Stephan is a part-time postdoctoral research engineer at the Erasmus SYNC lab, where he focuses on building reproducible analysis pipelines and data management processes for neuroimaging data. 

Stephan has an M.Sc. in Biomedical Engineering and Robotics from Stellenbosch University in South Africa. He worked as a commercial and software engineer for four years in two industries (Industrial Automation and Enterprise Mobility) before moving to the Netherlands with the goal of conducting research in neuroscience. His doctoral research at the Eindhoven University of Technology and in collaboration with Philips Research focused on developing new acquisition and signal processing methods for functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) that allow improved tracking and visualisation of brain activity in real-time.

Stephan is passionate about brains, accessible education, and making scientific practice more transparent and inclusive. Throughout his doctoral research, he has been active in the Dutch network of Open Science Communities and he founded OpenMR Benelux, a community working on wider adoption of open science practices in MRI research through talks, discussions, workshops and hackathons. Stephan has since continued this passion as a Research Data and Software Engineer at the Forschungszentrum Jülich in Germany, where he works on software solutions for neuroinformatics and decentralised research data management.

Ties Fakkel is a postdoctoral researcher at the Erasmus SYNC Lab. His broader focus is on understanding how adolescents end up with a similar or different socioeconomic position compared to their parents. Specifically, Ties studies socioeconomic differences in adolescent psychosocial competencies and examines how these competencies contribute to socioeconomic outcomes in early adulthood, such as educational attainment, occupational status, and income.

At the SYNC Lab, Ties is primarily involved with The Urban Rotterdam project and YoungXperts. These projects provide unique quantitative and qualitative data to understand what young people in Rotterdam perceive as causes of poverty. Rotterdam has a relatively high number of people living in poverty, but Rotterdam also has a relatively high number of young people. Their insights have the potential to foster a more sustainable and resilient future for our city.

Besides collecting data on important topics, Ties is also highly motivated to disseminate novel research findings. Through his work at the SYNC Lab – but also through his initiatives at Addendum – Ties regularly strives to make science more tangible for a broader audience. According to Ties, co-creation is at the heart of new wave social science, a vision broadly shared within the SYNC Lab.

Anne-Wil is a postdoctoral researcher at the Erasmus SYNC lab. She is interested in the development and interplay of motivation, effort, and learning in education and everyday life. In the SYNC lab, she is part of the YoungXperts team and leads the project on Youth Perspective on Climate Change together with various societal partners. Additionally, she is involved in the Urban Rotterdam Project.

Anne-Wil completed her PhD at the Department of Developmental Psychology at the University of Amsterdam. During her PhD, she studied how adolescents make decisions to invest effort in learning. She also studied how we may increase adolescents’ motivation, and what neural mechanisms are involved in this.

Anne-Wil also has a passion for teaching and is currently a teacher at the University of Amsterdam and involved in the development of learning materials together with educational publishers, libraries, other teachers, and schools. Before her PhD, Anne-Wil obtained a bachelor’s degree in Pedagogical Sciences and Education Studies and completed a Research Master in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience and Statistics at the University of Amsterdam.