Plenary session

Dr An Steegen (imec) – "The Power of a PhD"

An Steegen is imec’s EVP for semiconductor technology & systems. In that role, she heads the semiconductor technology & systems unit and is responsible for the next-generation CMOS & CMORE technologies R&D. Dr Steegen is a recognized industry leader and an acclaimed speaker at the industry’s prominent semiconductor conferences and events.

Dr Steegen joined imec in 2010 as senior VP responsible for imec’s CORE CMOS programs. Before, she was director at IBM Semiconductor R&D in Fishkill, New York and host executive of IBM’s logic International Semiconductor Development Alliance.

An Steegen holds a Ph.D. in Material Science and Electrical Engineering from the KU Leuven (Belgium).

Dr Filip Van den Abeele (subseawolf) – "From PhD to Innopreneur: Embrace Change!"

As an independent pipeline engineer for the oil and gas industry, Filip Van den Abeele (1980) is frequently consulted. He is able like no other to explain science and technology in an understandable way. With a light layer of humor.

The doctoral thesis he wrote to crown his engineering studies received the Prof. Dr. The Meulemeester-Piot Award, an award for the best thesis. After his doctorate Filip Van den Abeele worked for a couple of years as a researcher at OCAS, the research center of ArcelorMittal.

As Chief Science in the television program "De Laatste Show" Filip Van den Abeele ensured an airy note to less obvious themes. With his childhood friend and television presenter Lieven Scheire he wrote the book "What if the oil runs out?", a must-read for those who want to understand the energy issue.

Obtaining a PhD, in addition to a strong starting point for your career, is also a landmark in your life. It is a testament of your perseverance, it provides solid proof of your ability to manage mistakes, to move forward and to obtain success. And even more: it voices the irrefutable evidence of your intelligence and your creativity.

In this keynote, I want to paint you a picture of the truly amazing opportunities that lie within reach for all of you who have the boldness to blend creativity with entrepreneurship. I’d like to take you on a meandering path from academia over industrial research to maybe writing your own book or starting your own company. I want to share my experience, and some tips and tricks, on how to kick-start your career as an ‘innopreneur’ outside the hallowed halls of academia.