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Advent calendar - December 12th - Eleni Thomou

12 December 2022

In the Zernike Institute Advent Calendar, we are presenting 24 short spotlights in December. In these specials, we highlight PhD students, postdocs, support staff and technicians of our research groups and team - providing a glimpse in their typical day at work. In Episode 12 meet Dr. Eleni Thomou, postdoctoral researcher in the Hybrid research group Biopolymer and Recycling Innovations (HyBRIt). It involves two research groups: Macromolecular Chemistry & New Polymeric Materials of Prof. Katja Loos, and the Circular Plastics group from NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences.

Eleni Thomou
Eleni Thomou

Currently, I am working as a postdoctoral researcher in the Hybrid research group Biopolymer and Recycling Innovations (HyBRIt). This is a collaboration established between the University of Groningen and NHL Stenden, within the University of the North working network. It involves two research groups: Macromolecular Chemistry & New Polymeric Materials from the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials, and the Circular Plastics group from NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences.

One of the most pressing contemporary challenges is dealing with plastic waste. Therefore, our group is working towards sustainable solutions with biobased materials, recycling, and circular design being the main drivers. My research focuses on novel techniques for advanced mechanical recycling of plastics. In this field of research, being able to scale up is of the utmost importance and our facilities ensure that we can simulate recycling loops similar to industrial processes.

We are an ever-growing team and working for the University of the North requires some juggling skills since we have three working locations. So, not exactly a typical work week! When I am in Groningen, there’s more analysis and administrative skills to be done. Whereas the days that I work at our facilities in Emmen, require me to engage with polymer processing and characterization. Last but not least, there’s Leeuwarden too where most of the pre-treatment is taking place, meaning the sorting and washing of the plastic waste streams.

Being member of broad and diverse teams of talented people that work together towards solutions, is a great motivator for me. Transferring knowledge and exchanging ideas with scientists from various backgrounds, grows my interest in science even more. At the end of the day, a good team will always tackle the problem in the most efficient way.

Contact: Dr. Eleni Thomou

Latest news from the HyBRIt group.

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Last modified:13 December 2022 2.38 p.m.

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