Zpannend Zernike

Zpannend Zernike is an annual free science festival which aims to expose the youth of Groningen to the cutting edge research being conducted at Zernike. Forum Groningen transforms into a lively science festival featuring science comedy, discussions, mini-lectures, music, and experiments.  Not only will the young ones have a blast discovering the wonders of science in Groningen, but (grand)parents and supervisors are sure to find the event engaging as well!


Pictured above we have two of our early stage researchers, Jan and Davide, performing an experiment called “living wires” whereby a petri dish is filled with numerous small steel balls, which are immersed in castor oil. Using a high-voltage power supply, an electrical field is created between the edge of the petri dish and its center. Upon switching on the voltage, the steel balls start moving in the electric field and self-assemble into chains, which slowly move towards both electrodes, in an attempt close the electrical circuit. Kids witnessed the emergence of intricate structures and movements of the metal balls, reminiscent of neuron dendrites, as simple local dynamics give rise to astonishing complexity. The physics behind this phenomenon was explained in simple terms, interpreting it as the minimization of a (Lyapunov) function, where total resistance guides the formation of these captivating patterns. We also explored the intriguing parallels between our experiment and a ‘big’ memristor, as both systems exhibit memory-like behavior based on past interactions. Just as a memristor can “remember” past currents, the self-assembling system “remembers” past configurations and dynamics, leading to its unique behavior. This experiment illustrates self-assembly of a complex system, a process inherent to the neural network in our brain.


More information can be found on the Zpanned Zernike website: https://zpannendzernike.nl/

Dutch Computational Science Conference – DUCOMS


Davide presented his poster “Self-assembled memristive networks: modelling functional and topological connectivity” which won 3rd place at the first Dutch Computational Science Conference (DUCOMS). DUCOMS serves as a gathering for computational science professionals across various disciplines and career stages, representing both academia and industry. It encompasses interdisciplinary keynotes and parallel sessions, covering topics such as ultra-fast computer simulations employing machine learning, data-driven methods, multi-scale modeling and simulation, uncertainty analysis in computational science, and energy-efficient computing.


More information can be found on their website: https://www.computationalsciencenl.nl/en/ducoms-day/

Groningen PhD Day


Here we have ESRs Jan, Mian, and Jack (left to right) attending the University of Groningen PhD day. PhD day is a day of inspiration and engagement with a lineup of compelling keynotes, interactive workshops, dynamic speed dating sessions, ample networking opportunities, and an unforgettable after-party! It’s a collective moment for us to connect, delve into contemporary challenges, and underscore that we are more than just researchers – we are a diverse and vibrant community with multifaceted identities and talents.


More information can be found at the website: https://phd-day.nl/

ISOE 2021


Evgenious, Panagiotis, and Jan (left to right) in attendance of the international school of oxide electronics (ISOE) is a scientific school in Cargèse, France. Nestled in the picturesque surroundings of Cargèse, the program facilitates a laid-back yet intellectually stimulating environment, fostering in-depth scientific discussions. Amidst the tranquil ambiance of this coastal destination, participants can explore the intricacies of oxide electronics and ferroelectrics, engage in collaborative discourse, and forge connections with fellow researchers.


More information can be found on their website: https://isoe.cnrs.fr/

Cambridge Conference



ESRs Mian (top),  Evgenious, and Davide (bottom left to right) exploring the river CAM after a long day of scientific discussion in Magdalene College, Cambridge. Additional information on MANIC conferences can be found on the NWE tab.

MRS Spring 2023


Nele presented her research titled “Quantitative temperature measurement of self-heating in non-linear devices using Scanning Thermal Microscopy” at the Materials Research Society (MRS) spring meeting. Established in 1973 and based in Warrendale, Pennsylvania, the Materials Research Society stands as a thriving, dynamic organization boasting a membership of over 12,000 individuals.

MRS Meetings stand as a global platform where the latest developments and breakthroughs in materials research are explored and shared. Central to this portfolio are the Spring and Fall Meetings, which attract researchers spanning various scientific disciplines, backgrounds, and employment sectors – from aspiring students to esteemed Nobel Laureates. These gatherings foster a vibrant exchange of technical insights, facilitate broader impact discussions, and provide invaluable networking opportunities for attendees to connect with peers and contribute to the advancement of materials research.

Complementing the scholarly discourse are expansive exhibits showcasing innovative products and services by companies worldwide. These exhibits not only enhance the interactive meeting experience but also serve as a nexus for industry and academia to collaborate, driving innovation through the exchange of ideas and forging new partnerships.

More information about MRS can be found on their website: https://www.mrs.org/home