I was born on the 14th of February in 1989 in Albrandswaard, the Netherlands. In 2007 I finished my high school degree at Erasmiaans Gymnasium in Rotterdam with distinction. During high school, I followed theater school in my free time (Hofplein), which allowed me to perform in three professional musicals and a play before the end of high school. Although I excelled in mathematics and physics at high school, I never had the intention to become an engineer. My plan was to study medicine. However, before I would follow this career, I decided to do one year of Industrial Design Engineering at the Technical University of Delft, just for fun…but I never left. I finished my Bachelor degree in Industrial Design Engineering in 2011 with a half-year worth of additional points in Mechanical Engineering. My bachelor thesis ‘Design for an occlusion free ear-plug’ was highly rated by the faculty and received the UfD-Imtech Bachelor Award who described my thesis as: “an exceptional final bachelor’s research paper, which met the requirements of technical innovation, practical applicability, collaboration between disciplines, social relevance and daring.”
With the additional courses in mechanical engineering, I was accepted for the master Biomechanical Engineering at the TU Delft in 2011. Here I started specializing in sports engineering, first with an internship at the school of Sports and exercise sciences at the University of Birmingham, England. In 2013 I graduated as the ‘first sports engineer of the Netherlands ’with distinction. In this same year I started my PhD research on ‘providing real-time feedback for an improved skating performance’. One of the big accomplishments in the project was the set-up and coordination of a huge experiment in the indoor ice rink of Thialf. During overnight measurements (taking up four days), I measured the full-body kinetics of the Dutch elite speed skaters. It took another 15 people (out of three countries) to help me out during the measurements in order to capture all the data. Next to my time spend on research, I could still be found in the theatres now and then, in the theatre show ‘the Science Battle’. In 2018, I finished my PhD degree with distinction (cum laude), which gave me the title of ‘Dr.’. I applied for and was granted a NWO Rubicon grant, which allowed me to start my own research at Imperial College London for two years on ‘predicting mobility impairments in elderly’.