The Leuven Hundreds

Portraits of a city's people, today

We’ve joined forces with Leuven to highlight 100 local people, places and projects that contribute towards making the city what it is today. From artists and architects to producers and professors, these are the driving forces powering Leuven forward one ingenious initiative at a time.

Praveen Raghavan

Praveen Raghavan

Researcher, Imec (1981)

Can you describe what you do?

I’m a researcher at imec, an international research and development firm specialising in nano-technology. Based in Bertem boerland’s Leefdaal, I get to enjoy a beautiful, green, half-hour bike road to work through pleasant farm roads.

What would you say is Leuven’s main appeal as a city? What gives it its edge?

Definitely its proximity to Brussels and Brussels Airport. Its young crowd makes it a fun and exciting place to live in. Also, the city boasts a great number of highly-educated people in and around Leuven – again, thanks to its size and the presence of the University. For a person of foreign origin, this is amazing as there’s no “backwards suburbia” to be found here.

This is amazing as there’s no “backwards suburbia” to be found here.

How has Leuven contributed to making you who you are today? What role has the city played in shaping your outlook and career?

I’ve spend the largest part of my life in Leuven, so I would easily call it my home. It has surely shaped me on various aspects, including my passion for biking! Something I never partook in until I came to Leuven. Furthermore, it’s made me more eco-friendly and conscious in how I lead my life. My career – including my PhD studies – all starts and ends here in Leuven, so I definitely have a lot to owe to this fine City.

On a personal level, what would you like to see more of in the city? What could it do better?

More bicycle paths outside the ringroad would be nice. Additionally, improving roads in general is imperative. I think there are still too many potholes for such a beautiful city like Leuven!