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T. Geernaert was born in Dendermonde (Belgium) in 1983. He graduated as an Electrotechnical Engineer with majors in Photonics in 2006 and received his PhD in Engineering in 2011, both summa cum laude at the VUB (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium). In 2012 he received the European Photonics21 Innovation Award in recognition of “his groundbreaking individual research contributions in the field of optics and photonics” during his PhD. Since 2016 he is professor in the photonics research group B-PHOT (Brussels Photonics, www.b-phot.org) at VUB, which counts about 60 scientists, engineers, and administrative and technical staff. His research focuses on novel optical fiber sensors based on specialty and micro-structured optical fibres with applications in the oil- and gas industry, in structural health monitoring, biomedicine and industry4.0. He published >100 scientific publications and 3 book chapters and holds 2 patents.