science X art X technology

X–festival 2023

October 17-20 2023

Universiteit Hasselt — campus diepenbeek
Agoralaan Building D (belgium)


Simon Gronowski (Belgium)

The Child of the xxth convoy to auschwitz – lessons for the generations of the xxIst CENTURY (NL)

Watch a short quote from Mr. Gronowski during his lecture

Simon Gronowski (°1931) is a lawyer, jazz pianist and survivor of the deportations from the Second World War. On April 19 1943, eleven-year-old Simon Gronowski jumped from a wagon of the “Twentieth train convoy” — near Borgloon (Limburg-Belgium) — that took him from the Dossin barracks in Mechelen (Belgium) to the extermination camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau. His life story was published as L’Enfant du XXe convoi, publisher Luc Pire, 2002. He gives speeches worldwide together with a message of hope. In the framework of the 50th anniversary of Hasselt University he will a give a special Studium Generale Opening Lecture (in Dutch) on Tuesday 17th of October at 18h00 in auditorium H6 of Campus Diepenbeek.

Anna Pascó Boltà (Spain/Germany)


Born in Barcelona in 1990, Anna Pascó Boltà graduated in Fine Arts at the University of Barcelona and at the Akademie der Bildenden Kunst München with honors. Her transdisciplinary research investigates mechanisms and models for understanding and constructing the idea of life and existence, linking different disciplines of the scientific-technical field with art. Her works are part of the collection of the Münchner Stadtmuseum, Staff Stiftung and Curt Wills Stiftung and have been exhibited at the Haus der Kunst München, Speculum Artium Festival in Slovenia, the International Symposium of Electronic Art ISEA'22, La Capella Barcelona, Lothringer 13 München, Kunsthalle Kempten or Eingen+Art Lab Berlin. She has published “Stickers” with Bom Dia Books and did artistic residencies within the programs La Mire (FR), ÉCART (CAN), Malt AiR (DK), Almresidency (DE), the DAAD Graduate Study Residency in Vienna (AT) and Junge Kunst der Alten Hansestadt Lemgo (DE) and upcoming will be part of Lagos Mexico (MX) and Arctic Circle Expedition Program. She has been funded by the Hans Rudolf Foundation and is a laureate of the Ambartgent'15 (ES), the Windmann Kunstpreis'16 (DE), the XXI Biennal d'art contemporani català (ES), the 15HOCH2 Award (DE), Barcelona Producció'21 (ES), Grant Junge Kunst Neue Wege of the Bavarian Ministry of Science and Art (DE), Grant NEUSTART KULTUR of the BBK (DE), the grant of Stiftungkunstfonds (DE) and the New Media Art Grant of Munic (DE).

Let's Symbiose and Be With is an installation and performance with cable bacteria. Through the reading of love letters addressed to and transmitted by cable bacteria the piece focuses the interest of the audience on the symbiotic relationships with other species that make our existence and symbiosis with our environment possible.

In collaboration with music composer: Martin Linka — thatsoundsmart

Her installation ZENZ(AI) will be exhibited on the agora of building D.

Frits Jeuris (Belgium)


From childhood, Frits Jeuris was inventing and making sculptures and installations with everything he found, inspired by the 'head'. As a little boy he made a small statue of a head that remained on the fireplace with his parents. Meanwhile, this has become his trademark. Everything starts in the head. In 2015, this artistic talent built an iconic wooden head measuring 4.6 and 3 meters wide. Jeuris used discarded planks and surplus wood from a pottery workshop and christened the colossal head 'Think a head'. In the first place it is an indictment against the consumer society: the discarded boards together form a new head, which symbolizes a new beginning. Not only is the outside impressive, Jeuris has also worked meticulously on the inside. The wooden construction has two floors, with a meeting room on the top floor that can serve as a think tank. You can literally put your heads together there to brainstorm or just experience what doing nothing feels like.

'Think a head' has already been exhibited at Pukkelpop in the past. The artwork, which took two months to work on full-time, and which weighs 1.5 tons, moved to the Verbeke Foundation in Kemzeke, East Flanders at the beginning of 2021. It has been given a prominent place on the impressive private art site. 'Think a head' is therefore permanently on display in an inspiring place on the edge of the large pond, a reflection point where nature, art and ecology cross-fertilize each other. And where impermanence can triumph. Also in 2021, 'Think a head' got another unique sequel. It became the new eye-catcher for Hasselt University on the campus in Diepenbeek. On top of the X-LAB pavilion, under the watchful eye of Prof.dr. Jean Manca, became a 5 meters high, 5 meters long and 3 meters wide head from corten steel installed. The artwork weighs a total of 2.6 tons. Frits Jeuris has provided seats inside the head. At X-LAB, crossover and interdisciplinarity are central, and they think over creative solutions for the challenges of the future.

Jaroslav Hruby (Czech Rep./Belgium)


Jaroslav Hruby studied biomedical engineering at Czech Technical University in Prague. He started working in diamond research in his third year and developed an automated measurement system for diamond nanoparticle imaging for his bachelor thesis. During his master’s degree, he went for an ERASMUS exchange study program to Hasselt (Belgium) for a year. There he contributed to an article on a new diamond magnetometry readout method published in Nature Communication. In the following years, he obtained a PhD at UHasselt in the group of Quantum Photonics, at imo-imomec, supervised by Prof. Dr. M. Nesladek.

Jaroslav Hruby is currently a postdoctoral researcher at imo-imomec (UHasselt & imec) and team leader of team OSCAR-QUBE, an interdisciplinary team of UHasselt students and imo-imomec. It consists of very different disciplines: bachelors, masters and PhDs, engineers and physicists. For years, their mission has been to bring quantum sensing directly from the lab to space. On August 28 2021, it finally happened. Aboard the SpaceX CRS 23, their diamond-based quantum magnetometer has departed for the ISS space station. The OSCAR-QUBE project was developed as a topic that is addressed within the Quantum Science & Technology research domain.

Photo below © ESA

Bart Van Kerkhove (Belgium)


Bart Van Kerkhove (°1972) is a polymath: an economist, philosopher, writer, and MVDP-inspired sportsman. Since 2000, he has been affiliated with the Centre for Logic and Science Philosophy at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, where he is mainly involved in research into the philosophy of mathematics. Since 2009, he has been a guest lecturer at Universiteit Hasselt for philosophy of science subjects. In 2007, he published a series of poems entitled ‘NIETS DICHT MIJ’.

Jan Colpaert (Belgium)


Prof.dr. Jan Colpaert is the Dean of the Faculty of Sciences of Universiteit Hasselt.

Bernard Vanheusden (Belgium)


Prof.dr. Bernard Vanheusden is the Rector of Universiteit Hasselt.

Robin Bonné (Belgium)


Robin Bonné (°1992) is a postdoc in biophysics and science communication enthusiast. After obtaining a master in physics and astronomy and a teacher's degree at UGent, he got the opportunity to do a PhD at X-LAB (with prof. dr. Jean Manca) about microbes that conduct electricity. To investigate if these so-called cable bacteria could be an interesting material for future ecological electronics, he continues his research as a postdoc at Aarhus University (Denmark).

During his academic career, his love for communicating to a broad audience led him to give talks, do television interviews and coach other researchers in science outreach. In 2023 he launched his one-man company "Robin talks Science", where he supports researchers in outreach activities, coaches young scientists in giving compelling presentations and ultimately wants to bring scientific stories to the theatre.

In his free time, you will find him on a long bike ride, behind a music instrument or on stage at an improv comedy show.