‘Hello, my name is Pascal Jonkheijm and I am a lecturer and researcher in the Molecular Nanofabrication at the University of Twente. I have been connected with this university since 2008.
I graduated from Eindhoven University of Technology. After that I did two years of specialized research in Germany in the field of chemical biology. I was curious as to how nanotechnology could help me in my field of research. The MESA+ Institute here at the UT is an international leader in the field of nanochemistry and nanotechnology, so I jumped at the chance to come and research in Twente.
My research is aimed at improving your molecular life. I also refer to my research as 'bio-inspired molecular engineering'. We try to create bioactive and dynamic systems, because these systems have properties that are crucial to following and influencing cellular processes with high accuracy. These types of systems now have various medical applications, such as coatings for implants.
I teach 'Foundations of Chemistry' to first-year students. This subject gives students an insight as to why molecules are reactive and what shapes they have. It is important to understand this well and to be able to explain it in order to design new organic materials and molecules for all sorts of applications.
What I like about teaching is that it gives me the opportunity to explain new and unknown subject matter to students and helping them to get started in it. And when I see that first glimpse of understanding in my students, that's when get a sense of fulfillment.’