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Thé network for young female gratuates with ambition and passion for their profession. 

The Marina van Damme grant is awarded to promising alumni of the four technical universities in Delft, Eindhoven, Twente and Wageningen. All these winners together form the inspiring, creative and active Marina van Damme network.


The Marina van Damme grant is awarded annually to 1 winner per university. The network is committed to keeping Mrs van Damme's ideas alive and welcoming the new winners to the network.


The network makes the independent members stronger. The connection through consultation and sparring creates a stronger position in our work and life. Different backgrounds provide diversity, and sufficient overlap in ambition and challenges in career make a close connection with each other.


The activities of the network are aimed at inspiring each other and helping each other forward. By entering into the spotlight, we also aim to inspire girls and young women.


Delft University of Technology

Deadline for applications 2020:
Monday, March 23
Ceremony 2020:
Wednesday, May 13

Technische Universiteit Eindhoven

Deadline for applications 2020:
Thursday, June 25
Ceremony 2020:
Friday, September 25

Universiteit Twente

Deadline for applications 2020:
Monday, September 28
Ceremony 2020:

Wageningen University & Research

Deadline for applications 2020:
Tuesday, September 15
Ceremony 2020:



More stories in Dutch
The goal of my research is to use metabolic MRI in the diagnosis and treatment planning of patients with metabolic disorders and cancer. I believe that direct measurement of tissue metabolism in the patient will lead to a better understanding of the disease in the individual patient. Therefore metabolic MRI will translate faster to a change in diagnosis and consequently treatment of the individual patient. I strive to invent and make available advanced metabolic MRI methods to aid diagnosis and treatment of a very vulnerable group of patients; children with metabolic diseases and solid tumours, who may greatly benefit from non-invasive metabolic characterisation of their disease.
In 2010, I was awarded with the Marina van Damme grant that enabled me to pioneer with new metabolic imaging methods in clinical research. This short post-doc position at the University Medical Centre Utrecht (UMCU) turned out to be a catalyzer for my further career. I obtained funding to go abroad (Johns Hopkins, USA) and returned to the UMCU to perform my clinical research studies in patients with breast cancer. Since 2014, I am appointed as Assistant Professor in the High Field MR Research group of the UMCU, working on new metabolic MRI methods.

