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Dr. Rik Voorhaar

Senior Scientific Editor

About Rik

Rik has always been fascinated with analyzing and modelling the world around him. He has been interested in areas as diverse as mechanical and civil engineering, rocket science, biology and fundamental physics. He started his academic career in pure mathematics, but at the same time, he developed a passion for data science and machine learning. In the middle of his PhD he decided to completely switch research direction and now studies applied mathematics and machine learning. He also keeps a blog where he toys with diverse topics in data science.

Rik is the editor of 16 Breaks:

How thermophotovoltaics can help decarbonize the grid

Thermophotovoltaics (TPV) are a technology that can turn light into electricity, just like solar panels. However, instead of taking their energy from the sun, TPVs make use of the light emitted by a hot object in close proximity. We demonstrated a new record-breaking efficiency of more than 40% for TPVs, enabling the viability of this technology for ‘thermal battery’ energy storage.

Feb 22, 2023 | 4 min read
Orb-weaving spiders can hear using their web

All known animals hear using an organ in their body, with the notable exception of a curious spider. We found that the orb-weaving spider breaks this limitation by outsourcing its hearing to its gigantic, reconfigurable, and regenerative web.  

Feb 10, 2023 | 4 min read
Cities threaten global biodiversity but could also help sustain it

Over the next 30 years, the expansion of cities will threaten global biodiversity unless we change the way that they are built.  Greener cities can become part of the solution to the global biodiversity crisis.  

Feb 1, 2023 | 3.5 min read
When One Disaster Follows Another

Disasters such as hurricanes, floods, and wildfires are increasing in frequency, and many locations are experiencing repeated disasters. Each disaster can create legacy conditions that affect the outcome of the disasters that follow. New research is helping to understand and predict these important legacies.

Sep 14, 2022 | 3.5 min read
A House Of Toxins? How Cleaning Products Can Create An Unhealthy Living Environment

Using some common household cleaning products lead to the formation of indoor pollutants. During realistic use, we observed for the first time that chemical vapors from certain cleaning products can rapidly change into small airborne particles harmful to the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. This has consequences for professional cleaners and people frequently exposed to cleaning products.

Aug 18, 2022 | 3 min read
Genetically Reprogramming Biological Clocks: One Step Closer To The Fountain Of Youth

Imagine telling explorers of the New World that the Fountain of Youth was hidden in their cells. That's probably what Kristen C. Browder's team could say after successfully reversing the biological clock of living mice. According to their results, the secrets of rejuvenation seem to be buried in the heart of each of our cells, in other words, in our genes.

Aug 11, 2022 | 3 min read