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 22 meet Jasper van der Velde, Scientific Coordinator CogniGron.
Since 2017 I am the scientific coordinator of CogniGron, the Groningen Cognitive Systems and Materials Centre. CogniGron is a unique multidisciplinary research centre where we do fundamental research, into self-learning materials and systems for cognitive computing – computing that has the ability to learn and to handle complex challenges in a super-efficient way, inspired by how the brain works. This means that we rethink the computer as we know it.
Working for CogniGron, and with the team of researchers, technicians, secretaries, funding officers, and people from administration, is a real pleasure and honour. Within CogniGron we are together working to create something that is truly different. Not only because it is fundamentally interesting but also because it has impact on society and has the potential to be better for the environment. This is one of the reasons why I am motivated to come to Zernike every day (next to the fun with my colleagues of course).
CogniGron’s strength is that we’re purposefully being multidisciplinary. It’s what makes us unique. This, however, also comes with a challenge since every discipline has its own characteristics and scientific language. As coordinator I try to bring these disciplines together and give them what they need to work together for the computer of the future. Having a multidisciplinary background – studying nanoscience at the Zernike Institute and having performed my doctoral research in Physics in a biophysics group on chemical phenomena – I know working with other disciplines is not always straightforward but when you are able to manage, it generates a lot of potential.
As the coordinator of CogniGron I am also responsible for various other tasks with every day a new challenge or opportunity, like PR & outreach, industry relations, funding, and more. This diverse set of tasks is what I enjoy in the job, it gives energy and the possibility to learn new things.
Next to working for CogniGron you often find me in the swimming pool, on the bike or out for a run as I am always training for the next triathlon, or out with friends having a drink and a good talk.
Contact: Dr. Jasper van der Velde
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