Why a PhD committee?

  • Inform, connect and involve current PhD-students and attract and inform future PhD-students
  • Reach out to the VITO PhD community and connect between various VITO disciplines
  • Share experiences about their PhD life with current and future VITO PhD students
  • Organise events for VITO PhD-students
  • Shape and improve the PhD-programme at VITO
  • Contact point for potential PhD candidates

Get to know the PhD comittee

The PhD committee is an international group of PhD students at VITO, which represents the community of PhD students currently performing their PhD at VITO. The committee works in close cooperation with the Scientific Relations team, which is co-ordinating the VITO PhD programme.

Nor Kamariah

PhD at KU Leuven, Belgium
Started on 1/12/2019

"The PhD committee can be a good opportunity for me to connect with PhD students from different VITO units; building networks and sharing experience with PhD fellows will make the PhD journey more meaningful and enjoyable. I hope to get more actively involved in the PhD events; ranging from professional-focused events which will allow me to broaden my research perspective, to non-academic program such as ‘PhD Buddy’. I personally have great experience with the PhD Buddy; not only I got help with the practical information during the program, but also I get a good friend who supports me during my first year of PhD. Contributing to the PhD committee is a way to pay it forward :)."

Lina Silva Rodriguez

PhD at the University of Utrecht, The Netherlands
Started on 1/11/2019

"Starting a PhD can be an overwhelming process, full of challenges and expectations. One of the things that facilitated my integration as a PhD student at VITO was the support of one of the members of the PhD committee. It was also very nice to discover that the VITO PhD program, which we all are part of, is in a continuous improvement process in which the scientific depart and the PhD committee work together. I am very excited to be part of this multidisciplinary team that encourage and support the VITO PhD community. I hope to be of help to current and new PhD students, as someone was for me a year ago."

Tu Nguyen

PhD at University of Hasselt, Belgium
Started on 01/12/2021

"PhD-ers in VITO are special: they are a part of their associated university and also a part of VITO. Sometimes there are unique experiences that I believe only PhD-students in VITO might relate. Therefore, the VITO PhD committee is there to bring PhD students together and to support each other. It is meaningful for me to be a part of the organization that creates a sense of belonging for other PhDs at VITO and makes them feel “at home”. Doing a PhD at VITO has been an enjoyable journey to me so far, and I would love to help spread the spirit to other fellow VITO-PhD students as well."

Erik Bollen

PhD at university of Hasselt, Belgium
Started on 01/10/2020

"I think doing a PhD is hard work, but it should be or can be fun too. The PhD committee helped me with both facets. For example, the committee helped me to get started and make sure I could find my way within VITO. Besides, the committee ensured that I did not feel left alone in this new chapter of my career. The social events and the buddy program are nice examples of that. The PhD committee ensured a smooth start for me, thank you. Now, I want to return this favour to the colleagues already here and the ones that will join in the future. I hope that I can help with the organisation of the events and programs so that others have an equally nice experience starting and working at VITO as I did. Being part of the VITO PhD committee is also an excellent opportunity to meet as many of my colleagues and get to know their interesting research."

Tam Huynh Thi Thanh

PhD at University of Brussels, Belgium
Started on 15/12/2022

"A PhD is an exceptional experience, especially if you are an international student who may cross the pond to begin this adventure, leaving family and friends behind. I can tell you that you will learn a lot about cultural differences, diversity, and inclusion at VITO. Furthermore, the PhD committee exists to bring us together not only academically but also socially. I am honoured to be a part of a PhD committee where I hope that I can contribute my expertise and assist new PhD researchers."

Nikolaos Georgousis

PhD at University of Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Started on 15/12/2022

"My name is Nikolaos Georgousis and I am a PhD student at VITO – EnergyVille, in the THES team. My origins are from Greece and Germany.

Thank you for letting me to take part in VITO’s PhD community. As I had to move to Belgium to start my position I didn’t know any person in the beginning. The PhD community seemed to a very good choice for not only coming to meet new people, but also getting a hobby. Specifically, the daily working routine itself, although it’s a topic that I am highly interested about, does not give the choice of actively participating in the PhD community. Getting to know better the VITO organization and the associated people and PhD students from its different domains, participating in organizing relevant events for the PhD community and also having the choice to get a more dynamic view on how PhD programs are structured, were the main reasons that lead to ask for joining the PhD committee."

Daniel Flender

PhD at University of Antwerp, Belgium
Started on 01/12/2020

"The PhD journey is undeniably difficult, but it is also extremely exciting. We can make this path more enjoyable and rewarding by encouraging fellow PhDs to share their experiences and progress. Throughout the start of my own PhD, the PhD committee served as an important support system, ensuring a smooth start. Now I'm motivated to return this invaluable help by assisting other PhD students in their own beginnings.

The annual PhD event is an important chance provided by the PhD committee. This event offers a forum for vital research skills to be sharpened and experiences to be shared among peers. By actively participating in the PhD committee, I can help organize this event and have the opportunity to collaborate with PhDs from various disciplines at VITO."