logo

You are here

Prestigious European Research Council Advanced Grant for VUB Professor Johan Schoukens

VUB professor Johan Saukens awarded ERC Advanced Grant

By awarding these European Research Council grants, the European Union makes it possible for top research leaders to conduct ground-breaking, high-risk research. The award of an ERC Grant to Johan Schoukens is recognition of the importance of the fundamental research taking place in the “VUB Centre for Data Based Modelling and Model Quality Assessment”.

Mathematical models: instruments for better assessing the world

Scientists and engineers want to understand, predict and control the world around them. They therefore make extensive use of mathematical models to simulate the world on their computers. Costly and/or dangerous experiments can thus be replaced with computer simulations. 

Mathematical models are used everywhere. Climate models, for example, provide insight into global warming and predict future climate change. Similarly, the Airbus A380 “flew” for thousands of hours in computer simulations before it first actually took to the skies above France. Finally, new cars first undergo virtual “crash tests” on the computer and only then are costly prototypes constructed. All this would be impossible without reliable mathematical models. 

From raw data to clear-cut models

The “VUB Centre for Data Based Modelling and Model Quality Assessment”, financed from a prestigious Methusalem grant by the Flemish Government, conducts fundamental research into systematic methods for building good models from experimental data distorted by all kinds of errors. Advanced modelling theories make it possible to build up a clear mathematical picture of the world of which scientists and engineers have only a very dim perception. The results have broad applications: They are not only used in the automobile, aircraft, electronics and telecommunications sectors but also for high-tech medical equipment and for biological, chemical and climate studies.

The Advanced ERC Grant significantly increases the budget available to the research centre and makes it possible to conduct targeted research into non-linear models that provide a much better approximation of the reality. Improved designs will then be possible for manufacturing cheaper, improved, more efficient, cleaner and/or more competitive products.

By awarding European Research Council grants, the European Union makes it possible for top research leaders to conduct ground-breaking, high-risk research.

Contact person: Johan Schoukens, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, ELEC Department, Pleinlaan/Avenue de la Plaine 2, B-1050 Brussels.