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.


Ligtenberg, L.-J. W., Ekkelkamp, I. A. A. , Halfwerk, F. R. , Goulas, C. , Arens, J., Warlé, M. , & Khalil, I. S. M. (2023). Helical Propulsion in Low-Re Numbers with Near-Zero Angle of Attack. In 2023 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) (pp. 2647-2652). IEEE. https://doi.org/10.1109/iros55552.2023.10341627
Halfwerk, F. R., Speekenbrink, R. G. H., Meinema, S., Roefs, M. M., Plonek, T. , Grandjean, J. G., & Cardiochirurgie, R. (2023). CABG practice in the Netherlands 2005 – 2020: More arterial grafting, stable pump use, good outcomes. 37th Annual Meeting of the European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery, EACTS 2023, Vienna, Austria.
Halfwerk, F. R., Plonek, T., Meinema, S., Roefs, M. M. , Grandjean, J. G., Speekenbrink, R. G. H., & Cardiochirurgie, R. (2023). Trends and Outcomes of Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting in the Netherlands 2005 – 2020: A Netherlands Heart Registration Registry-based Study. 15-16. Abstract from Najaarscongres Nederlandse Vereniging voor Cardiologie / Nederlandse Vereniging voor Thoraxchirurgie 2023, Arnhem, Netherlands. https://www.cardiologie.nl/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/Abstracts-NVT.pdf
Halfwerk, F. R. , Duinmeijer, W. , Groenier, M. , & Arens, J. (2023). Patient Centred Educational ECMO Simulator (EduECMO) – An international training needs analysis. 7-8. Abstract from SPP 2014 – TOWARDS AN IMPLANTABLE LUNG
AUTUMN RESEARCH MEETING 2023, Enschede, Netherlands.
Gajewski, P., Błaziak, M., Urban, S., Garus, M., Braunschweig, F., Caldeira, D., Gawor, A., Greenwood, J. P., Guzik, M. , Halfwerk, F. R., Iwanek, G., Jarocki, M., Jura, M., Krzystek-Korpacka, M., Lewandowski, Ł., Lund, L. H., Matysiak, M., Pinto, F., Sleziak, J., ... Zymliński, R. (2023). Sex-stratified patterns of emergency cardiovascular admissions prior and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Scientific reports, 13(1), Article 17924. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-023-44400-3
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), Article 1765. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm12051765
Cacciamani, G. E., Sholklapper, T., Dell'Oglio, P., Rocco, B., Annino, F., Antonelli, A., Amenta, M., Borghesi, M., Bove, P., Bozzini, G., Cafarelli, A., Celia, A., Leonardo, C., Ceruti, C., Cindolo, L., Crivellaro, S., Dalpiaz, O., Falabella, R., Falsaperla, M. , ... Halfwerk, F. R. (2022). The Intraoperative Complications Assessment and Reporting with Universal Standards (ICARUS) Global Surgical Collaboration Project: Development of Criteria for Reporting Adverse Events During Surgical Procedures and Evaluating Their Impact on the Postoperative Course. European urology focus, 8(6), 1847-1858. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.euf.2022.01.018

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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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