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New on board: PhD researcher Liran Katz

"After working for a few weeks at the TPRC, I already understood that I'm in good hands."

Liran recently started as a PhD researcher at the TPRC. Coming from Israel and having worked in the composite industry for a decade, he felt he was up for a new adventure. His eye fell on the TPRC, and together with his family, he moved to Enschede to start this new chapter in their life. Liran's research focuses on the hybrid joining of thermoplastic to thermoset parts.

"My name is Liran Katz, 40 years of age, a husband and a father of two beautiful and energetic sons. I arrived with my family to Enschede from the warm, middle eastern climate country, Israel, to start a new chapter in our life.

Since my bachelor studies in the department of chemical engineering at the Technion, I was always drawn to the materials world. In my master studies I came across the composites world and fell in love with it. The ability to combine the advantages of two different materials into one enhanced entity was, and still is, a fascinating concept, that I have the honor to work with.

After spending a decade in the composites industry, I felt that a fresh change was mandatory for me to continue with the same passion I had when I only started. Although my last position was R&D team leader in an innovative composites department, I felt there was more of the ‘D’ than the ‘R’, when it comes to an industry related R&D job. So, when I discovered that my work of place provided an overseas PhD program for designated elected employees, I knew this was the route I wanted to pursue. I started to look for a well-recognized university and a suitable research topic in my field. That's how I eventually came to TPRC in the Netherlands.

As an engineer, you do the math and carefully optimizes each situation before taking it. In this case, (almost, beside the weather) everything fell into place: great country with great people on one hand, an innovative research center that deal with cutting edge research for industrial partners on the other hand. This is the place to be and have your composite dreams come true.

We arrived to Enschede late September and decided to start our journey with a pleasant stay in a family village to ease up the transition to a new country. Then, moved close by the city center to enjoy the advantages of what the center has to offer. We enjoy the calm atmosphere the Dutch people have to offer and more than often struggling to maintain it ourselves, as an Israeli it’s not in our DNA. I guess living in a warm climate and intense environment, it’s not our comfort zone (although desired one) to be in. We will probably be the only parents going into the grocery store and shooshing our kids all the time as they accustom for talking loud and shout. Another amusing situation for us that took Dutch people by surprise is to hear us saying the world “Die” to our kids when we want them to stop shouting, which translates to the world “enough” in Hebrew.

My research topic focuses on the hybrid joining of thermoplastic to thermoset parts. At this stage of research I am reviewing the literature to find the specific route I want to take. The need for understanding the mechanisms, both physical and chemical, behind an adhesion solution for joint bonding is of great importance for existing and future applications. As thermoplastic composites started to play a major role in structural applications, due to their enhanced properties, there is a demand for the joining of them to the pre-existing well known thermoset ones.

After working for a few weeks at TPRC, I already understood that I am in good hands. The TPRC team is kind and welcoming. Everyone has the motivation and right skills to confront every obstacle and challenge thrown at them with a big smile. You can understand how big this research center has grown in the last decade, with numerous publications and technologies for these cutting-edge materials.“

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