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Personal profile

Research profile

Erik Bekkers is a postdoctoral researcher in the Mathematical Image Analysis group at the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). His areas of expertise include differential geometry, machine learning and medical image analysis.

With his current research on the mathematical foundations of deep learning he addresses core problems in medical image analysis based on generic mathematical solutions that enable a wide application scope. His research is highly interdisciplinary in nature (from advanced mathematics to applied engineering research and clinical science) which is reflected by his industrial and clinical involvement through collaborations and a previous Ph.D. project (cum laude) carried out in a joint position at medical device company i-Optics B.V. (the Hague, NL) and at Biomedical Engineering (TU/e).

For his pioneering work in the field of geometric deep learning he was awarded the prestigious Young Scientist Award at MICCAI, the premier international conference in the field of medical image computing, and the Philips Impact Award at MIDL, the international conference on Medical Imaging with Deep Learning.

Academic background

Erik Bekkers received his M.Sc. degree in Biomedical Engineering in 2012 at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), the Netherlands. In January 2017 he received his Ph.D. degree (cum laude)  for  his  thesis  "Retinal Image Analysis using Sub-Riemannian Geometry in SE(2)," which was conducted in a combined position at Biomedical Engineering at TU/e and at the medical device company i-Optics B.V., the Hague, the Netherlands. He currently is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at TU/e, working on the application of Lie group (and control) theory in medical image analysis and machine learning.


Science, science is great. I love science. With any luck, it'll save us all. Isaac Brock.

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  • 2 Similar Profiles
Geodesic Mathematics
Vessel Mathematics
Data-driven Mathematics
Image analysis Engineering & Materials Science
Brain Engineering & Materials Science
Template matching Engineering & Materials Science
Optics Engineering & Materials Science
Sub-Riemannian Geometry Mathematics

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2012 2019

  • 265 Citations
  • 14 Conference contribution
  • 14 Article
  • 2 Report
  • 1 Phd Thesis 1 (Research TU/e / Graduation TU/e)
6 Citations (Scopus)

Roto-translation covariant convolutional networks for medical image analysis

Bekkers, E. J., Lafarge, M. W., Veta, M., Eppenhof, K. A. J., Pluim, J. P. W. & Duits, R., 1 Jan 2018, Medical Image Computing and Computer Assisted Intervention – MICCAI 2018 - 21st International Conference, 2018, Proceedings. Schnabel, J. A., Davatzikos, C., Alberola-López, C., Fichtinger, G. & Frangi, A. F. (eds.). Cham: Springer, p. 440-448 9 p. (Lecture Notes in Computer Science; vol. 11070)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

Medical Image Analysis
Image analysis
Neural networks
Neural Networks
23 Citations (Scopus)

A PDE approach to data-driven sub-Riemannian geodesics in SE(2)

Bekkers, E. J., Duits, R., Mashtakov, A. & Sanguinetti, G. R., 1 Dec 2015, In : SIAM Journal on Imaging Sciences. 8, 4, p. 2740-2770 31 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
Maximum principle
Pontryagin Maximum Principle
4 Citations (Scopus)

Template matching via densities on the roto-translation group

Bekkers, E., Loog, M., Romeny, B. T. H. & Duits, R., 2018, In : IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence. 40, 2, p. 452-466 15 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
Template matching
Template Matching
Lie groups
1 Citation (Scopus)

Nilpotent approximations of sub-Riemannian distances for fast perceptual grouping of blood vessels in 2D and 3D

Bekkers, E. J., Chen, D. & Portegies, J. M., Jan 2018, In : Journal of Mathematical Imaging and Vision. 60, 6, p. 882-899 18 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
Perceptual Grouping
Blood Vessels
blood vessels
Blood vessels
1 Citation (Scopus)

Fourier transform on the homogeneous space of 3D positions and orientations for exact solutions to linear PDEs

Duits, R., Bekkers, E. J. & Mashtakov, A., 8 Jan 2019, In : Entropy. 21, 1, 38 p., 38

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
pulse detonation engines
rigid structures
image analysis


MICCAI Young Scientist Award

Erik Bekkers (Recipient), 19 Sep 2018

Recognition: OtherCareer, activity or publication related prizes (lifetime, best paper, poster etc.)Scientific


Philips Impact Award

Erik Bekkers (Recipient), 6 Jun 2018

Recognition: OtherCareer, activity or publication related prizes (lifetime, best paper, poster etc.)Scientific


Context-aware Artificial Intelligence in medical image analysis

Erik Bekkers (Recipient), Jul 2019

Recognition: NWOVeniScientific

Image analysis
Artificial intelligence


Linear algebra 1

1/09/12 → …


Student theses


A new retinal vessel tracking method based on invertible orientation scores

Author: Bekkers, E., 31 Aug 2012

Supervisor: Duits, R. (Supervisor 1), ter Haar Romenij, B. (Supervisor 2) & Berendschot, T. (Supervisor 2)

Student thesis: Master

Automatic detection of vascular bifurcations and crossovers in retinal images

Author: Smit-Ockeloen, I., 31 Aug 2015

Supervisor: Abbasi Sureshjani, S. (Supervisor 1), Bekkers, E. (Supervisor 2) & ter Haar Romenij, B. (Supervisor 2)

Student thesis: Master

Geometric image denoising and machine learning

Author: Smets, B., 2019

Supervisor: Duits, R. (Supervisor 1), Bekkers, E. (Supervisor 2) & Portegies, J. W. (Supervisor 2)

Student thesis: Master


Improving on vascular tracking using sub-Riemannian geodesics

Author: Smets, B. M., 31 Aug 2017

Supervisor: Duits, R. (Supervisor 1) & Bekkers, E. (Supervisor 2)

Student thesis: Bachelor