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Full professors

Prof. dr. M.C.G. (Maurice) Aalders

Professor by special appointment / Molecular Photonics / Forensic Science

Since 2006 there is a strong collaboration between the medical photonics group at the Academic Medical Center, my main affiliation, and the molecular photonics group of HIMS. In that year, a KNAW grant was scored on the use of upconversion nanoparticles for the detection and treatment of tumours. The research collaboration continued with several grants in that same research line. My speciality is chemical imaging/spectroscopy for medical and forensic applications and topics include the age determination of biological fluids (in collaboration with Prof. Corthals), detection and analysis of biological traces (collaboration with Prof. van Asten and Prof. Brouwer). Together with Prof. van Asten, I am responsible for the Amsterdam Center for Forensic Science and Medicine (CLHC).

Prof. dr. A.C. (Arian) van Asten

Analytical Chemistry / Forensic Science

I joined HIMS in 2012 when I was appointed on a special chair in Forensic Analytical Chemistry while working for the Netherlands Forensic Institute. In 2018, I transferred to the UvA on a full chair on Forensic Analytical Chemistry and On-Scene Chemical Analysis. My research interests include the chemical profiling of explosives and chemical warfare agents, rapid chemical identification of illicit drugs with portable instruments, the use of comprehensive two-dimensional chromatography in forensic science and the chemical imaging of forensic traces. With Prof. Aalders I am responsible for the Co van Ledden Hulsebosch Center (CLHC), the Amsterdam Center for Forensic Science and Medicine. I am also the director of the Forensic MSc Program (MFS) at the Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies.

Prof. dr. P.G. (Peter) Bolhuis

Computational chemistry

I am affiliated with the UvA since 2001 and was appointed full professor in 2006 with a chair in the simulation of biomolecular systems. Located on the interface of (bio)physical chemistry and statistical mechanics, my research focuses on the development of advanced multiscale computational approaches to solve fundamental as well as practical problems inspired by relevant experimental systems. Simultaneously, I apply these methods to interesting and important topics, such as biomolecular conformational changes, protein aggregation, colloidal self-assembly and phase transitions. Personal grants such as a FOM-Springplank, NWO-VIDI and VICI, as well as many open competition grants, allow me to pursue these goals. I am currently director of HIMS and also of the Amsterdam Centre for Multiscale Modeling (ACMM) and of the Dutch CECAM Node.

Prof. dr. M.R. (Maarten) van Bommel

Analytical Chemistry / Conservation Science

Since 2015 I am appointed as a full professor of conservation science, 80% of my time funded by the faculty of humanities and 20% of my time by the Faculty of Science where I joined HIMS. I focus on the characterization of organic colourants and their degradation products trying to understand the original colours of works of art which are often severely faded. In addition, I am interested in new forms of presenting cultural heritage, including retouching artworks with coloured light. Furthermore, I study the (chemical) alteration of archaeological materials, such as textiles and metals, on one hand to understand their making and meaning and on other hand to develop new preservation strategies. I received several EU and NWO grants. By this work, I aim to form a bridge between science and humanities.

Prof. dr. A.M. (Fred) Brouwer

Molecular Photonics

My affiliation with the UvA goes back to 1987 when I joined the group of Jan Verhoeven as an assistant professor, working on photoinduced electron transfer, and radical ion spectroscopy. This topic lives on in the current research on solar fuels. After 1998, molecular machines became an important research topic. At present, my research at HIMS is focused mainly on applications of fluorescence in materials science. An example is the work with Prof. Daniel Bonn (Physics) on the use of fluorescent probes for the study of mechanical interactions. Using molecules, we image nanoscale contact between objects, changes in contact during friction, and lubrication. In addition, I spend part of my time at the Advanced Research Center for Nanolithography, where my group investigates the chemistry induced by extreme ultraviolet radiation, providing the scientific basis for the new technology of extreme ultraviolet lithography.

