Beyond the scientist: Thomas van Steenbergen


Thomas van Steenbergen, PhD candidate at the Department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, member of the RIHS PhD council

Where and when were you born?

Lelystad 1989, but I grew up in Winterswijk in the nice and quiet Achterhoek.

Where do you live and with whom?

In Utrecht with my girlfriend Nienke, who works in the other side of the country (Den Haag) so Utrecht is a good compromise –and a very nice city!  

Who was your role model when you were a kid?

That's a difficult one, probably my biology teacher. I really admire it when people are so on top of their field that they seem to know everything, but are still able to explain difficult topics in a simple and elegant way.

Why aren’t you doing the same thing now as your role model (or do you?)

As a teenager I was interested in too many topics. That's why Technical Medicine was so appealing to me, because it combined many of my interests. Also I tend to overcomplicate matters when I'm explaining something, but I do like helping people understand stuff!

What is the thing in your (work or other) history that you are most proud of?

Technical Medicine is a relatively new study that combines clinical work with mathematics and physics. After graduating, it was quite difficult for me to find a place where I could use both my clinical and technical skills. Luckily the people at the Radboudumc, and specifically my promotors, see the potential of Technical Medicine. I'm proud to be a part of this emerging branch of medicine.

What is it that you would like to achieve in work in the next 5 to 10 years?

Finishing my PhD will be the first milestone, and during my time here I hope to find a niche that suits both my clinical and technical skills. 

For what can we wake you up?

I like watching a good movie, it’s my favorite way to pass the time if I have a lazy day. One of my most loved movies is ‘In Bruges’. Sometimes I’d look up one of the scenes with my roommates and we’d end up watching the whole movie. I guess this would also happen if you woke me up and played it for me.

What is your hobby and how good are you at it?

Cycling has always been my hobby: both watching the pro’s battle it out live or on tv and doing it myself. I do however prefer cycling in the hills and mountains over the Dutch winds, so every cycling holiday with friends I regret not training enough. I also love hiking in the mountains with my girlfriend. Last summer we did our first hut tour in Austria, this year we will do two!

What is your biggest irritation?

People who, when you’re sitting all alone in a four-seater in the train, will sit directly opposite you. Why?!

Who would you like to invite for dinner, if you had the chance?

Robert Gesink. He is my favorite cyclist by far, and a fellow 'Achterhoeker'. Although I'm afraid he won't leave any food for me.​

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