Mona Okroy-Hellweg
Public Relations Manager
IVAM Microtechnology Network
Sep. 24, 2019
IVAM InSide
Mona Okroy-Hellweg
Public Relations Manager
IVAM Microtechnology Network

4 questions for Dominique Bouwes, IVAM Deputy Chairwoman of the Executive Board

First as Managing Director of iX-factory and since 2016 as Business Director at Micronit GmbH, Dominique Bouwes is responsible for the strategic and tactical steps of the company as well as for the operational management

At IVAM she has been a active member for many years and is particularly active in the field of microfluidics. Since 2014 she has been head of the IVAM Focus Group on this topic. 

Background: IVAM Focus Group Microfluidics meets at Microsystems UK "Open House" (guided tour)

Which technologies are particularly important to you and why?

I studied micro systems engineering with specializations in production technology and microtechnology and that way always had an interest in MEMS. To me the most appealing part of MEMS is that so many disciplines are united in this field: chemistry, physics, electronics, mechanics and information technology. Later on, a natural interest in microfluidics came about. 

MEMS and microfluidics together offer so much more potential than these disciplines individually. Integrated into one device, the two can lead to endless functionalities and possibilities.

Where do you see the greatest future potential for these technologies?

It’s great to see that microtechnology is getting more and more incorporated in so many fields. 

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For example in the healthcare industry, where it can pave the way for the development of new treatments. Great examples can be found in the fight against cancer. 

With the help of microfluidic methods, it is possible to detect certain types of cancer at a very early stage and to determine the specific variety. This means that the right treatment can be started more quickly. 

Also, one of the expectations is that microfluidics and MEMS can play an important part in devices for personalized medicine. Which means that patients receive the right medication and in the right doses, tailored to their personal needs. The first results in research are promising.

Other promising MEMS technologies are MEMS-Lidar (Lidar = Laser Imaging Detection And Ranging) and MEMS for telecom. Lidar uses laser to provide highly accurate 3D imaging of the surroundings. 

MEMS technology can reduce the size of a Lidar-system to the scale of a microchip and therefore MEMS-Lidar is an interesting subject for e.g. the automotive industry that focusses on autonomous driving. In telecom, the use of MEMS technology enables new and continuously improving features like monitoring and measuring movement by making use of sensors and gyroscopes on microscale. 

We, as Micronit are part of this future and in the forefront to push the development of these technologies further.

Which technological innovation is most impressive for you personally?

That is hard to say. I’d rather state that I’m humbled by the ever-ongoing possibilities of microtechnologies. 

These developments never stop! That’s why I never get tired of it. In general, I love it when a new idea comes to life through a development. How wonderful to see it grow and mature along the way.

From your point of view as an entrepreneur: What advantages does a network like IVAM offer in times when theoretically everything can be found online at any time?

It is a solid network that has eye for its members and supports them in various ways. There are departments that are specialized in certain fields and can give direction on specific topics. New developments are shared and through this network I find support for both our company and my personal development.

In spite of the fact that a lot of information is offered online as well, to me the personal contact I have within this network is priceless. Because everyone has the same interests, you can catch up quickly together. It’s always good to meet each other at various conferences and exhibitions worldwide.

Since the board election in April 2019, Dr. Lutz Aschke of TRUMPF Photonic Components as chairman, Dominique Bouwes of Micronit as deputy chairwoman, Matthias Lorenz of AEMtec GmbH, Bärbel Schilling of Plan Optik AG and Dr. Hans van den Vlekkert of LioniX BV have been members of the five-member executive board of IVAM Microtechnology Network.

Background information: IVAM Microtechnology Network: personnel changes after board elections