Prof. dr. B. (Bas) de Bruin

Synthesis & Catalysis / Homogeneous catalysis

I started my HIMS career as an Assistant Prof in 2005. In 2008 I got promoted to Associate Prof and in 2013 I became Full Professor. I received several personal grants in this period, such as ERC-StG, NWO-VIDI, VICI, ECHO and TOP grants. I was further elected as ‘UvA teacher of the year 2015’, in a university-broad competition organized by the students of the UvA. My research interests include molecular catalysis, organometallic chemistry, inorganic reaction mechanisms, EPR spectroscopy, redox reactions, supramolecular cages, computational chemistry and radical chemistry. I presently focus on open-shell (radical-type) organometallic catalysis as a tool in homogeneous catalysis, using metals in unconventional oxidation states and with unconventional (redox active & cooperative) ligands, specifically aiming at the development of new (radical-type) catalytic reactions.

Prof. dr. W.J. (Wybren Jan) Buma

Molecular Photonics

I started working at the UvA in 1991, became professor by special appointment on behalf of the John van Geuns Fonds in 2000, and full professor in 2005. Since 2017 I hold a chair by special appointment as well at the Radboud University where I am affiliated to the FELIX Laboratory. My research focuses on the development and application of laser spectroscopic methods to study photoactive functional molecules and materials, as well as astrochemically relevant molecules. A further research interest is the development and application of novel chiroptical structural analysis methods. Major grants include 7 EC-funded Networks and 15 grants in highly competitive programs at the national level. In 2008 I was awarded the EU Descartes Prize for Transnational Research as member of the SynNanoMotors team. I am currently scientific director of the Holland Research School of Molecular Chemistry (HRSMC).

Prof. dr. G.L. (Garry) Corthals

Analytical chemistry

I joined HIMS as a full professor in 2014 following an international career where I worked in academia around the world, most recently Turku. In the past, I have established several large (inter)national facilities and cooperations that integrate and rely on the use of mass spectrometers to characterize and quantify proteins in biological systems, with an emphasis on clinical applications. At HIMS I continue to focus on MS developments for applications in clinical and biological applications, expanded with the areas Forensic Sciences and ‘Science for Art’ that require new molecular information. Our current research encompasses the development of new ionization methods, advanced separation systems, new chemistries to probe biological systems and computational methods for mass spectrometric data analysis

Prof. H.M. (Herma) Cuppen

Professor by special appointment / Computational Chemistry

In 2019 I joined HIMS as an extraordinary professor in computational chemistry to strengthen the interaction between the UvA and the Radboud University. I study both interstellar ices and molecular crystals using a range of different computational chemistry techniques, including kinetic Monte Carlo and Molecular Dynamics. I work closely with experimentalists to come together to a better understanding of the dynamics on a molecular level. I further work on method development in kinetic Monte Carlo, which makes my work nicely complementary to the rest of the computational chemistry group at HIMS. I am a recipient of NWO-VENI, VIDI, and Westerdijk fellowships, an ERC Starting Grant and the 2005 Crystal Growth Award.

I started in 1985 as an assistant professor and have led a research group from 1995 till 2016. My research interests and expertise include synthetic inorganic and organometallic chemistry in general, in particular organometallic compounds of the late transition metals, involving ligand systems that impose stereo-electronic control on the complexes, application of such compounds in homogeneous catalysis and metal-assisted synthesis. Currently, I am working part-time and not leading a research group, but I am involved in teaching and research directed to NMR spectroscopy and catalysis. I am the editor-in-chief of Applied Organometallic Chemistry and member of the Board of the inter-university research school HRSMC.

Prof. dr. G.J.M. (Gert-Jan) Gruter

Professor by special appointment / Industrial Sustainable Chemistry

I was appointed as extra-ordinary professor of Industrial Sustainable Chemistry at HIMS in October 2016. I am specialized in Catalysis, Bio-based chemistry (building blocks and polymers) and sustainability. At the UvA I am working on sustainable monomers and polymers (bio-based, CO2-based and chemical recycled monomers). Our focus is on polyesters for durable application (e.g. ABS replacement in collaboration with LEGO) or on novel sustainable materials for packaging applications that combine great performance (mechanical, thermal and barrier properties) with full biodegradability in soil and in marine environments. With Social Psychology at the UvA, we study consumer behaviour (willingness to pay for sustainable alternatives) and we study positive drivers such as "seen to be green". With the VU we are working on the quantification of microplastics in the (marine) environment. I am inventor on more than 100 patents and author of about 40 scientific papers and book chapters. I was named European CTO of the year in 2014.

