FameLab winners and finalists 2015

Hetty Helsmoortel - FameLab Belgium 2015 Winner

Hetty is a molecular biologist researching childhood leukemia at the University of Ghent. Ever since she was in high school, Hetty has been passionate about two completely different worlds: science and theatre. She is fascinated by bringing science back to the people in an appealing way. Hetty is on a lifelong journey of uniting her both passions in one brain. Watch Hetty's presentation.



Daniel Pérez - Audience Award Winner

Daniel hails originally from Spain but currently he is doing research about superconductivity at KU Leuven as a PhD student. He loves science, jamón, home-made experiments, and sangria, in that order. Apparently his physics jokes on twitter are quite good, @MientrasEnFisic. Watch Daniel's presentation.

Sébastien Clesse

Sébastien obtained his PhD in Cosmology at the Université Libre de Bruxelles. After post-doctoral stays at the University of Cambridge and at the Technical University of Munich, he came back to Belgium for a post-doc at the University of Namur. His research interests focus on theories of the Early Universe and their link with astronomical observations. Sébastien likes sharing his passion for the Universe, especially with children. Watch Sébastien's presentation.

Francesco Contino

Francesco is Assistant Professor at Vrije Universiteit Brussel. His research focuses on the development of flexible, energy-efficient and non-polluting energy conversion technologies. During his PhD he developed a passion for efficient communication. In his talk he shares his fascination for fuels in our daily life and how we will continue to use them in the future. Watch Francesco's presentation.

Niek d’Hondt

With equal fascination for both science and film, Niek likes telling stories about the wonders of research. As a biotechnological lab technician, he loves sharing the tools and techniques he uses every day, which allows him to investigate and uncover nature’s deepest secrets. Growing up in a bar, he has learned that every single person can be astonished by science, if one just finds a clear, but enchanting way to share it with them. Watch Niek's presentation.

Katrien Kolenberg

After her Physics studies and Astrophysics PhD in Leuven, Katrien moved to Vienna to work on stellar sound waves. Her research interests have led her to observe from remote mountain tops, to use satellites to monitor her favourite stars, and to teach astronomy in Asia and Africa. Katrien recently returned to her native Belgium as a Marie Curie Fellow between Harvard University (USA) and the KU Leuven, and teaches as a guest professor at the University of Antwerp. Watch Katrien's presentation.


Ehsan Moravveji

Ehsan was born, raised and educated in Shiraz, Iran. To fulfil his passion about the wonders of the universe, he began studying stars and their behaviours. A major part of his PhD was devoted to studying Rigel, which is the second brightest star in the night sky. Currently, he is a post-doctoral researcher at the Institute of Astronomy, KU Leuven, and he has been awarded the BELSPO and Marie Curie research fellowships to better explore the wonders of stars. Watch Ehsan's presentation.

Laurent Olislager

Laurent is an engineer in physics from ULB. He has just completed a PhD in quantum optics, trying to experimentally shine light on... light itself. Interested in all aspects of education, he also graduated as a teacher in mathematics. He enjoys philosophy and endless debates about trying to make sense of the world. Watch Laurent's presentation.  

Ben Verhoeven

Ben is a computational linguist at the University of Antwerp as a PhD Fellow of the FWO Research Foundation - Flanders. He researches the linguistic features in text that provide clues to predict characteristics of an author, such as age, gender and personality. At work, his versatility shows in his involvement in all aspects of academic life: research, teaching, organisation, collaboration, and communication. He enjoys playing music and improvisation theatre. Watch Ben's presentation. 

Sylvia Wenmackers

Sylvia is a physicist and a philosopher of science, fascinated by rainbows and improbable events. She studied theoretical physics, worked in a materials science lab to obtain a PhD in Physics, and performed thought experiments, which resulted in Ph.D. in Philosophy (cum laude). Since October 2014, she is a BOF Research Professor at KU Leuven. Watch Sylvia's presentation.