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Starting 1 July 2019, Peter Bolhuis will be the new scientific director of the University of Amsterdam's Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences (HIMS). Bolhuis, Professor of Simulation of Biomolecular and Soft Matter Systems, succeeds Peter Schoenmakers, Professor of Analytical Chemistry.

Peter Bolhuis
Affiliated with UvA since 2001, Peter Bolhuis was appointed Full Professor in 2006 with a chair in Simulation of Biomolecular and Soft Matter Systems, performing research at the interface of (bio)physical chemistry and statistical mechanics. Bolhuis is recipient of the Vidi and Vici grants of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research NWO. He also is the head of Amsterdam Center for Multiscale Modeling (ACMM) that joins researchers in theory and multiscale modeling in chemistry, physics and biology. Photo by Jan Willem Steenmeijer.

The Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences (HIMS) aims to push the boundaries of chemistry by performing internationally recognised, curiosity-driven and application-driven science regarding the behaviour of molecules in increasingly complex processes and systems. HIMS’ knowledge and expertise are being utilised and expanded by engaging in collaborative research efforts that address challenges in society and industry. The institute has a workforce of approximately 135 staff members with a yearly output of more than 200 peer-reviewed publications, 20 PhD theses and 4 patents.

Peter Bolhuis is looking forward to continuing the course developed under Peter Schoenmakers since January 2017. "I will continue, in close cooperation with all staff, to further develop HIMS as a successful institute and a great place to do science. I expect that with the soon to be taken decision by the Dutch government on additional funds for the ‘Sector plan’, new opportunities for HIMS will arise”.

A healthy and dynamic institute

Peter Schoenmakers
Departing HIMS director Prof. Peter Schoenmakers. Photo by Jan Willem Steenhuis.

Looking back, departing  HIMS director Peter Schoenmakers concludes that the institute has made significant progress during the last few years. "HIMS performs top-level research in all our four themes, as confirmed in the recent evaluation. We have a good balance between established scientists and highly talented young staff. HIMS is financially healthy and is well managed. I also agree with the recommendations of the evaluation committee. We must improve our gender balance - through MacGillavry Fellowships or otherwise - and we must enhance collaboration between the research themes. I think the new ‘Sector plan’ offers excellent opportunities for the latter."

The future looks good for HIMS, Schoenmakers concludes. "Peter Bolhuis is well prepared to take over as director, and he has positive plans for HIMS. I wish him and all of HIMS lots of success, and lots of fun.”