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Dr. Nicole Dilissen

In 2019 Nicole Dilissen received her PhD degree at the Instituto Andaluz de Ciencias de la Tierra (IACT) where she was working on the mechanisms of serpentinite dehydration in subduction zones. She mainly gained expertise in microstructures with novel techniques combining  X-ray micro-computed tomography (µ-CT) with electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD), Thermodynamics and kinetics based on petrological and geochemical study (XRF, EPMA, EDS-SEM, LA, solution ICP-MS) and Geodynamic numerical modeling based on a visco-elasto-plastic 2D code with two phase flow, fully coupled solid rock - fluid percolation.

Her first PostDoc position started in 2018 at KU Leuven at the Materials Engineering Department where she is involved in the Interreg BnB (Beton naar hoogwaardig beton) project that focusses on the complete recycling of old concrete into new concrete without degrading its quality. Her part is in cooperation with the MW-specialized company MEAM, and consists in (1) MW heating concrete as pre-treatment to weaken aggregate-cement boundaries for separation purposes and (2) MW heating for dehydration of recycled cement to reuse it as a binder again. This involves expertise in Experimental high-T microwave (MW) treatment, Morphological characterization combining EDS-SEM, XRD, TGA and modeling MW behavior in COMSOL. She is also active as teaching assistant in Thermodynamics, supervises bachelor and master theses and is ombuds to masters of Material Science.

In 2020 she joined the Physical Chemistry and Polymer Science (FYSC) group at VUB to be involved in the Icon STIF project (Stiff Impact and Fire resistant thin composites). It aims at the development of a composite material with an inorganic cementitious matrix and textile/fiber reinforcement capable of resisting impact and/or high temperatures. This involves alkali- and acid activated inorganic polymers, testing several matrix-fiber interactions with characterisation of mechanical properties and morphology by resonalyser (non-destructive), destructive mechanical testing, calorimetry, DSC, PSD, SEM, XRD, etc