Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Dr. ir. Julie Legrand

Post-doc researcher

Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Faculty of Applied Sciences
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Pleinlaan 9
Floor -1
B-1050 Brussels


Julie Legrand was born in Sambreville, Belgium in 1994. She received the degree in Electromechanical Engineering with option Mechatronics at the Université Catholique de Louvain-la-Neuve in June 2017. In July 2017, she started a PhD at the Robot-Assisted Surgery Group of the KULeuven, funded by the FWO (Fonds voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek). In May 2021, she obtained the degree of doctor in Engineering Technology after successfully defending her thesis "Single-handed, flexible, steerable instruments for constrained workspace surgery". She also received the Best PhD thesis award 2021 from the Belgian NCTAM (National Committee for Theoretical and Applied Mechanics). Since October 2021, she works as a postdoctoral researcher, funded by the FWO, at the Robotics and MultiBody Mechanics Research Group (VUB).


Julie’s PhD research focused on the design, assembly and control of flexible instruments for sinus and fetal surgery. She developed various techniques to help surgeons perform delicate minimally invasive surgery. Her PhD resulted in the development of PliENT, a flexible, single-handed instrument capable of visualizing the entire maxillary sinus cavity without excessive healthy tissue resection. The instrument was tested by two ear, nose and throat surgeons on a cadaver.

Currently, her research as a postdoctoral researcher focuses on the design and control of self-healing soft hand prostheses, exoskeletons and grippers.

Research interests

Soft robots; Medical devices; Self-healing robotics


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