Hi! I'm Ralf Mackenbach, born in the Netherlands on the 4th of October 1995. From a young age I've always had a keen interest in two things - science and music. I have gotten the opportunity to fulfil both passions, in music as a performing artist, and in science as a PhD student in the field of nuclear fusion.
My journey into music started at a young age. I was 9 years old when the opportunity arose to play the part of "Chip" in the Dutch musical production of "The Beauty and the Beast". After this adventure, the musical "Tarzan" went into production in which I played the part of "young Tarzan".
In 2009 I won the Junior Eurovision Songcontest, which gave me the opportunity to work as a performing musician and release several albums. Next to performing as an artist, I have also done some TV-shows such as "Dancing on Ice" and "Celebrity Splash".
Music production is something I love to do as well, so I work as a producer in the group "Sainte Marie".
I've always had a love for learning as well - especially physics. After receiving my Bachelor of Science in applied physics, I chose to do my master's in the exciting field of nuclear fusion. This helped me gain research experience with an internship at NIFS Japan and graduation project at Princeton Plasma Physics Lab.
Starting 2020 I embark on a new adventure, as I will be a PhD student in the field of nuclear fusion, in the group of TU Eindhoven. The research entails optimising certain fusion devices (named stellarators), so that there is not too much turbulent transport. This is important, as these optimised devices might be an important energy source in the future.