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Edmond Sterpin receives the Chair “Roger Van Geen”

29 June '23

Upon the initiative of the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre SCK CEN, the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO) and the Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique-FNRS (F.R.S.-FNRS) grant the SCK CEN Chair “Roger Van Geen” to an eminent researcher in the domain of nuclear sciences and applications. The 2023 laureate is Edmond Sterpin. He is professor in medical physics, associated to both KU Leuven and UCLouvain. “Being awarded alongside prestigious laureates is a strong motivation to pursue my research efforts even further”, says a visibly touched Edmond Sterpin.


SCK CEN - Roger Van Geen (2023)

Summer 2020, the Belgian first proton therapy centre – named PARTICLE – opened its doors. The opening of this new centre eased Belgian cancer patients’ burden, as they no longer needed to travel abroad for treatment. It is a clinical and scientific partnership between six university hospitals across the language border. Edmond Sterpin is research coordinator in PARTICLE. The quality of his scientific work and the high societal impact it has, convinced the independent international jury of experts to award the “Roger van Geen” chair 2023 to the professor in medical physics.

“Furthermore, prof. Sterpin has a broad collaborative network, extending beyond the academic realm, which convinced the jury that there is a large potential for further collaboration in the future with SCK CEN and other partners”, praised the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO) and the Fund for Scientific Research (F.R.S.–FNRS).

“I am honoured and grateful”, says this year’s laureate. “It is also a recognition of the importance of medical branch in the realm of atomic and nuclear physics. The chair will allow me to disseminate to a wider audience the scientific bases of the discipline. Moreover, the major challenges of the moment can be addressed, in the particular context of the development of a cutting-edge research program at the newly built PARTICLE proton therapy centre.”

Being awarded alongside prestigious laureates is a strong motivation to pursue my research efforts even further
Edmond Sterpin, professor in medical physics, associated to KU Leuven and UCLouvain
SCK CEN - Roger Van Geen (2023)

Improving treatment outcomes

His main research interests are treatment modelling with Monte Carlo simulations, automatic planning with artificial intelligence, adaptive radiotherapy and reference dosimetry. In particular, PARTICLE is currently part of an international consortium, named ProtOnArt, aiming at treating the first patient in PARTICLE with a full online adaptive protontherapy workflow. Such approach updates a patient’s treatment plan, based on new images acquired while the patient is on the treatment couch.  

The Chair is awarded every two year and involves 12500 euro. Besides the scientific quality of his performed research, a proven track record of education is also a selection criteria. “Edmond Sterpin fits all criteria very well. We had the pleasure to already work with the laureate, for example, as a promotor of joint PhD projects. I am convinced that this Chair will strengthen our collaboration”, adds Michèle Coeck, Director of the SCK CEN Academy for Nuclear Science and Technology.

In the frame of this Chair, laureates give a serie of lectures. These lectures aim to inspire and encourage young scientists to pursue a similar career, as well as to stimulate knowledge exchange between professionals. “I am looking forward to Prof Sterpin’s lectures, who will take place in October and November 2023”, concludes Michèle Coeck (SCK CEN Academy).

Are you interested to join?
Lectures will be published at the SCK CEN Academy website.

Keep posted!

Prof. Roger Van Geen (1935-1995)

Prof. Roger Van Geen obtained his Master's degree in Physics and a doctorate in Science at the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB). He went on to become a Professor and Dean in the Faculty of Sciences and Applied Sciences at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), where he was appointed to the position of Rector in 1974. It was under his rectorship that the university's own hospital, the Universitair Ziekenhuis Brussel, commenced its activities and a decision taken by Prof. Van Geen also led to the construction of an oncology centre and a paediatric hospital.

In 1975, Prof. Van Geen joined the Board of Directors of SCK CEN, where he became Managing Director in 1989 and Chairman from 1991 onwards. During his time in office, he made a decisive mark on SCK CEN's scientific ambitions and made a significant contribution to the development of a major network of international partners. Prof. Van Geen was also a bridge builder in his dealings with politicians and the humanities.

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