PhD Community

The TNO PhD community is an initiative for PhD researchers working in projects affiliated with TNO. Founded in 2020, we aim to help TNO PhD researchers develop, network and create an impact during their time as a PhD researcher at TNO.

The PhD Community is a developing initiative for all PhD candidates conducting research connected with TNO. All events organised by the TNO PhD Community are run for and by PhD students associated with TNO. Founded in 2020, we aim to act as a hub for PhD candidates, creating events and opportunities for members.

All PhD students who have a connection to TNO can join the TNO PhD Community.


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Why have we started the TNO PhD Community?

For PhD candidates conducting research at TNO, finding their way through the TNO environment can be both exciting and challenging. To facilitate these journeys, the TNO Science Academy and Corporate Science Office set up the TNO PhD Community. As a community, we have three main goals.


As a community, we aim to provide opportunities for the professional growth of PhD researchers. As there is no pre-established pathway for doing a PhD at TNO, we look to provide opportunities for PhD students who want to develop their professional skills.


We aim to facilitate communication between TNO PhD researchers, and with the broader TNO community, to stimulate, amongst other things, knowledge sharing and collaboration.


We want to strengthen the impact that research done by TNO PhD researchers can have, both within TNO and the university.

Meet the board

We are the board members of the TNO PhD Community. We are all PhD researchers, actively working in projects across different departments of TNO. Our primary focus as a board is to create exciting events and opportunities for you to network, develop and create an impact with your PhD research! Find out a bit more about us below.

Thomas Attema

"In 2018, I enrolled in a part-time PhD project at the Cryptology group of the Centrum for Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI). In my PhD, I aim to develop new cryptographic protocols creating decentralized collaboration opportunities without the need for a trusted third party. Combining this with my work in TNO’s Cyber Security and Robustness department gives me an amazing balance between applied and fundamental research."

Milou Derks

"After working at the strategic business unit for over a year, I decided in 2019 to combine my job at TNO with a PhD on upscaling innovations in developing countries at TU/e. It is by far the best decision I have made in my professional life. It allows me to make impact in both developing countries and the academic world."

Mitchell van der Hulst

"I am a third year PhD student with an affiliation shared equally between the department of Environmental Science at Radboud University and TNO’s Climate Air and Sustainability (CAS) department in the unit of Circular Economy and the Environment (CEE). I joined the board to realise the foundation of a PhD community within TNO that enables exchange of knowledge/experiences between PhD students at TNO and strengthens their integration into the organization."

Natalia Mazur

"I'm a third year PhD student in Applied Physics at Eindhoven University of Technology. My PhD research looks into the development of thermochemical heat storage materials for domestic applications within Mat4Heat project where TNO is one of the partners. With the ongoing energy transition it is crucial to develop storage options which will allow us to stockpile green energy."

Carina Nieuwenweg

"Currently I am working as a PhD candidate at Wageningen University and Research on a novel biochemical technology called gene drives, an application of CRISPR-Cas. My research project is a joined collaboration with TNO. Gene drives are genetic constructs that allow mankind to specifically alter DNA, the blueprint of life, of entire populations.

Dual-use is an important aspect of this technology. Innovations in biotechnology are happening fast and reaching maturity with an increasing pace. Although these technologies have great potential, they give rise to a variety of questions concerning ethics, safety and malicious intent."

Aiden Hoyle

"I started my PhD in 2019 in a collaboration between TNO, the Netherlands Defense Academy and the University of Amsterdam. Broadly speaking, I'm attempting to understand the psychological dimension of hostile information activities. I really like doing my PhD with TNO, and getting that more applied aspect of research."