The team

The VITO Urban Climate Service Centre consists of a handful of researchers and PhD students working in the atmospheric modelling group at VITO, the Flemish Institute for Technological Research.

Meet our team

Dr Koen De Ridder initially trained as a theoretical physicist at the University of Antwerp, and then went on to obtain a PhD in climate physics at the University of Louvain-la-Neuve. He has more than 15 years of experience in numerical mesoscale modelling of the atmosphere. Koen has published over 40 SCI papers, most of them on mesoscale atmospheric modelling, urban air quality simulation, satellite remote sensing, and urban climate modelling.

Koen De Ridder
Bino Maiheu

Dr Bino Maiheu obtained a PhD in experimental particle physics at the university of Gent. Within the ‘Atmospheric Modelling’ research group of VITO, Bino is the expert in the field of complex data processing and analysis techniques, in particular focusing on the application of advanced data assimilation methods in urban climate modelling.

Dr. Dirk Lauwaet obtained a PhD in geography (meteorology) at the University of Leuven (Belgium), investigating the land surface-atmosphere interactions in the African Sahel region. He developed land-surface parameterisation schemes and conducted several numerical mesoscale computer experiments. He has a broad expertise in working with regional climate models (ARPS, COSMO-CLM). Dirk has written multiple international scientific papers. At VITO he's part of the UrbClim development team.

Dirk Lauwaet
Wouter Lefebvre

Dr. Wouter Lefebvre obtained a degree in physics in 2003, a DEA (diplôme d’études approfondies en sciences physiques) in 2004 and received a PhD in physics in 2007. He built up experience in modelling of meteorology and climatology. He joined VITO’s Atmospheric Modelling group in June 2008 and is participating in a number of air quality modelling projects. The scope of the air quality modelling activities ranges from the regional to the urban micro scale. 

Dr. Hans Hooyberghs has obtained a PhD in Theoretical Physics in 2014 at the University of Leuven (Belgium), studying computational models for complex systems. He joined the Atmospheric Modelling team at VITO in 2014 and is since working on urban climate modelling, climate projections and adaptation strategies.

Hans Hooyberghs

Richa Sharma

Dr. Richa Sharma obtained a PhD in Environmental Sciences, in 2014 at the TERI University, Delhi (India), studying the LST and surface UHI in Delhi. She has investigated and published work on changing  land use land cover and its impacts on LST in various Indian cities. For an year and a half, she has worked at NIUA (India) on Urban Climate Change Resilience. She has joined Environmental Modelling Unit at VITO in September 2015 as a post-doctoral researcher.