Sanli Faez in the interdisciplinary team “Structures of Strength”

The interdisciplinary project “Structures of Strength” is one of the four projects which are granted by the Center for Unusual Collaboration, a new initiative by the strategic alliance of TU/e, WUR, UU and UMC Utrecht. In this project Sanli Faez (Nanophotonics) and a team of researchers from diverse fields such as biology, medicine, culture, history, engineering and mathematics will create a platform for sharing knowledge and expertise regarding porous materials. 

Structures of Strength (SoS) has a long-term vision of being a permanent platform that provides opportunities for all researchers to collaborate on questions related to porous materials. Members of SoS will i) develop workable innovative solutions to societal challenges relating to porous materials and ii) create discussions across disciplines from which we learn to identify the parallels in the work of different research fields and obtain unique skills that help us act more effectively on future challenges. During its first year the SoS founding team have formulate two cross-disciplinary challenges related to improving intestinal barriers (a bio-medical challenge) and protecting our historical monuments (a cultural heritage challenge). Tapping into the expertise of different fields and identifying parallels between them SoS aims at establishing a common language that will support common principles for characterisation, design, and use of porous materials. Collaboration and learning in SoS will be facilitated by several visits between institutions, and educational and societal activities including highly interdisciplinary talks and an exhibition entitled “The Hidden Similarities - fascinating world of porous materials”. 

About the Alliance 
The alliance partners are Eindhoven University of Technology, Wageningen University & Research, Utrecht University and University Medical Centre Utrecht, which was launched on 2nd of December 2020 in presence of Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven (OCW). The motto of this strategic collaboration is challenging future generations. Young researchers, lecturers and students are at the helm and work together right across disciplines. The challenges future generations will face are large but so are the possibilities for meeting those challenges. The institutions combine their expertise in order to contribute to social transitions in energy, sustainability, health, and food. 

CUCo project:  
Launch of alliance: