In my current role I focus on establishing FAIR data principles in TEM research community by developing standardized metadata representations and processing pipelines. This also involves contributing to open source software projects in the TEM community by contributing advanced data analysis routines. I involved in projects related to the properties of grain boundaries, phase transformations in high entropy alloys, the structure of high entropy carbide, and measuring residual strain in silicon. I mentor Ph.D. students particularly on topics related to data analysis, and I support the research group by maintaining a dokuWiki, an eLabFTW instance, and by managing our collective code base on Gitlab.
My research focused on the effects of radiation on Ti-stabilized stainless steel, and the role of nano-sized TiC precipitates in inhibiting deleterious material degradation. The work mainly involved nanoscale characterization with TEM and APT. I mentored two successful master thesis students. I performed experiments at and collaborated with researchers from the University of Michigan, the University of California, Berkeley and the Center for Advanced Energy Studies in Idaho Falls through NSUF-RTE funding. I also created a utility to help TEM operators tilt their crystalline sample to the correct diffraction conditions and implemented a basic cluster dynamics code. The project was funded through a scholarship awarded by the Belgian Nuclear Research Center (SCK-CEN). I became an avid python programmer, user of the scientific python stack, and amateur data scientist who participated in a hackaton.
I designed and conducted heat treatments to create nanobainitic microstructures in a Polish steel alloy. I employed thermodynamic/kinetic modelling, dilatometry, LOM, TEM, tensile testing, hardness testing, Charpy-V testing, to compare the microstructure and properties to a quenched and tempered treatment.
Took part in a dual-degree exchange program with KTH in Stockholm.
N. Cautaerts, E. F. Rauch, J. Jeong, G. Dehm, C. Liebscher, Investigation of the orientation relationship between nano-sized G-phase precipitates and austenite with scanning nano-beam electron diffraction using a pixelated detector, submitted to Scripta Materialia, preprint available on arXiv:2102.11363
J. Jeong, N. Cautaerts, G. Dehm, C. H. Liebscher, Automated crystal orientation mapping with sub-degree angular resolution using precession electron diffraction assisted 4D scanning transmission electron microscopy, submitted to Microscopy and Microanalysis, preprint available on arXiv:2102.09711.
T. Wangle, N. Peeters, N. Cautaerts, T. Delloye, T. Cardinaels, J. Vleugels, M. Verwerft, Two-step alkaline thorium dioxide precipitation A low waste method for highly sinterable ThO2, J. Nucl. Mater. (2021) 152984. doi:10.1016/j.jnucmat.2021.152984.
N. Cautaerts, R. Delville, E. Stergar, J. Pakarinen, M. Verwerft, Y. Yang, C. Hofer, R. Schnitzer, S. Lamm, P. Felfer, D. Schryvers, The role of Ti and TiC nanoprecipitates in radiation resistant austenitic steel: A nanoscale study, Acta Materialia 197 (2020) 184-197. doi:10.1016/j.actamat.2020.07.022.
E. Charalampopoulou, N. Cautaerts, T. Van der Donck, D. Schryvers, K. Lambrinou, R. Delville, Orientation relationship of the austenite-to-ferrite transformation in austenitic stainless steels due to dissolution corrosion in contact with liquid Pb-Bi eutectic, Scripta Materialia 167 (2019) 66–70. doi:10.1016/j.scriptamat.2019.03.035
N. Cautaerts, R. Delville, D. Schryvers, ALPHABETA: a dedicated open-source tool for calculating TEM stage tilt angles, Journal of Microscopy 273 (2018) 189–198. doi:10.1111/jmi.12774.
N. Cautaerts, R. Delville, E.Stergar, D. Schryvers, M. Verwerft, Characterization of (Ti,Mo,Cr)C nanoprecipitates in an austenitic stainless steel on the atomic scale, Acta Materialia 164 (2018) 90–98. doi:10.1016/J.ACTAMAT.2018.10.018.
N. Cautaerts, R. Delville, E.Stergar, D.Schryvers, M. Verwerft, Tailoring the Ti-C Nanoprecipitate Population and Microstructure of Titanium Stabilized Austenitic Steels, Journal of Nuclear Materials 507 (2018) 177–187. doi:10.1016/j.jnucmat.2018.04.041.
N. Cautaerts, R. Delville, W. Dietz, M. Verwerft, Thermal creep properties of Ti- stabilized DIN1.4970 (15-15Ti) austenitic stainless steel pressurized cladding tubes, Journal of Nuclear materials 493 (2017) 154–167. doi:10.1016/j.jnucmat.2017.06.013.
N. Cautaerts, Nanoscale study of ageing and irradiation induced precipitates in the DIN 1.4970 alloy (Ph.D. Thesis, supervisor: D. Schryvers), University of Antwerp, 2019, Download link
N. Cautaerts, Optimizing Cu-Ti-Sn-Ni brazing alloys for application in diamond wire saws (Master Thesis, supervisor: J. Vleugels), KU Leuven, 2015
A. Youssef, Influence of testing conditions and thermomechanical treatments on tensile properties of the MYRRHA cladding steel DIN 1.4970, FH Aachen, 2018, Download link
R. Wuyts, Influence of thermo-mechanical treatments on recrystallization behaviour in the MYRRHA cladding material DIN 1.4970, KU Leuven, 2017, Download link.