Thomas Geernaert was born in Dendermonde, Belgium in 1983. He graduated as Electrotechnical Engineer with majors in Photonics in 2006 and received his PhD in Engineering in 2011, both at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) in Belgium.
His master thesis covered simulations on the potentialities of radiative cooling of optical Raman amplifiers and Raman lasers. In his PhD thesis 'Microstructured fiber Bragg grating sensors: from fiber design to sensor implementation' he designed, simulated, characterized and implemented a temperature-insensitive optical fiber sensor for pressure and strain measurements with applications in the oil and gas industry, aerospace, structural engineering, biomedical diagnostics and biorobotics. For this PhD work he was awarded with a scholarship from the Institute for the Promotion of Innovation through Science and Technology in Flanders (IWT-Vlaanderen) between 01/01/2007 and 31/12/2010.
T. Geernaert was work package leader within the European Commission FP7-ICT funded project PHOSFOS for the development of silica MSF sensors and for the assembly of the proof-of-concept systems and pre-product prototype. He was also active in the European COST 299 action FIDES with short term scientific missions to the Institute of Photonic Technology (Jena, Germany) and to the Cyprus University of Technology (Nicosia, Cyprus). He contributed to the Flemish strategic basic research project FAOS and the Belgian interuniversity Photonics@be project.
Since 2011 he is working as post-doctoral researcher at the Brussels Photonics Team B-PHOT of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. He held a post-doctoral fellowship in the European Commission FP7 Marie Curie Industry Academia Partnerships and Pathways project SMARTSOCKET between 01/02/2011 and 31/07/2011. On 1st October 2011 he became post-doctoral research fellow at the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO-Vlaanderen). He is also actively involved within the European Commission FP7-ICT funded project ACTMOST, within the Flemish strategic basic research project eSHM, in the Brussels multi-disciplinary research and service platform BRUWind, and within several R&D projects with industry.
He was supervisor for 5 Master theses and 2 internships between 2007-2011 and acts as teaching assistant for the courses 'Waves and Electromagnetism' (prof. Francis Berghmans) and 'Optical Sensors' (prof. Francis Berghmans) since 2007.
T. Geernaert authored and co-authored 10 SCI-indexed journal papers and 21 publications in international conference proceedings. He gave 3 invited talks at international meetings. He co-authored 1 book chapter and is co-inventor of 2 patent applications. He received the IEEE-LEOS Benelux Best Student Presentation award in 2007, the SPIE Photonics Europe Innovation Village award for Best Design in 2008 and the Photonics21 Student Innovation Award in 2012. He is a member of IEEE, SPIE and OSA.
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