Giulia Spallanzani – ESR 12




Giulia Spallanzani pursued her Bachelor’s degree in Engineering Physics and her Master’s degree in Engineering Physics – Nanotechnologies and Nanophysics at Politecnico di Milano, Italy. She did her industrial Bachelor’s thesis on defect analysis of silicon wafers at the Italian plant of Global Wafers Singapore Ltd. in Novara and a research-oriented Master’s thesis on a smart recyclable strain sensor at the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia in Genova.

Her studies ranged from semiconductors to polymer materials to graphene, diving deep into the underlying physics and their possible applications in nanotechnology.

Giulia joined the STORM-BOTS program in November 2021 as ESR12, and she will work in the Hybrid Printed Electronics Group at Holst Centre – TNO in Eindhoven, developing printable LCE-based sensors.

Research interests

Liquid crystals, smart materials, sensors, soft robotics, applied physics


Research project: ESR 1 – Electrically driven polymers for active antennae

Smart responsive materials have the potential to provide new functionalities and push the limit of current or new applications since their mechanical or electrical properties are not frozen. In a similar way as liquid crystals (LC) are used for their adjustable optical properties in liquid crystal displays (LCD), upon application of an electric field, the dielectric properties of the LC can be tuned to adjust the interaction of the substrate with radio frequency waves. This project will focus on the assessment, development, synthesis and processing of stimulus-triggered materials based on liquid crystals for communications at radio-frequency. The materials sense and feel. We envision that the communicating materials will channel the interface between human and machine and pave the way towards haptics, 5G communications.

This project will be carried out in close collaboration with a company, SABIC. The STORM-BOTS Consortium consists of 9 high profile research institutions, universities and companies working towards harnessing the full potential of liquid-crystal-based responsive surfaces, soft actuators and smart machines.

The selected ESR will be hired by TU/e and will develop her/his activity at the functional molecules and devices (SFD) group, performing secondments at SABIC and at the University of Cambridge (UK).