 In 2010 I started a PhD on microfluidic desalination within the BIOS Lab on Chip a Group with the intention to start a company afterwards. The Marina van Damme grant enabled me to collaborate with the group of Prof. Han at MIT in Cambridge by visiting the group for a month. In addition the Marina van Damme grant allowed me to follow a business development course and to perform a market study, whicht has lead to the start of LocSense in 2015. LocSense provides products which enables product developers and researchers to develop medicine and diagnostic devices in a more efficient, reliable and cost-effective manner. We provide the electrical detection to perform feasibility studies as wells as detection with interfacing to complete the product offer of our clients.
As an intrepid traveller from a young age, I have always been drawn to cities, fascinated by the way people gather together in a small space. With an eye to the future, I became concerned about how cities are clogging up. So ever since I put my industrial design skills to work and founded the company Makers of Sustainable Spaces (MOSS) dedicated to restore the nature balance by adding greenery in our city environment. With my team we create innovative projects, designs and products to find solutions to these urban challenges. Projects vary from green lungs in office environments, self sustaining biodomes and modern urban farms. Just recently MOSS launched an innovation named Hrbs, a subscription based service model for fresh & locally produced herbs & mini-veggies. With Hrbs, me and my team recently opened a city farm in the centre of Utrecht, called the Greenhouse.
My name is Chantal Tax and I am doing research in medical imaging. I focus on diffusion MRI, a relatively new MRI technique that has the ability to map the connections in the brain non-invasively. The Marina van Damme grant allowed me to perform research at Harvard Medical School for 6 months. Here we investigated whether the fiber pathways in the brain are geometrically organized in “sheets”, a bit like the “warp and wheft” of fabric, and if they form layers in the brain, like “pages of a book”. We have developed mathematical methods to quantify this, which can help us to better understand the structure and development of the brain.  
I was born in Hanoi, the Capital of Vietnam and am now working as a research associate at the School of Environment, Resources and Management, Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand. I obtained MSc in Geo-information and Earth Observation on Natural Resources Management at ITC, University of Twente, The Netherlands. My field of research is natural resources management, ecosystem preservation for sustainable development. I proposed to use Marina van Damme grant to conduct a research to assess the impacts of land-use change on ecosystems and develop a win-win land-use plan in Cuu Long River Delta or Mekong River Delta, Vietnam, to protect the valuable ecosystems. In addition, I found there is a big gap between research and real policy making or between science and end-user need. By involving local stakeholders in the planning process my aim is to develop a simple methodology that is able to work within limitation of data and knowledge gaps. This can be widely applied in other developing areas and countries where data and knowledge is still limited.
I have studied Industrial Engineering and Management Science at the TU Eindhoven. After graduating, I have gained 7 years of working experience in supply chain and logistics, working both in operational and advisory jobs. Next to my work, my passion is helping people in developing countries and have done so a a volunteer in Kenya. I am a board member of the Cucu Foundation, which strives to give children in developing countries opportunities for the future. I work at ArgusI, a research advisory in supply chain management, specialized in optimization and collaboration. With the support of the Marina van Damme grant I have specialized myself in supply chain management in the humanitarian and development sector. I have set up a new branch within the company combining my professional expertise and my passion: ArgusI/Aid where we want to improve effective logistics and supply chain management in the humanitarian and development sector. We do this by offering consulting and knowledge sharing in the areas of our expertise in a collaborative and respectful manner.
How do you experience your environment as you get older? This is the question where my two fascinations meet each other: architecture and elderly people. In my graduation project at the TU Delft I researched the (care) needs of people with dementia in relation to their living environment. This research can be used as a guideline for designers. In this graduation study I experienced that too many questions are approached from the perspective of the discipline in which one operates. I believe the ageing issues needs an integral approach. I’d like to make the translation between the different disciplines and specialize as an architect in the elderly healthcare. To achieve this, I’m an architect at Lengkeek architecten en ingenieurs and at the same time I study Applied Gerontology at the Windesheim Zwolle, using the UfD-Marina van Dammegrant I won in 2013. This way I surround myself with people from different fields, to explore together the social developments around ageing in the (near) future. With this I hope to move forward in the design and building for and together with elderly.
The building industry uses 40% of the resources worldwide! In this conservative industry change does not come easily. We need smart design, innovation and collaboration in order to close the material cycle. My idea for the grant in 2012 was to set up a CrowdBuildingSite and develop a WasteApp to connect used materials to BIM. BIM can give used materials an identity with properties like new materials do. Thus used materials have better chances to be reused. (impression on youtube).
Most importantly, the grant helped me set up my own company Creation2Creation and I was able to work and live more and more authentically. Nowadays, I focus on (social) innovation and I enthuse people for sustainability using serious gaming ( & and creative facilitating ( & As an enthusiastic design thinker and facilitator, I make sustainability easy and fun for people and help them build their own vision and ideas to make this world a better place.
