Queen Máxima visits EHCI

In February 2023, Queen Máxima visited the Eindhoven Hendrik Casimir Institute to be informed about photonics and Eindhoven’s exceptional position in this area. The Queen visited labs and spoke with students and scientists, all of whom could count on warm interest and well-informed questions.


The visit began with a welcome by Executive Board president Robert-Jan Smits and Wieteke de Boer, managing director of the Eindhoven Hendrik Casimir Institute, and a presentation by Kaylee Hakkel from spin-off MantiSpectra. Afterwards, the queen visited Chigo Okonkwo’s lab in Flux, where he and postdoctoral researcher Sjoerd van der Heide explained their research in the field of broadband optical data communication.

Patty Stabile’s lab was the next stop in the program, where Stabile and Simone Cardarelli from spin-off MicroAlign told their stories to a very interested queen. Afterwards, accompanied by professor Erik Bakkers, the queen entered the cleanroom of the Spectrum building. There, dressed in the typical cleanroom clothing, she was able to watch the manufacturing process of photonic components.

Strong position in photonics

The final part of the visit was a discussion session led by Robert-Jan Smits with deans Bart Smolders and Kees Storm, Naomi Verstraeten of Brainport Development, EHCI scientific director Martijn Heck, Wieteke de Boer, PhotonDelta director Ewit Roos, Kaylee Hakkel, recent graduate Bram Smolenaars, EHCI program manager photonics Marija Trajkovic. The queen and the other participants discussed the strong position in the field of photonics and what is needed to maintain and expand that position. The Queen closed the meeting with an extended thanks ‘for a very informative and interesting day’.