dr. F.R. Halfwerk (Frank)

Assistant Professor, Principal Investigator Cardiac Surgery Innovations Lab


Engineering & Materials Science
Medicine & Life Sciences
Aortic Valve
Coronary Artery Bypass
Coronary Stenosis
Equipment And Supplies
Heart Failure
Thoracic Surgery


Frank Halfwerk (1989) obtained his Bachelor (2010) and Master of Science (2014) degree in Technical Medicine, with a specialisation in Reconstructive Medicine at the University of Twente. He also finished a Master in Health Sciences with a specialisation in Health Services and Management in 2014 at the same university. He started as a Technical Physician and external Doctoral Candidate in October 2014 in cardio-thoracic surgery at Thorax Centrum Twente (Medisch Spectrum Twente) and in the department of Biomechanical Engineering in the ‘Technology in Cardiac Surgery’ group of prof. Grandjean.

As of 2020, he works as an Assistant Professor in the Engineering Organ Support Technologies group from prof. Jutta Arens where he is principle investigator of the Cardiac Surgery Innovations Lab.

His focus is both on technical and applied innovations in cardio-thoracic surgery. This includes personalised rehabilitation after cardiac surgery with accelerometers and artificial intelligence, simulation-based surgical training, 3D-planning, and surgical technology assessment.

He was awarded the Prof. Snellen Award (2014) from the Dutch Society for Cardiology / Dutch Society for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery, and the Prof. Schuijer Campus Culture Prize (2012) for 'combining excellent cultural performance with good study results'. His research was nominated for the prof. David Winter Young Investigator Award from the International Society of Biomechanics (2015).

He is co-applicant and project manager of awarded research projects and supervised over 70 bachelor- and master students.

Other interests include dancing in national and international ballroom competitions, playing chess, organising, politics, health care policy.


ten Broeke, M., Henckens, W. P. R., Weierink, A., Hensens, A. G. , van der Palen, J. , & Halfwerk, F. R. (2023). Vroege delierdetectie na hartchirurgie: de Brain Pro-TCT studie. Abstract from Wetenschapsdag Medisch Spectrum Twente 2023, Enschede, Netherlands.
Groenier, M. , Schmettow, M. , Halfwerk, F. R. , & Endedijk, M. (2023). Opportunities and challenges of using simulation technology and wearables for skill assessment. Abstract from 28th Annual Meeting of the Society for Simulation Applied to Medicine, SESAM 2023, Lisbon, Portugal.
Halfwerk, F. R., Smits, K. , Hekman, E. E. G., van Es, J. , Koenrades, M. A. , Arens, J., & Speekenbrink, R. (2023). In situ patient-specific simulation of complex cardiac surgery: A simulation-based observational study with 3D heart models. Abstract from 28th Annual Meeting of the Society for Simulation Applied to Medicine, SESAM 2023, Lisbon, Portugal.
ten Broeke, M. , Halfwerk, F. R., Henckens, W. P. R., Weierink, A., Hensens, A. G. , & van der Palen, J. (2023). Brain Pro-TCT: Quality improvement of delirium detection on a cardiothoracic surgical ward. Poster session presented at International Forum on Quality & Safety in Healthcare 2023, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Duinmeijer, W. C. , Fresiello, L., Swol, J., Torrella, P., Riera, J., Obreja, V., Puślecki, M., Dąbrowski, M. , Arens, J. , & Halfwerk, F. R. (2023). Simulators and Simulations for Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation: An ECMO Scoping Review. Journal of Clinical Medicine, 12(5), [1765]. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm12051765
Halfwerk, F. R. (2022). Fostering Diversity, Inclusiveness And Equity In Your Education. Poster session presented at Eat-Meet-Teach for Engineering Technology teachers October 2022, Enschede, Netherlands.
Thoonen, M. , Veltink, P. H. , Halfwerk, F. R. , van Delden, R. , & Wang, Y. (2022). A Movement-Artefact-Free Heart-Rate Prediction System. Paper presented at 49th Computing in Cardiology Conference, CinC 2022, Tampere, Finland. https://doi.org/10.22489/CinC.2022.190
De Graaff, M. R., Hogenbirk, R. N. M., Janssen, Y. F., Elfrink, A. K. E., Liem, R. S. L., Nienhuijs, S. W., De Vries, J. P. P. M., Elshof, J. W., Verdaasdonk, E., Melenhorst, J., Van Westreenen, H. L., Besselink, M. G. H., Ruurda, J. P., Van Berge Henegouwen, M. I., Klaase, J. M., Den Dulk, M., Van Heijl, M., Hegeman, J. H., Braun, J., ... Dutch CovidSurg Collaborative Study Group (2022). Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on surgical care in the Netherlands. British journal of surgery, 109(12), 1282-1292. [znac301]. https://doi.org/10.1093/bjs/znac301
Li, C. , Halfwerk, F. R. , Arens, J. , Misra, S., Warlé, M. C. , & S. M. Khalil, I. (2022). Controlled Helical Propulsion Against the Flow of a Physiological Fluid. Paper presented at 5th Annual International Conference on Manipulation, Automation and Robotics at Small Scales, MARSS 2021, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. https://doi.org/10.1109/marss55884.2022.9870248

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As a Technical Physician in Cardio-Thoracic Surgery, I am involved in courses and modules of Technical Medicine, Health Sciences and Biomedial Engineering. Together with Erik Groot Jebbink, we completely revised the applied Surgical Skills course in 2015 in the Master phase of Technical Medicine.
Based on our own experience in different surgical specialities and our goal to give students a holistic approach on the surgical route, we now provide applied surgical skills in a simulation-based context.

Next, I am daily supervisor of interns in Technical Medicine at the Department of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery, Thorax Centrum Twente, Medisch Spectrum Twente Hospital.

Affiliated Study Programmes



Courses Academic Year  2023/2024

Courses in the current academic year are added at the moment they are finalised in the Osiris system. Therefore it is possible that the list is not yet complete for the whole academic year.

Courses Academic Year  2022/2023

Contact Details

Visiting Address

University of Twente
Faculty of Engineering Technology
Horst Complex (building no. 20), room W115
De Horst 2
7522LW  Enschede
The Netherlands

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Mailing Address

University of Twente
Faculty of Engineering Technology
Horst Complex  W115
P.O. Box 217
7500 AE Enschede
The Netherlands

Additional Contact Information

Fields of interest

Cardio-Thoracic Surgery
Reconstructive Medicine
Quality and Safety in Health Care

Always looking for collaboration projects (public/private).

See also: https://www.mst.nl/thoraxcentrum

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