and continuity, in 2001 Elsen set up the Living Stone Dialoog initiative. His aim was to use tourism as a lever for sustainable development in the fight against poverty and for a more inclusive and tolerant world. In 2005, the initiative was succeeded by Living Stone Intercultural Entrepreneurship, and in 2012 the two organisations merged to become ViaVia Tourism Academy. In 2016, Elsen was appointed strategic director of Flemish Masters, an initiative of Tourism Flanders.

Managing director Joker Tourism

56 | VUB Fellow 2018

“Connecting people, and recognising the value of difference, has been the challenge of Joker and its ViaVia Network since it was founded in 1981. Such entrepreneurship requires a holistic, contemporary blend of attitudes, knowledge and skills. The Fellowship offers an opportunity to share, improve, even co-create with VUB, for a better world.”

Farida Lamkanfi

Proxima: Caroline Pauwels Bio: Farida Lamkanfi is a doctor and she did the first two years of her studies at Antwerp University, followed by five years at VUB. After she qualified, she spent 10 years working as a general practitioner in Brussels. Four of those years, she was attached to the Diabetes Clinic at UZ Brussel. Since 2013, she has been working for Eli Lilly, where she manages a portfolio of diabetes research projects. She is also a VUB ambassador for children in Brussels with a migration background, encouraging them to use their talents and study at VUB.

“Breaking down the invisible walls, providing genuine time and attention to listen and to explore how we can contribute to each other’s knowledge and inspiration, will bring communities closer together. I aspire to carry the VUB Fellowship with great ambition and to contribute to the philosophy of ‘Academia meets Society’ through mutual commitment.”

Associate medical advisor Eli Lilly

VUB Fellow 2018 | 57

Claire Tillekaerts Proxima: Sonia Snacken

Bio: Since 2006, Claire Tillekaerts has been the general manager of Flanders Investment and Trade, and in 2012 she was appointed CEO by the government of Flanders. She has been an independent barrister at the Ghent Court of Law for two decades, along with various academic teaching commissions at Ghent University. In 2001, she was commissioned to establish the Law Department at Hogeschool Gent in a bid to bring about a merger with other centres of higher education, an assignment combined with her role as advisor on the creation of the Ghent University Association and with establishing international research funding streams. She holds a master’s degree in law and a postgraduate degree in management studies.

CEO Flanders Investment and Trade

58 | VUB Fellow 2018

“Building bridges between the academic, the economic and the governmental levels is key to the further development of an open, innovative and future-driven society. Exchanging experiences, getting to know each other with an open mind and no boundaries, discovering new shared paths to follow... all this can enrich our joint efforts to the benefit of all our fellow world citizens.”

Guy Vanhengel

Proximus: Jan Danckaert Bio: Guy Vanhengel graduated as a teacher in Brussels and taught until 1981. From then until 1995, he was a spokesperson for the liberal political party (now Open VLD). In 1995, he became a member of the Brussels Parliament, later Minister in the Brussels government (2000), the Flemish Community Commission and the Common Community Commission. In 2009, Vanhengel became vice-prime Minister and Minister of Budget in Belgium’s federal government. From 2011, he returned to the government of the Brussel-Capital Region as Minister of Finance, Budget and External Relations and became President of the Board of the Flemish Community Commission responsible for Education, Training, Budget and Communication.

“I’m very honoured to be offered a Fellowship of VUB, an open-minded university in a very diverse city like Brussels, and the city with the most students in Belgium. My ambition as Fellow is to contribute to a better knowledge of Brussels and its institutions, and its European and international values.”

Minister of the government of the Brussels-Capital Region, responsible for Finance, Budget and External Relations

VUB Fellow 2018 | 59



Kader Abdolah Dirk Brossé Ilke Froyen Claire Tillekaerts (also VUB Fellow)


Yves Goldstein Nic Van der Marliere (also Law and Criminology Fellow)


Hans Alma Kristine De Mulder Sophie De Schaepdrijver Faroek Özgünes Katleen Van Langendonck ENGINEERING FELLOWS


Hilde Crevits (also Kurt Lewin Fellow) Marc Demarche Steven Dewitte Anneke Hunninck Fauzaya Talhaoui Sven Vandeputte


