Princess Elisabeth, back in her home country after finishing her first years of studies, inaugurated yesterday a lab named in her honour.
Located at KU Leuven, the Princess Elisabeth Additive Manufacturing Lab aims to develop 3D printing materials, machines, and applications while training a new generation of engineers with new production techniques. Amid this new generation of students, Princess Elisabeth and KU Leuven also ambition to encourage more women to enroll for engineering programs.
The future queen who is also an ambassador of the Leuven-based research university toured the lab and heard more about how 3D printing is already used in demanding industries such as healthcare or aeronautics.
“3D printing, or additive manufacturing (AM) as we say in the field, is a fascinating and versatile technology that can be used in numerous fields. You can really let your imagination run wild and create the craziest objects,” says Professor Brecht Van Hooreweder, head of the research team. “We are therefore particularly honoured with the visit of the crown princess and the role she is taking on as a committed ambassador for our new lab and scientific research. Especially in the engineering programmes, with the exception of bioengineering, we notice that female students are often still underrepresented. That is why we are all the happier that a young woman like Princess Elisabeth is committed to this.”
The opening marks the second solo engagement, of the Duchess of Brabant – the first one being the new oceanographic research vessel she christened in Ghent at the end of June.
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