Nicole received her Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Twente University in 1996 after completing her traineeship at the University of Campinas in Brazil. With Shell she led a Mentoring Circle in Pernis and with GE she was a member of the GE Women’s Network Benelux steering Committee and Chair for the GEWN hub for the Bergen op Zoom region and volunteered in her local community while living in Switzerland. From September 2012 to December 2014 she participated for Shell as mentor in the Cherie Blair Foundation and currently she supports the Injaz UAE as a member of Junior Achievement (JA) Worldwide. JA is a partnership between the business community, educators and volunteers — all working together to inspire young people to dream big and reach their full potential. Nicole and her husband have four children and are based in Dubai. Due to international experience, she is fluent in English and Dutch and has working proficiency in French, Portuguese, Spanish and German.
After I graduated in Industrial Design Engineering at the TU Delft, I used the Marina van Damme grant to follow courses in Sociology and Philosophy at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam. This way I was able to broaden my design skills with knowledge on social issues and ethics. In 2009 I founded the first Dutch social design agency. Products have a huge impact on people’s lives; ranging from a specific personal situation to society as a whole. I’m passionate about this relationship between products and people. That’s why I design products and services with special attention for their social impact. This is what I call social design.
Currently, I work at University of Twente as a project manager. We work with secondary schools on educational project for school and teacher development. When I received the Marina van Damme award I was an entrepreneur. I adviced secondary schools about using IT for professional development of school and teachers and for innovation. I used the Marina van Damme grant to strengthen my enterprise: setting up a website and buying some material.
My name is Heleen de Hooge, married with Rob and we are living right now in the USA. I studied Chemical Engineering at the University of Twente and worked as a Chemical Engineer for DSM and Sabic for 7 years. I left the industry because I had the privilege to become a professional triathlete. I followed my heart and chose a career what made me happy. I got the Marina van Damme grant 1 1/2 years after becoming a professional athlete. I used it for traveling to races. I had an amazing career and I’m very grateful for that. I became European Long Distance Triathlon Champion in 2014 and won the Arizona Ironman in 2008. I’m a 4x Dutch champion as well. Again I started a new career in 2014. I’m now a lifestyle coach and personal trainer. I just started a new job here in Milwaukee were we moved in summer 2015 as a personal trainer. My motto is: “do the things you love to do and which make you a happy person, there are no limitations, everything is possible.”
Milou Feijt got her bachelor degree in clinical & health psychology at Utrecht University with a minor in Informatics and continued her studies with the master Human Technology Interaction at the TU/e. During this period, she discovered her passion for applying technology to improve human well-being. After her graduation in 2017 with a study on the barriers and drivers to the acceptance of online treatment for psychologists, she continued to work on this topic as a PhD candidate at the TU/e. Her project focuses on the improvement of the skills of mental healthcare professionals regarding the use of technology in mental healthcare and the development of tools to augment the therapeutic interaction in this context. However, the actual implementation of the results is often a big challenge in these research projects. With the Marina van Damme grant, she plans to gain new insights into the best technologies for our healthcare at a frontrunning research group at UC Berkeley (USA), and then to involve professionals in the field to jointly create the tools that suit their needs and requirements, followed by hands-on workshops where they can learn how to work with these tools. In this way, the grant provides a great chance to bridge the gap between scientific research and implementation in daily practice, and thereby come closer to achieving her goal to improve mental healthcare with the use of technology. 
During my PhD program in the Bionanoscience department of the Technical University of Delft, I noticed there is a gap between research and market. As a result, many promising technologies never reach society. Most research institutes have technology transfer offices (TTO’s) to guide technologies to the market. When I was wrapping up my thesis I had the opportunity to apply for a position at the TTO of the Erasmus Medical Center, which turned out to be a perfect match. I scout internally for research with a marketable application and help researchers with the process of commercialization. I support them in protecting their intellectual property and either help find, build and negotiate partnerships with industry or facilitate the founding of a startup. My degrees from the University of Twente and the Technical University of Delft provide me with the scientific background I need to understand the core and the impact of the research projects within Erasmus MC. My knowledge of technology transfer, on the other hand, is mainly based on ‘on‐the‐job‐learning’ and ‘gut‐feeling’. I will use the Marina van Damme grant to extend my knowledge and network in this area and get accreditation as a Registered Technology Transfer Professional (RTTP). 
The Marina Van Damme Award opened a world of opportunities for me. In 2010, after completing my Master in Earth Observation and Geoinformatics with the University of Twente, I returned to my home country Zimbabwe with a great fascination for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles or Drones and their role in urban data collection. I also had a huge desire to start a research based consultancy that looked into applications of drone technology in solving sustainable development challenges that affect girls and women in African societies. The MvD award was therefore a nudge in the right direction. It created a global network of professional and business contacts that have supported and shared on the idea greatly. Through the award, I am now a licensed UAV pilot registered with the Civil Aviation Authority of South Africa. I was also able to set up ‘Basetsane’ Research group (sestwana word for 'the girls initative') within the university where I work and open up a parallel spin off entity named Drone Wings which is a private company in drone aviation for Geoinformatcs. "Basetsane' has managed to set up a system that is investigating the delivery of reusable sanitary pads to girls in rural Zimbabwe. This project is very exciting and truly rewarding. The future looks very bright with the help of MvD - new possibilities in drone aviation and the lifelong networks created through the award.

