Meet our Chief Technology Officer, Dr. Hugo Pérez

Meet our Chief Technology Officer, Dr. Hugo Pérez

Hugo feature image

At DENSsolutions, we persistently challenge ourselves to develop the most innovative and outstanding solutions that you need to advance your research. This continuous yet passionate pursuit has been led for years by our Chief Technology Officer, Dr. Hugo Pérez, a longstanding pillar within this company. He has played a critical role in positioning DENSsolutions as a global leader in the field of in-situ TEM, and bringing home the Microscopy Today 2020 award. 

In this latest addition to DENSsolutions Meet the Team series, we interview Chief Technology Officer, Dr. Hugo Pérez, so you can learn all about his diverse educational experiences and wild backstory.

Where it all started

“My name is Hugo Pérez and I’m 35-year-old proud Mexican born in the beautiful city of Chihuahua. Although I was raised in Mexico and it holds a special place in my heart, I have lived in 7 countries around the world including the USA, Canada, France, Italy, Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands.

“I’ve always said that my passion is MEMS and nanotechnology, my obsession is biology, but my heart lies within business management.” – Dr. Hugo Pérez 

When deciding what to study early on in my life, I was doubting whether to go for medicine or engineering. After much deliberation, I decided to go for the latter as I realized that I could later on in my career apply the developed technical skills for medical devices and healthcare purposes. I obtained my BSc in Mechatronics Engineering at the Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico. It was during my bachelor’s studies, and especially during my time in Canada and Germany, that I was introduced to the world of nanotechnology and realized that there was nothing more I wanted to do. I was amazed by the wide scope of possibilities in which this disruptive technology could be used. So, I started discussing with my supervisors, expressing my intention of specializing in micro/nano-mechatronics, with the aim of one day having the knowledge to develop electromechanical systems at the molecular scale for biomedical purposes. Funnily enough, I was partly inspired by the movie Fantastic Voyage, where a submarine and its crew were shrunken to microscopic size and injected into the bloodstream of a scientist in order to save his life.

Stream-LPEM-system-Microscopy-Today-2020-Innovation-award-400x250

Stream LPEM system wins the Microscopy Today 2020 Innovation award

 

A conversation with our CTO Dr. Hugo Pérez who has been leading the development of the award-winning system.

The first of many MSc degrees

“Coincidentally, both my supervisors in Canada and Germany, who didn’t know each other, gave me the exact same advice: to pursue a MSc in Molecular Bioengineering at TU-Dresden, in Germany. But before doing so, I had my first professional experience working within the industry, where I spent a bit over 1.5 years working as an Automation Engineer at GCC, a large cement company in Mexico. This job gave me a lot of exposure to chemistry and material science, and allowed me to discover much more about the power of using nanomaterials like carbon nanotubes. As you can imagine, this experience only grew my desire further to specialize in nanotechnology.

“From that point onwards, and for the next many years, I would be spending most of my time inside the cleanroom, learning all kinds of processes and tips & tricks to manufacture nanodevices.”

So, after this rewarding experience, I took my supervisors’ advice to heart, and jumped back to Germany to start my first (of three) Master’s degree. Studying molecular bioengineering gave me the opportunity to learn about molecular biology and all kinds of exciting applications in genetics and proteomics. However, as interesting as it was, I was still missing the engineering side that would allow me to design and manufacture nanodevices. This is precisely why I moved to Sweden to pursue a second MSc degree in Nanotechnology at the Chalmers University of Technology. It was thanks to this second MSc degree that I properly got immersed in the world of NEMS/MEMS and micro/nano-fabrication. From that point onwards, and for the next many years, I would be spending most of my time inside the cleanroom, learning all kinds of processes and tips & tricks to manufacture nanodevices.”