I joined HIMS in the beginning of 2021 as professor of Non-Equilibrium Thermodynamics in Energy Conversion after having been an associate professor of Physics at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam since 2013. I work in the field of solar energy where my research is focussed on fundamental questions at the interface between physics and chemistry. As professor by special appointment on behalf of the Beta Plus foundation, I will focus on the role of dynamic processes at the functional interfaces in energy conversion. Dedicated experimental work is required to observe these elusive signatures and correlate them with the macroscopic properties of solar cells. New insights into solar energy conversion can help guide researchers in developing efficient new materials and solar cell architectures. I am an associate editor for the Journal of Materials Chemistry C from the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Prof. dr. H. (Henk) Hiemstra

Emeritus professor / Synthesis & Catalysis / Organic Synthesis

Since 1982 I have been working at the UvA and was promoted to full professor in synthetic organic chemistry in 1997. My research involves the development of new synthetic and selective (catalytic) methodology for the manufacture of important compounds for physical, chemical or medical applications. A second line of investigation is directed at the target-oriented synthesis of challenging natural products. The research has been published in more than forty theses and more than 250 original peer-reviewed publications. I have lectured at many international meetings and received the 2017 ISHC Lecture Award. I am an emeritus professor since 2018.

In 1994 I left DSM to become professor of chemistry at UvA. Mathematical modeling of polymers always had my special interest in view of the exciting microstructure in relation to processing properties and characterization issues, especially relating to rheology and light scattering. In 2005 I initiated the art-related chemical research at HIMS investigating oil paint degradation in the pioneering NWO Science4Arts Program – the PAinT project. Fundamental study of thermodynamic and transport properties of the linseed oil based polymer, a novelty in art research, provided crucial understanding of metal soap behavior – a major factor in paint deterioration. Thus, I enjoy doing research attracting both museums and industry.

Prof. dr. K. (Katrien) Keune

Analytical Chemistry / Art conservation

I joined HIMS in 2012-2016 as research scientist on the Paint Alterations in Time (PAinT), a Science4Art NWO project, and since 2018 as an associate professor. I initiated and led several (inter)national projects. For most of them I have received grants like EU-H2020, EU-JPI, NFS-PIRE, NWO-NICAS and TALENT. The research carried out at HIMS focuses on ageing and degradation studies of pigments and oil paintings at the micro- and molecular level, especially related to pigment-binding medium interactions and migration processes. The research falls under the umbrella of the Netherlands Institute for Conservation, Art and Science (NICAS). Besides the position at HIMS, I am head of Science at the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam. The Science department conducts research on the Rijksmuseum collection in close collaboration with conservators, curators and (technical) art historians.

Prof. dr. R. (Rajamani) Krishna

Emeritus professor Chemical Reactor Engineering / Synthesis & Catalysis

My research revolves around unifying concepts in multicomponent diffusion and multiphase hydrodynamics, both in separations and reaction engineering. It has provided many improvements in technologies such as distillation, fluidized catalytic cracking, and catalytic reforming. In recent years, I have contributed to many international research projects with my expertise in mathematical modelling, for instance of the performance of metal-organic framework (MOF) separations. I have published two textbooks (of which one has been translated into Chinese), more than 500 peer-reviewed journal articles, and I hold several patents. I am among the most cited scientists in my field and received several awards, including the Akzo Nobel Science Award in 1997, and the ENI award in 2013.

Prof. dr. J.H. (Jan) van Maarseveen

Synthesis & Catalysis / Organic Synthesis

After working for almost six years as a pharmacochemist at Solvay-Pharmaceuticals I became aware that the development of new synthetic methodology in combination with teaching gives me the greatest joy. In 1999 I joined HIMS, becoming a full professor in 2015. I obtained several NWO grants. As said, teaching the next generation of chemists is very important for me and after receiving several teaching awards I was elected ‘UvA teacher of the year’ by the student council in 2013. I have a long tradition in alkaloid natural product synthesis, transition-metal and organocatalysis and the development of cyclization methods for peptides. However, in the recent years I completely devoted my research activities towards the covalent synthesis of mechanically interlocked molecules such as rotaxanes and catenanes. Besides developing rotaxanes as directional electron shuttles in photocatalytic devices it is my dream to synthesize the natural lasso peptide series.

