Fields of interest

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

Always looking for collaboration projects (public/private). See also:


  • Medicine and Dentistry

    • Patient
    • Heart Surgery
    • Mobilization
    • Heart
    • Evaluation Study
    • Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation
    • Hospital
  • Computer Science

    • Simulation


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.


Contemporary CABG practice in the Netherlands 2005 – 2020: Increased arterial grafting, stable cardiopulmonary bypass use, good outcomes. Halfwerk, F. R., Speekenbrink, R. G. H., Meinema, S., Roefs, M. M., Plonek, T. & Cardiochirurgie, R.Three-dimensional heart modelling of hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy for in situ patient-specific simulation to optimise septal myectomy (Accepted/In press). Smits, K., Speekenbrink, R. G. H., Hekman, E. E. G., Koenrades, M. A., Heeringa, T., Arens, J. & Halfwerk, F. R.Ex vivo validation of magnetically actuated intravascular untethered robots in a clinical setting, Article 68. Ligtenberg, L.-J., Rabou, N. C. A., Goulas, C., Duinmeijer, W., Halfwerk, F. R., Arens, J., Lomme, R., Magdanz, V., Klingner, A., Rot, E. A. M. K., Nijland, C. H. E., Wasserberg, D., Liefers, H. R., Jonkheijm, P., Susarrey-Arce, A., Warlé, M. & Khalil, I. S. M. A Mobilization Device for Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation Patients, 377-386. van Galen, D. J. M., Meinders, Q., Halfwerk, F. R. & Arens, J. optimal treatment for patients with stage I non-small cell lung cancer: minimally invasive lobectomy versus stereotactic ablative radiotherapy – a nationwide cohort study, Article 107792. Ruiter, J. C. d., Noort, V. v. d., Diessen, J. N. A. v., Smit, E. F., Damhuis, R., Hartemink, K. & Halfwerk, F. R. or TRUSTing transfusion prediction: Validation of Red blood cell transfusion prediction models for low transfusion rate cardiac surgery and high transfusion rate post-cardiotomy veno-arterial extracorporeal life support. Haumann, R. G., Alp, R., Płonek, T. P., Niesten, E. D., Maaskant, J. M., Mariani, S., Wiegmann, B., Arens, J., van der Palen, J. & Halfwerk, F. R.Influence of utilizing hemodialysis membranes outside-in on solute clearance and filtration efficiency – One step towards a novel combined lung and kidney support device, Article 122575. Martins Costa, A., Halfwerk, F. R., Thiel, J.-N., Wiegmann, B., Neidlin, M. & Arens, J. a Patient-Centred Educational Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation Simulator (EduECMO) – A training needs analysis with international experts. Halfwerk, F. R., Duinmeijer, W., Arens, J. & Groenier, M.
Helical Propulsion in Low-Re Numbers with Near-Zero Angle of AttackIn 2023 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) (pp. 2647-2652). IEEE. Ligtenberg, L.-J. W., Ekkelkamp, I. A. A., Halfwerk, F. R., Goulas, C., Arens, J., Warlé, M. & Khalil, I. S. M. mobilization poster stimulates early in-hospital rehabilitation after cardiac surgery: a prospective sequential-group study, Article 83, 1-11. Halfwerk, F. R., Wielens, N., Hulskotte, S., Brusse-Keizer, M. & Grandjean, J. G. Centred Educational ECMO Simulator (EduECMO) – An international training needs analysis, 7-8. Halfwerk, F. R., Duinmeijer, W., Groenier, M. & Arens, J.Trends and Outcomes of Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting in the Netherlands 2005 – 2020: A Netherlands Heart Registration Registry-based Study, 15-16. Halfwerk, F. R., Plonek, T., Meinema, S., Roefs, M. M., Grandjean, J. G., Speekenbrink, R. G. H. & Cardiochirurgie, R. patterns of emergency cardiovascular admissions prior and during the COVID-19 pandemic, Article 17924 (E-pub ahead of print/First online). 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. practice in the Netherlands 2005 – 2020: More arterial grafting, stable pump use, good outcomes. Halfwerk, F. R., Speekenbrink, R. G. H., Meinema, S., Roefs, M. M., Plonek, T., Grandjean, J. G. & Cardiochirurgie, R.ET-BE Rules and Guidelines for Writing a Thesis. University of Twente. Halfwerk, F. R., Kalpathy Venkiteswaran, V. & Keemink, A. Q. L. of Technical Medicine - Domain of Image-guided interventions. University of Twente. Kraeima, J., Schröder, F., Boers, T., Koenrades, M., Ruiter, S., van Alphen, M. J. A., Ooms, A., Verhoeven, R., Smit, J. & Halfwerk, F. of hollow fiber configuration and replacement on the gas exchange performance of artificial membrane lungs, Article 121742. Costa, A. M., Halfwerk, F. R., Thiel, J.-N., Wiegmann, B., Neidlin, M. & Arens, J. 2023 Workshop on "Open Access data sharing - How to make simulation-based training data Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable (FAIR)?". Halfwerk, F. R. & Öztürk, Z. situ patient-specific simulation of complex cardiac surgery: A simulation-based observational study with 3D heart models. Halfwerk, F. R., Smits, K., Hekman, E. E. G., van Es, J., Koenrades, M. A., Arens, J. & Speekenbrink, R.Opportunities and challenges of using simulation technology and wearables for skill assessment. Groenier, M., Schmettow, M., Halfwerk, F. R. & Endedijk, M.Vroege delierdetectie na hartchirurgie: de Brain Pro-TCT studie. Ten Broeke, M., Henckens, W. P. R., Weierink, A., Hensens, A. G., van der Palen, J. & Halfwerk, F. R.Defining low- and high-fidelity simulation in systematic reviews: the case of heart auscultation simulators, Article PKB4904. Halfwerk, F. R., Duinmeijer, W. C., Haumann, R. & Arens, J. Mobilizing Device, 148-148. van Galen, D. J. M., Meinders, Q., Halfwerk, F. & Arens, J. Pro-TCT: Quality improvement of delirium detection on a cardiothoracic surgical ward. Ten Broeke, M., Halfwerk, F. R., Henckens, W. P. R., Weierink, A., Hensens, A. G. & van der Palen, J.Development of a combined, highly integrated extracorporeal lung and kidney support device (RenOx): Evaluation of fibre configurations on gas exchange preservation, 140-141. Martins Costa, A., Wiegmann, B., Thiel, J.-N., Neidlin, M., Halfwerk, F. R. & Arens, J.

Research profiles

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 programs

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


University of Twente

Horst Complex (building no. 20), room W115
De Horst 2
7522 LW Enschede

Navigate to location


Scan the QR code or
Download vCard