Hugo image with illustrations

Mission impossible

“After finishing my second MSc, and given the fact that this was all very intense, I was prepared to go back to the industry with the aim of slowly starting to move towards a highly ranked management position in a high-tech company. However, destiny had something else prepared for me. I ended up getting a PhD position at TU-Delft in the Netherlands. Although pursuing a PhD was not part of the plan, I couldn’t deny this opportunity given the fact that the project was exactly what I was looking for. Not only that, but my promotor would be Dr. Urs Staufer, a remarkable scientist who led NASA’s Phoenix Mars Mission and developed the first nanosensor for planetary science able to measure the presence of water molecules on Mars. I took this opportunity as a great chance to learn from one of the best.

“At a certain point I was working in parallel on two different PhD projects while simultaneously pursuing an MBA.”

To make the story more complicated, another opportunity came up to pursue a third Master’s degree in Business Administration at the University of Cumbria. Of course, I didn’t hesitate to jump on this considering my goal has always been to become a successful businessman. However, destiny still had another surprise for me: the appearance of another PhD project on graphene manipulation. Therefore, at a certain point I was working in parallel on two different PhD projects while simultaneously pursuing an MBA. This complete academic experience, which was extremely demanding, forced me to become a very structured and time-efficient person. This is partly the reason why I’ve won the best scientific paper on a number of occasions at prestigious international conferences.

Now, at DENSsolutions, I’m trying to exploit all these experiences to the most, not just to lead the company on the right technological path, but also to bring the business to a higher level. I enjoy acting as a coach to my colleagues and ensuring there’s always something they can learn from me. From a commercial perspective, what I enjoy the most is pitching our technology to convince people of our solutions, as well as trying to close new deals. It excites me that researchers all over the world in a wide variety of applications rely on our advanced technologies to conduct their research. Keeping the right balance between business and science is what has allowed me to strengthen my international network, and what has given me the possibility to be in contact with global industrial leaders and some of the greatest scientific minds in the community.”

Thank you for reading this article! If you would like to ask Hugo any questions, whether it’s about his education, experience or knowledge, please don’t hesitate to contact him via the form below

Discover Hugo’s publications

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Meet our new Regional Sales Manager, Dr. Eva Bladt

Meet our new Regional Sales Manager, Dr. Eva Bladt

DENSsolutions Eva Bladt
DENSsolutions Eva Bladt

Building strong and long-standing customer relationships has always been a paramount objective at DENSsolutions. In efforts to increase our impact in the Nordics, Benelux, the U.K. and Ireland, we needed somebody who could further strengthen our ties with customers and expand our user base in these regions.

We have found just the right person to carry out these responsibilities, Dr. Eva Bladt, our new Regional Sales Manager. Eva has a comprehensive understanding of materials science and electron microscopy, as well as a strong interpersonal skillset that allows her to communicate her extensive knowledge with ease. Her role at DENSsolutions is focused on further establishing relationships with our customers in the Nordics, Benelux, the U.K. and Ireland, enabling scientists to tackle their complex research questions using our innovative in-situ solutions.

We asked Eva to introduce herself so you can learn more about her education, background and role at DENSsolutions.

Eva’s academic journey

“My name is Eva Bladt and I am 30 years old. I was born and raised in Antwerp, Belgium and have lived there my whole life except for last year when I moved to Melbourne, Australia for 6 months. When deciding what I wanted to study after high school, I actually had three options, all of which were exceptionally different from one another: a Bachelor’s in Dance, a Bachelor’s in Medicine and a Bachelor’s in Physics. After months of deliberation, I decided to pursue a Bachelor’s in Biomedical Sciences. Six weeks later, I realized I had made the wrong choice. I discovered that medicine didn’t excite me the way physics did, so I changed my studies and pursued a Bachelor’s in Physics instead. I immediately felt that this degree was a better fit for me.

I graduated with a MSc in Physics in 2013 from the University of Antwerp. During my Physics education, I developed a passion for materials science and electron microscopy. This translated into a Bachelor and Master thesis under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Sara Bals, a true expert in the field of electron tomography. After graduating, I started as a PhD in Sara’s group at EMAT (Electron Microscopy for Materials Science), one of the leading electron microscopy centers in the world. I focused on the 3D structural characterization of functional nanoparticles, particularly metallic and semiconductor nanoparticles. To pursue this PhD fellowship, I received a personal FWO (Research Foundation – Flanders) grant.

