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Meet the Team: Sebastian Van Thienen


At Motulus we continue to grow: meet one of our newest team members, Sebastian, who has joined us following a Masters in Applied Mathematics.  Sebastian is moving from deploying optimization to help scale patterns on clothing designs to applying optimization to solve aviations challenges!

How long have you worked for Motulus, and what did you do beforehand?
I started working for Motulus in October; so it’s been two months now. This is my first full-time job after my studies. I finished my master’s degree in applied mathematics before the summer, in which I took mostly courses on numerical methods and data science. For my master’s thesis, I worked on bifurcation theory for cloth simulation models and studied wrinkling instabilities arising in those models. As a student, I also worked at, another innovative company from Antwerp, that works on a product for automatically scaling clothing patterns with custom sizes. There, I did some work on shape optimization and visualization algorithms.

What attracted you to join (start) Motulus?, and what’s it like to work here?
My thesis promoter, Wim Vanroose, introduced me to Motulus. I quickly realized that it is a no-nonsense company, where very skilled people work on interesting projects. The decision to apply here was therefore quite natural. After two months, I can confirm that first feeling. For the past two months I mainly worked through what the team has built so far and tried to understand everything. My colleagues are very kind and willing to help with it, even answering the stupidest of questions patiently 😆.


What excites you about the development of Motulus products?
It is very interesting how scheduling problems are modelled and solved. It is a sequence of modelling and solving steps that are just crazy! This allows us to calculate the best rosters out of millions, or even billions of solutions. And the exciting part is that we just use mathematical concepts to do this. On top, we are a small Belgian company that is able to compete with the big companies out there!

And outside of Motulus what do you do, or interests you, in your spare time?
I have been part of the scout movement in my local village for almost all of my life. Although I moved on, I still like to be involved in and help with their activities, and to hang out with the friends that I made there. I also play soccer and volleyball, and listen to music a lot! On weekends and holidays, I go on hiking trips. These are the best to unwind and go back to the essence. Just your friends and yourself in the forest, letting your sense organs absorb what’s around you, it doesn’t get any better! Or maybe a ski trip in the Italian alps…