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“I took this picture of a board from a mountain refuge during a hiking holiday in Switzerland. I liked the idea of not putting a technical image on my cover but instead using an image to stress the esthetical aspect of the material which I investigated. My thesis contained enough technical things. My research is about the mechanical behaviour of timber joints. It’s very difficult to predict with models how wood will behave in constructions. As you can see in the picture, the fibres aren’t running straight, but rather curl around gnarls. Wood fascinates me. You can’t control its properties like you can with steel or concrete.”

Carmen Sandhaas, ‘Mechanical behaviour of timber joints with slotted-in steel plates’. 1 June 2012, PhD Supervisor Prof. J.W.G. van de Kuilen (Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences)