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As of September 1, Martin van Hecke starts a new research group on Mechanical Metamaterials.
These forms of matter derive their transnatural functionalities from their structure rather than composition --- examples range from elastic media with carefully designed cavities to Origami.
Main research themes are to explore programmable, active and intelligent metamaterials, as well as to discover their design rules ("the inverse problem").
This research is part of the new AMOLF initiative on 'Designer Matter', aimed at the design of a much broader range of new forms of functional matter.
Van Hecke has been at the Leiden Institute of Physics (since 2000), leading a group that focused on granular media, foams and jamming, and recently has shifted attention to metamaterials.
He remains part-time at Leiden running a single group at two locations.