Prof. dr. E.J. (Evert Jan) Meijer

Computational chemistry

I joined the UvA in 1998 as a Royal Academy fellow, participating in setting up the Computational Chemistry research theme. My interest is in the area of molecular simulation, developing and applying advanced Monte Carlo and molecular dynamics methods to understand and predict material properties and chemical processes. In the area of (aqueous) chemistry my work addresses the role of solvent in chemical systems using realistic and accurate models. Employing first-principle molecular dynamics I have shown, on an atomistic level, how solvent plays a crucial role in a variety of (catalytic) chemical systems, providing important novel insights of a generic nature. I have acquired a wide range of research funding, including FOM/NWO programs and projects, and EU Erasmus Mundus and PhD training networks.

Prof. dr. ing. T. (Timothy) Noël

Synthesis & Catalysis / Flowchemistry

I joined HIMS as a full professor and chair of Flow Chemistry in 2020. I have a strong interest in combining technology and organic synthesis, hence developing go-to technologies which allows chemists to expand the available chemical space. I am the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Flow Chemistry and a member of the board of directors of the Flow Chemistry Society. Our research on photochemistry in microfluidic reactors was awarded the DECHEMA award 2017 and the Hoogewerff Jongerenprijs 2019.

Prof. dr. W.L. (Wim) Noorduin

Professor by special appointment / Self-Organising Matter

I joined HIMS as professor by special appointment in Self-Organising Matter in 2021. My research focuses on the dynamic interplay between chemical reactions and crystallisation phenomena to control the emergence of complexity in the solid state. Research areas such as Soft Matter, Macromolecular Chemistry and Organic Chemistry come together here. My ultimate goal is to arrive at new assembly mechanisms for functional molecules and materials. I received my PhD from Radboud University in 2010 and then joined Harvard University as a postdoctoral researcher. From 2014 to 2015 I was both a research associate at Harvard University and an assistant professor at Radboud University. Since 2015 I lead the Self-Organising Matter group at AMOLF in Amsterdam. I am the recipient of various grants, including Veni, Vidi and KLEIN grants from the Dutch Research Council (NWO).

Prof. dr. R.A.H. (Ron) Peters

Professor by special appointment / Analytical chemistry

I was appointed as extra-ordinary professor of Bioterial Analysis at HIMS in 2015. I am principal scientist Material Analysis at Covestro. My interest is in the analysis/characterization of nano, meso and macro structure of high performance copolymers, applied in the area of food, energy, biomedical, esthetic coating, etc. At HIMS, the research focus is on the development of multidimensional chromatographic and detection methods for detailed analysis of complex synthetic copolymeric structures. The goal is the coupling of different information with respect to chemical structure distributions of copolymers, so-called Molecular Correlative Materials Characterization. Several PPP’s (NWO/COAST/STW) are running in this area; Maniac, Debocs, Hosanna, UNMATCHED and the recent one PARADISE. These PPP’s have already delivered new systems/approaches which results in new insights in polymer structures including nm-sized dispersed polymeric particles.

Prof. dr. J.N.H. (Joost) Reek

Synthesis & Catalysis / Homogeneous catalysis

I am working at HIMS since 1998, and was promoted full professor in 2006 and faculty professor in 2017. I am proud to be elected member of the KNAW (Royal Netherlands Academy of Art and Sciences) as well as KHMW (Royal Holland Society of Sciences and Humanities), and currently I am the scientific director of NIOK, (Netherlands Institute for Catalysis Research). I received several personal grants to work on my scientific dreams, including an ERC Advanced Grant, NWO-VICI and TOP grants. I have an interest in developing new concepts in transition metal catalysis, and particularly on the border between supramolecular chemistry and catalysis. I also have an interest in building solar to fuel devices based on molecular components, and generate all knowledge required to achieve that.