Marc De Groote Muzaffer Güler Ali Mohammadi Michael Peeters


Marco Croon Christ’l Joris Ingrid Van de Voorde KURT LEWIN FELLOWS


Hilde Crevits (also Engineering Fellow) Piet Goddaer Fons Leroy Goedele Liekens


Chantal Cooreman Sven Gatz Jacky Goris Patrick Van Kerckhove


Johan De Muynck Godelieve Van den Brande



Bruno Luyten Paul Friedrich Nemitz Ricardo Ramírez-Hernández Anne Vanderstappen Brigitte Vermeersch


Michel De Gols Erik Derycke Chris RENIERS Nic Van der Marliere (also Arts and Humanities Fellow)


Patrick Hofströssler Gunther Sleeuwagen Lutgarde Sommerijns Stefan Yee Movement and Rehabilitation Fellows


Harriët Jager-Wittenaar Jo Vander Schueren


Veronique Feipel

60 |


Constantino Balestra Alain De Greef SCIENCE FELLOWS


Marc Ceusters Françoise Chombar Aglaée Degros James Gitundu Kairo


Ghislain Decadt Frank De Winne Frank Vandendriessche


Jan Bogaerts Patrick Roggemans Els Torreele SOLVAY FELLOWS


Lars Bové Ann Caluwaerts An De Pauw Shada Islam Daniëlle Jacobs




VUB Fellows

André Céron Tamara De Bruecker Ann Peuteman Frank Van Massenhove Vincent Verouden Luc Bontemps Willem Debeuckelaere Anouk Lagae Martin Larch Nico Reeskens

Peter Degadt Paul Deneve Martin Paul Johan Uvin Ilse Weeghmans



Bob Elsen Farida Lamkanfi Claire Tillekaerts (also Arts and Humanities Fellow) Guy Vanhengel



Margot Cloet Pedro Facon Martine Huybrechts Leo Neels Frank Robben


Bilal Benyaich Sihame El Kaouakibi Lieve Wierinck


Koenraad Van Loo

Lutgarde Buydens Paul Callewaert Pim Drinkenburg Karine Moykens

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63 Honorary Fellows VUB Honorary arts and humanities fellows Stefaan Blommaert Frans Boenders Paul Dujardin Hendrik Pinxten Christina von Wackerbarth HONORARY ENGINEERING FELLOWS Line Alderweireldt Dirk Boogmans René De Keyzer Kathleen Dupont Peter Grognard Philip Hermans Pol Hoorelbeke Lieve Paternoster Yves Pianet Martine Tempels Jan Vliegen Jan Watté Chris Wuytens HONORARY KURT LEWIN FELLOWS Patrick Coulier Telidja Klaï Ingrid Lieten Koen Maertens

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HONORARY LAW AND CRIMINOLOGY FELLOWS Michèle Coninsx Véronique Pertry Honorary Movement and Rehabilitation Fellows Eddy Desmedt Marc Frederix Yves Geysels Willy Smeets David Steegen Sonia Van Den Broeck HONORARY SCIENCE FELLOWS Ingrid Daubechies Bart Degeest Marc Schepers Jean-Marie Solvay Guy Van Lommen

HONORARY SOLVAY FELLOWS Karsten De Clercq Lieven Deketele Thierry Geerts Luc Lallemand Isabelle Meunier Chantal Pattyn Micheline Scheys Michel Van den Broeck Joséphine Rebecca Vanden Broucke Olivier Vanden Eynde Ludo Vandervelden Wim van Hees Dominique Vercraeye Xavier Verhaeghe HONORARY UMC FELLOWS Luc Adriaenssens Yolande Avontroodt Maggie De Block Jo De Cock Yves Desmet Dirk Dewolf Patricia Lanssiers Raf Mertens Caroline Verlinde HONORARY VUB FELLOWS Els Ampe Karel De Gucht Pamela Peeters Ajit Baron Shetty Raymonda Verdyck


At the university level, the general management and common activities of the Fellowship programme are coordinated by the Fellowship Office. Vrije Universiteit Brussel Pleinlaan 2 – 1050 Brussel +32 (0)2 629 11 83

VUB Fellowship Office Isabelle Marneffe Fellowship manager +32 (0)2 629 15 42

gedrukt op FSC-papier

Hanan Belaraj Fellowship coordinator +32 (0)2 629 11 83 | 63

V.U. Caroline Pauwels, Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussel