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Annual report 2013

2013 was a hectic, but inspiring year for HIMS with our positive midterm review evaluation, election of sustainable chemistry as a UvA priority research area, our contributions to joined efforts to create AFS, and the change of director of the institute at the end of 2013.

Prof. Joost Reek was appointed as the new director of HIMS in November, succeeding Prof. Aart Kleijn, who took up the position of director of the Center of Interface Dynamics for Sustainability in Chengdu, China. We thank Prof. Kleijn for his commitment to HIMS and the great institution that he entrusted to his successor.

In 2013 the HIMS researchers were very successful in acquiring external funds to start new projects and produced a record of over 200 scientific publications, including 16 PhD theses and many high impact papers. In October we had the midterm evaluation of the scientific advisory board, which was very positive. They highly appreciated the clear organization of HIMS in the four research themes, including the associated valorization programs. Besides facilitating synergy, this organization results in a better visibility of the institute. The four themes excel on their own topic as well as on collaborating with each other. That is one of the strengths of our institute.

The co-operation between the science faculties of the two Amsterdam universities became closer and many people worked hard on the creation of the Amsterdam Faculty of Science (AFS). Just before Christmas a majority of the central students council voted against the decision to start with the AFS. Although it was disappointing at that time, we have accepted this and in 2014 we will search for new possibilities to enhance the co-operation and synergy of chemists currently working at HIMS, the Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences and Free University. 

To conclude 2013 in some highlights:

  • Sustainable Chemistry was designated as a university research priority area;
  • three PhD students won prizes for the exceptional quality of their doctoral theses;
  • HIMS hosted 1,500 analytical chemists from all over the world during the 39th HPLC conference;
  • Prof. Krishna won the prestigious Eni Award;
  • Dr Van Maarseveen was awarded the Lecturer of the Year prize;
  • the Co van Ledden Hulsebosch Center on forensic sciences started;
  • HIMS participates in the Advanced Research Centre for Nano-Lithography (ARCNL) with ASML;
  • Prof. Reek received an ERC Advanced grant; and
  • Molecular Photonics received a large ZonMW grant with the Quantivision consortium.