After receiving my PhD degree in 2017, I continued as a post-doctoral researcher at EMAT, which was also funded by a personal FWO grant. I mainly carried out atomic structure characterization studies of perovskite nanostructures and 3D thermal stability investigations of metallic nanoparticles. During my post-doc research, I was very fortunate to have had the opportunity to perform a research stay at the Monash Centre for Electron Microscopy in Melbourne, Australia, under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Joanne Etheridge. During this research period, I focused on the 2D and 3D characterization of twinned metallic nanoparticles. This was a truly unique experience both on an academic and personal level.”

A new career path

“Although I’ve been a part of the academic world for quite some time now, I decided it was time for me to embark on a new career path. Moving away from academia was definitely not an easy decision, as nanoscience is undoubtedly where my passion lies. However, I couldn’t deny that I was longing for some change in my life. I wasn’t quite sure exactly what role I was searching for, but I knew it had to allow me to stay close to the field.

“I knew right away that this position was meant for me, not only because it allows me to stay close to the field of nanoscience, but also to exercise my passion for communication.” – Dr. Eva Bladt

When searching for positions a couple months ago, I came across an opening for Regional Sales Manager at DENSsolutions, a company whose solutions I was highly familiar with already. During my thermal stability studies, I worked extensively with the DENSsolutions Wildfire solution, an in-situ TEM heating system that has always impressed me, particularly for its extreme stability even at high temperatures. I knew right away that this position was meant for me, not only because it allows me to stay close to the field of nanoscience, but also to exercise my passion for communication. Aside from conducting research, I have always enjoyed communicating and presenting my results and have done so at various international conferences.

I think that my background in materials science and electron microscopy is of high value to this role particularly because I am able to understand customers’ specific research needs. This will allow me to step into the mind of the customer and better address their needs, ultimately enabling them to perform more meaningful research studies. I am really excited to be getting in touch with scientists in different fields and hope to expand DENSsolutions’s customers base with satisfied customers who will achieve ground-breaking insights using our solutions.”

Thank you for reading this article. If you would like to know more about Eva, don’t hesitate to contact her via email or LinkedIn.

Discover Eva Bladt’s Wildfire publications

3D characterization of heat-induced morphological changes of Au nanostars by fast in situ electron tomography 

 

Thermal stability of gold/palladium octopods studied in situ in 3D

 

Quantitative 3D characterization of elemental diffusion dynamics in individual Ag-Au nanoparticles with different shapes 

 

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Meet our new Marketing Communications Specialist, Lama Elboreini

Meet our new Marketing Communications Specialist, Lama Elboreini

Robert Endert DENSsolutions

The global circumstances in today’s society have entirely shifted the business landscape, with no industry having the luxury of being exempt. Like most companies, we have had to find innovative ways of adapting to the changes fluctuating around us. Specifically, we needed to find somebody who could expand our marketing capabilities and initiate a new era of online product demonstrations, as well as act as our brand’s voice in a time where communication is evolving online.

We are lucky to have found just the right person for the job, Lama Elboreini, our new Marketing Communications Specialist. Lama has a multifaceted understanding of consumer behavior, advertising and brand development as a result of her Master’s degree in Marketing Management from the Rotterdam School of Management. Her role at DENSsolutions is focused on further positioning the company as the hub for the worldwide in situ EM community, working together with scientists to achieve meaningful research outcomes for global challenges.

We asked Lama to introduce herself so you can learn more about her background and her role at the company.

“My name is Lama Elboreini and I am a 21-year-old Egyptian national who has never lived a day in Egypt. I was born in Kuwait City, raised in Abu Dhabi and have spent the past 4 years and a half of my life right here in the Netherlands.

