Ir. Nathalie Debaes graduated from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel as Electrical Engineer with majors in Photonics in 1996. After graduation, she worked for 3 years in Barco Industries as an optical engineer on problems related to optical spectroscopy based food quality control. From 1999 until 2002 she was R&D manager at Automation N.V. where she was responsible for the development of power supply control systems in telecom containers. Her responsibilities included hardware and software to manage alarm and data messages from all container equipment and infrastructure spread over the continent.
Currently she is European project support officer and outreach coordinator for ACTPHAST4.0 and ACTPHAST4R and Vice-coordinator of PhotonHub Europe .
At B-PHOT Ir. Debaes built up a significant practical experience with European projects in her function as key-project support officer of the Network of Excellence NEMO (2004-2009) and P4L (2008-2012) and as work package leader in the outreach project EXPEKT (2010-2012), GOPHOTON (2014-2015), LIGHT2015 (2015-2016), PHABLABS 4.0 (2016-2019), She has also a track record as central contact point for the SME-focused EU project SMETHODS (2011-2014) and central contact point and project support officer for ACTMOST (2010-2013), in ACTPHAST (2013-2017), in ACTPHAST4.0 (2017-2021), ACTPHAST4R (2019-2023) and PhotonHub Europe (2020-2025).
She is co-founder of the NPO EYEST, Youth for Engineering, Science and Technology. The organisation that distributed already more than 3400 Photonics Explorer Kits to secondary schools.