Prof. dr. G. (Gadi) Rothenberg

Synthesis & Catalysis / Heterogeneous catalysis

Working at HIMS since 2001, I was appointed Full Professor and Chair in 2008. My group focuses on designing new catalysts and materials for sustainable chemistry and energy applications. We combine fundamental and applied research, working closely with the chemical industry. Our patented catalysts include hydrocyanation (with Rhodia/Solvay), Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis (with Total Gas & Power), and cyanide decomposition (scaled up by Tata Steel). I also co-founded the spin-off companies Sorbisense, Yellow Diesel and Plantics. On the education side, I published books on Catalysis (also published in Chinese by the Chinese Ministry of Education), Ceramic Membranes, and Porous Materials. Since January 2020 I am also the Technical Director CO2 and Circular Economy at the Shanghai Institute for CleanTech Innovation (ICT).

Prof. dr. ir. P.J. (Peter) Schoenmakers

Analytical chemistry

I am full professor in Analytical Chemistry at the UvA since 2002, after having spent nearly two decades in industry (Philips and Shell). I am also the Education Director of COAST, The Netherlands’ public-private-partnership organization on analytical chemistry. As such I have created successful national Analytical-Science honors programs at the BSc and MSc levels. In 2016 I was awarded an ERC Advanced grant for the project STAMP (Separation Technology for A Million Peaks). Recent international awards include the Fritz-Pregl Medal (2018), the CASSS Award (2015), the Csaba Horváth Memorial Award (2015), the John H. Knox Medal of the RSC (Belgium, 2014), the Martin medal of the Chromatographic Society (2011), and the EAS Award for Excellence in Separation Science (2010).

Prof. dr. R. (Ron) Wever

Synthesis & Catalysis / Biocatalysis and Bioorganic Chemistry

I started working at the UvA already in 1971, and going though the ranks I was appointed on a personal chair in 2002. My research originally focussed on the characterization and functional properties of metal containing oxido-reductases. Later I became interested in the industrial application of these and other enzymes. In particular the vanadium containing enzymes discovered by our group became the focus of our research, and we provided a crucial understanding of their properties. For this work I received the Vanadis award in 2016. The application of enzymes in the synthesis of phosphorylated and sulfated compounds and replacing existing chemical procedures by these enzymatic methods was another focus of our research. I am the inventor of 3 PCT patent applications, author and co-author of about 290 publications and I wrote about 35 chapters in books. Since 2012, I am an emeritus professor. 

Prof. dr. S. (Sander) Woutersen

Molecular Photonics

After a PhD at AMOLF, a postdoc at the Max-Born Institute in Berlin, and a project leader position at AMOLF, I joined HIMS in 2006. My research employs vibrational spectroscopy to (1) live-track dynamic molecular structures (liquid water, but also catalytic systems in cooperation with the Sustainable-Chemistry group, and paint degradation in cooperation with UvA’s PAinT research team); (2) unravel the mechanism of amyloid formation, in cooperation with Mireille Claessens (UT) and Tobias Weidner (Aarhus University); (3) explain how the rich behavior of soft matter can be understood from its constituent molecules (in cooperation with IoP’s Soft- Matter group). In each of these areas, an approach that combines chemistry and physics is essential for addressing the research questions. To investigate molecular processes at the level of specific chemical bonds, we use vibrational spectroscopy, which is ideally suited for this purpose.

Prof. dr. B. (Bob) van der Zwaan

Professor by special appointment / Sustainable Chemistry

Trained in physics, economics and international affairs, I am a principal scientist at the Energy Transition department of TNO (formerly the Energy research Centre of the Netherlands, ECN) as well as an Adjunct Prof at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Bologna. I joined HIMS in 2014 as Professor of Sustainable Energy Technology. I am the scientific director of the UvA's interfaculty Research Priority Area 'Energy transition through the lens of Sustainable Developments Goals' (ENLENS). I teach courses on energy and climate change, perform integrated assessment modeling and research the sustainability and techno-economics of a broad range of energy options. I held positions at Columbia University, Harvard University, Stanford University, VU, IFRI, Nikhef, and CERN. I am co-director of the International Energy Workshop (IEW) and was lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, AR4, and AR5).