Lars Thorben is a PhD student in Electrical Engineering. In his research, he uses numerical methods to teach computers how to optimize physical devices. Here, he focuses on ion optical devices. The unintuitive shapes that his algorithms design can explore the full range of additive manufacturing of metallic devices. His past work includes the optimization of photonic crystal structures and virtual instrumentation for online education. Lars is an Accel Innovation Scholar at the Stanford Technology Ventures Program. Moreover, he was a Creativity in Research scholar, a program that he is now co-teaching. He is supported by the ERP-Program from the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy.