Annemiek ter Heijne, assistant professor at ETE, was awarded the prestigious NWO VIDI grant through the Domain Applied and Engineering Science (TTW) for her project on improving resource recovery technologies. The VIDI grant offers a five-year personal budget of € 800.000 for mid-career scientists to develop their own innovative research line.
To receive a VIDI grant, applicants must be talented, creative scientists. The grant aims to boost innovation by supporting researchers to set-up their own group, carrying out original and groundbreaking research with impact. Only about 20 percent of all applicants have been awarded the grant. At Wageningen University & Research, five scientists received the grant.
Ter Heijne’s project involves developing more efficient methods to recover resources and energy from waste streams. ‘To establish a circular economy, we need new technologies to recover valuable compounds from waste’, ter Heijne explains. ‘During this process, bacteria play a central role. My research focuses on the use of electrodes to influence these biological conversions.’ Bacteria gain energy from transporting electrons from one compound to the other. Ter Heijne focuses on understanding the electron flows to eventually design more efficient recovery technologies.