I moved to the Netherlands when I was 17 years old to pursue a BSc in International Business Administration at the Rotterdam School of Management (RSM), Erasmus University. During this three-year study, I explored the multitude of facets characterizing the business environment, from finance and accounting to supply chain management to my personal favorite, marketing. Although I found many of my bachelor’s courses interesting, nothing quite did it for me like marketing. Realizing this, in the third and final year of my study, I did a digital marketing and communications internship at Accenture the Netherlands. From this internship, I acquired hands-on experience and knowledge about content marketing, search engine optimization and thought leadership. It was during this time where I developed a deep passion for marketing and ultimately chose to pursue a master’s degree in the field.

In my efforts to challenge myself and develop my marketing, copywriting and interpersonal skills further, I decided to do a second marketing communications internship with Accenture alongside my MSc in Marketing Management at RSM. Through working with a large, co-dependent and highly diverse team, it was particularly in this internship that I learned the necessity and value of teamwork.

My next objective as a fresh master’s graduate a few months ago was to land a position at a company that could offer me a stimulating work environment within the realm of marketing. I came across an opening for a position that was exactly what I was looking for: Marketing Communications Specialist at DENSsolutions. The position entailed handling online product demonstrations, hosting insightful webinars and creating compelling content on the website and social media channels – all of which really excited me. Being so far from this vast world of nanoscience, I had never heard of the company before, let alone any company within the field. However, after extensively researching DENSsolutions and the field of in situ electron microscopy, I was blown away by the capabilities of their solutions and the key role that nanotechnology plays in solving global issues. 

After a full month of immersing myself within this intriguing world of nanoscience, and connecting with top researchers around the globe, I’m confident that I have made the right choice. I’m excited to use my digital marketing expertise to advance DENSsolutions’s capabilities and strengthen customer relationships. I’m also really happy to have the opportunity of initiating my career at a company of cutting-edge standards like DENSsolutions, within such a welcoming and knowledgeable team!”

Thank you for reading. If you would like to know more about Lama, don’t hesitate to contact her via email or LinkedIn.

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Meet our new Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) Robert Endert

Meet our new Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) Robert Endert

Robert Endert DENSsolutions

In order to continue the growth of our company and further advance the field of in-situ TEM, it is important that we keep investing in our commercial activities. The current worldwide situation encourages us to find innovative online ways to build and strengthen relationships with our customers and distributors. For this we were looking for a Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) who could take our company to the next level.

With Robert Endert we have found the right man for the job. Next to being a great team player, he has a lot of experience in Electron Microscopy (EM), marketing and sales. Robert will focus on growing our business and further improving our relationships with customers and distributors. We asked him to introduce himself and provide some background information.

My name is Robert Endert (Dutch, 57 years old) and I am happy to inform you that I recently started working for DENSsolutions.
I graduated from Delft University of Technology in the research group Electron Optics. After this I joined Philips Electron Optics as an application specialist. Here I was involved in training and demonstration activities for customers from all over the world. Since developing user-interfaces was also part of my job I quickly realized that the user-friendliness of scientific equipment is a key factor for success.
In my next job I led the sales & service department for Philips Electron Optics in the Netherlands and Belgium; here I learned that customers are not just looking for topnotch specifications but also for adequate service and support.
In the years to follow I had a number of sales and general management functions in companies selling capital equipment and turnkey projects where sales cycles are long and funding processes are challenging.
Earlier this year I was contacted by the CEO of DENSsolutions, who I knew from my first job at Philips. He told me about the fast growing nano-science world and the important contribution of in-situ TEM to its progress. It didn’t take long before I got enthusiastic and agreed to join his team as CCO.
The world is facing many challenges that can only be solved by the contribution of scientists working on electron microscopic level. DENSsolutions is committed to support these activities with state-of-the-art in-situ MEMS technology.
I am a strong believer in teamwork and open and transparent communication to build long lasting relationships. Fortunately this has become a lot easier with modern communication means, opening up great possibilities to do online webinars and demonstrations.
That’s why I am really looking forward to being part of the DENSSolutions team and the exciting world of nano-science!

Thank you for reading, if you would like to know more about Robert, don’t hesitate to contact him:

Email Robert

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