• Le Docteur Julien de Wit, alumni ULg, boursier d’excellence WBI et post-doctorant au MIT, a été nommé « Innovator of the Year » belge pour l’année 2017.

ULg alumnus named "Innovator of the Year" Belgium 201717/07/2017

Doctor Julien de Wit, an alumnus of ULg, WBI excellence scholarship student and post-doctoral student at the MIT, has been named the 2017 Belgian "Innovator of the Year". Every year since 1999, Innovators Under 35, a prize awarded by the prestigious MIT Technology Review, has rewarded young research and innovation talent from around the world. The prize winners are recognised for developing new technologies designed to solve today's global challenges and, thus, ensure an impact on the lives of millions of people around the world.

For the past three years, the MIT Technology Review has widened its annual ranking of Innovators under 35 years to Belgium. It is in this frame that Julien de Wit, alumni of the University of Liège (ULg), WBI excellence scholarship holder and researcher at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), was recognised as "Innovator of the Year – Belgium" for 2017.

Originally from Verviers, Julien de Wit is currently completely a doctoral thesis on the characterisation of extrasolar planets. His career, which started at the University of Liège (ULg), took on an international dimension in 2008 when he joined the Institut Supérieur de l'Aéronautique et de l'Espace - ISAE (National Higher French Institute of Aeronautics and Space) in Toulouse. In 2010, his work led him to the other side of the Atlantic, to Massachusetts, for a period of study at the MIT. Back in Liège for a Masters in Aerospace Civil Engineering, he returned to the MIT in August 2011 to study for his doctorate.

More recently, the 29-year old researcher also played an important role in the discovery of four extrasolar planets around the ultra-cool dwarf TRAPPIST-1 by an international team led by the astronomer from Liège, Professor Michaël Gillon. In May, Julien de Wit had the opportunity to present the results of his work to the general public during the TEDx Liège, organised by the non-profit organisation Gotoro, and during the European Business Summit, which was held at the Egmont Palace in Brussels.

As "Innovator of the Year – Belgium", Julien de Wit becomes the second prize winner confirmed for the competition and will join the 2017 year group of Innovators Under 35 Europe. The full list of the researchers and innovators rewarded will be revealed on 14 September during the Summit Europe 2017, which will bring together the entire community of research and innovation pioneers.


Contact: For additional information about this event, please contact :

Maxime VAN CAUTER, Agent de liaison scientifique pour les États-Unis

Tufts University Boston Campus

Kneeland Street

Boston, MA 0220575


+ 1 617 636 0832

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