Wendy Borneman completed her Computer Science degree in 2003 at the Technical University of Twente. She worked as a process architect and helped organizations with designing and optimizing their business processes.

After a few years she made a switch to healthcare and has been working as a family doctor since 2013. In the healthcare sector, she saw many opportunities for organizational improvements and room for new developments. Inspired by this, she found a new challenge in combining her medical knowledge and skills with her previously acquired organizational and analytical skills. 

In 2010 she received the Marina van Damme Fair to help shape this challenge. With the money from the scholarship, she started the two-year management and administration course of the Royal College of General Practitioners. She learned to combine the previously acquired knowledge and experience of both disciplines to be able to play a leading role in the organization of general practice medicine later. She found the meetings with like-minded people during the training particularly inspiring and those brought opportunities for many new projects.

Since 2016, Wendy has been happy to combine her work as a general practitioner with the board membership of the National Association of General Practitioners (LHV), the representative of 12,000 Dutch general practitioners. 

In 2003 I became the first recipient of the Marina van Damme Award at the University of Twente. The prize was then meant for female entrepreneurship. I was awarded the prize because I co-founded the Twente Institute for Wireless and Mobile Communications (WMC), a company performing research, consultancy and product development that counted 14 employees. I was Chief Scientist of WMC from 2003 to 2014. Next to my job at WMC, I have been working at the university one day a week to keep in touch with the academic world. First as an associate professor at the University of Twente, and from 2006 to 2012 as a part-time full professor at Delft University of Technology. Since 2012 I am a full professor at Eindhoven University of Technology where I hold the part-time chair in Heterogeneous Network Architectures. Since September 2016 I am also the director of the Center for Wireless Technology Eindhoven (CWTe), a multidisciplinary organization where five research groups of the Electrical Engineering department of Eindhoven University of Technology collaborate on a variety of topics such as ultra-high data rates systems, Internet of things, optical-wireless convergence, and future mobile and wireless networks as 6G.

After my study Geomatics at TU Delft I started working offshore on board of vessels. Working offshore is very interesting as you work all around the world and travel a lot. The offshore industry is also known for being male-dominated. People still think it is special when you work as a woman in a men’s world. If you are a good engineer it should not matter whether you are male or female. With the Marina van Damme grant I was able to follow management and leadership courses at the Erasmus University to improve my soft skills and become a better role model for other ladies working in this industry. This turned out beneficial for both my professional career as well as my personal life. Women should lift each other up in their careers instead of fighting each other. After working offshore for five years I decided that it was time to move to an onshore role. I currently work at Heerema Marine Contractors as a Specialist Engineer. I still travel offshore for projects but not as frequent as before. I still love being on a vessel like SSCV Thialf and watch a successful installation after all the preparation efforts are done in the office.

I'm Leah Sosa, an American (and now also Dutch!) woman who grew up in Los Angeles, and moved to the Netherlands in 2011 to study Maritime Engineering at TU Delft. After working as an engineer in the superyacht industry for nearly 10 years, I wanted to change my career trajectory and explore what else was out there beyond the world of ships. I figured an MBA would open doors in many different directions, and equip me with the credentials and to succeed in a variety of roles/industries. I applied for the Marina van Damme grant in 2017 to help fund my MBA at INSEAD in France. I graduated from INSEAD in December of 2018, and started a new job as a consultant on Accenture Strategy's M&A team in Amsterdam, excited about my career change and what the future will bring!     

Homeward Bound is a ground breaking leadership, strategic and science initiative and outreach for women, set against the backdrop of Antarctica. The project is looking to increase the participation of women in leadership positions to tackle global problems, such as climate change. I was chosen in the group of 99 women that were involved in the fourth cohort during 2019. This is a cross-disciplinary program with a strong international focus on leadership development. The program is based on 3 pillars: Visibility, Strategy, and Collaboration. Together with 98 other women in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths, and Medicine) our voyage has been the largest women expedition to Antarctica. The initiative, turned global movement, aims to heighten the influence and impact of women with a science background in order to influence policy and decision making as it shapes our planet.

I studied Nutrition and Health (BSc) and Molecular Nutrition and Toxicology (MSc) at the WUR, spending all free course time on wet lab research in different areas: environmental toxicology, fish immunology and nanotoxicology. Then I moved to Berlin to do my PhD at the Charité on the role of microglia (immune cells) and autophagy (intracellular recycling mechanism) in Alzheimer's disease. I successfully defended my thesis in 2019, and am now working as a postdoc at the German center for neurodegenerative diseases in Dresden. My current project focuses on the role of nuclear proteins in epigenetic regulation and their function in cellular identity during aging and in diseases like Alzheimer's. The Marina van Damme grant allows me to participate in a couple of workshops as well as a temporary stay in a famous lab in this field to develop my bioinformatics skills. I will use these skills to analyse data during my current project, and would like to develop my own direction of research using bioinformatics to mine databases and approaching aging and related diseases as a multicellular event. On a personal note, I love everything related to food: reading cookbooks, trying new recipes, cooking classes, and trying out new restaurants.