Wind farm noise impacts North Sea marine mammals

Did you know Belgium uses more of its seaspace for wind farms than any other country? This noise disrupts marine life, like North Sea harbour porpoises. Bob Rumes uses underwater microphones to study underwater noise and how it affects porpoises.

Decoding the saxophone's soul with a robot: the power of the mouthpiece

The saxophone, a Belgian invention by Adolphe Sax, is nearing its 180th birthday, but evolution has stalled in the last 100 years. Until now! Enis Ukshini built a saxophone robot, a fully automatic saxophone virtuoso. The robot helps him study a small part key to the sax's unique sound: the mouthpiece with the vibrating reed.
KU Leuven

Making carbon conversion more efficient

The rise of CO2 levels has many harmful effects on our planet. A part of the solution is capturing CO2 emissions and transforming them into valuable chemicals and fuels, while potentially slowing climate change. Wenjian Hu explains how this carbon conversion works. His research aims to make the process more efficient, paving the way for scaling up from lab experiments to big industrial plants.
Pai Raikar

How to put wasted heat to good use

Industries release enormous amounts of wasted heat: over 67% of all energy generated worldwide is estimated to be lost as heat! What if we could harness this industrial waste heat to warm our homes? For this, Praharsh Pai Raikar is optimizing the design process of heat exchangers. Heat what?! He will tell you more in this video.
Correa Rojo

How do my genes describe me and my health?

Why do some people get a cold every month, while others seem immune, even in the wintertime? 🤧 "The answer lies in our genes," says Alejandro Correa Rojo. "Each of us carries a unique genetic code, that can tell how you will respond to a disease." After studying the DNA of thousands of people, Alejandro developed a Genetic Risk Score. This single number tells how you are at risk for a specific disease compared to others. Find out more in the video.

Monitoring drinking water sources

Where does the clean, potable water flowing from our taps actually come from? "In Flanders, we extract our drinking water from various raw water sources, such as underground reserves, canals and rivers. This water is then thoroughly purified by drinking water companies so that it is safe for consumption," explains VITO researcher Joni Dehaspe. She explains why it is important to continuously monitor raw water quality in real time.
KU Leuven

Keeping it cool with 3D printing

Every machine, from your phone to rockets in space, heats up and needs to cool down. To keep your devices from overheating, heat exchangers and heat sinks play a crucial role in absorbing and dissipating excess heat. But how can we make these systems even better? Samanwitha Kolli is keeping it cool with 3D-printing technology!
Rodriguez Carrillo

Tracking chemical pollutants in your body

Chemical pollutants such as PFAS or UV filters are omnipresent. They are used in cosmetics, toys, or food packaging materials. But we don't understand how they affect the human body because we don't have a clear picture of how they interact in the body. This is why Andrea Rodriguez Carrillo wants to follow the journey that chemicals take from the moment they enter your body.
KU Leuven

Sustainable recycling of precious metals

Did you know that 1 in 4 products that surround you contains precious metals? Think about your phone, laptop, or car. "Since these metals are rare and expensive, we urgently need better ways to recycle them", says Omar Martinez (VITO - KU Leuven). His PhD has led to a breakthrough solution: he developed a new, sustainable method, called GDEx, which allows for the selective recovery of these precious metals, with nearly 100% efficiency.

Unlocking the full power of biomolecules

Do you know what happens with your blood sample after a visit to the doctor for a check-up? Your blood sample undergoes testing for common biomolecules like cholesterol, glucose, or vitamin D. Modern technology allows for testing beyond these basics, generating vast amounts of data. Dries Heylen is developing visualizations and analytical techniques to help researchers make sense of this complex data, providing deeper insights into how specific biomolecules relate to diseases and which ones are crucial to monitor. Bloody genius, right?

Cows contribute to the climate solution

Cows burp - a lot. Those burps contain methane, a potent greenhouse gas that, like CO2, causes global warming. Can we make cows produce less methane? "Yes, by adjusting their feed," Nico Peiren (ILVO) explains in this video.

Healthy soil for healthy crop development

For a farmer, a soil brimming with life, such as bacteria, fungi, and other organisms, is important for growing crops. But how do you get such a healthy soil? That's what Koen Willekens (ILVO) digs into in his research.