Max Planck - University of Twente Center for Complex Fluids

The new ‘Max Planck – University of Twente Center for Complex Fluid Dynamics’, on the UT campus, was opened March 3 2017 in the presence of State Secretary Sander Dekker and the President of the Max Planck Society, Prof Martin Stratmann. It is the very first Max Planck Center in The Netherlands.

The Max Planck Center will do research on the dynamics of fluids, in the broadest sense. This starts with a single nano size droplet, can also be about fluids in microchips or industrial-scale turbulence. The application areas range from catalysts for sustainable energy to medical lab-on-a-chip systems.

Two University of Twente research groups and two Max Planck Institutes find each other in this line of research. The Physics of Fluids group of Detlef Lohse and the BIOS Lab-on-a-chip group of Albert van den Berg cooperate with two Max Planck Institutes, in Göttingen (Dynamics and Self-organisation) and Mainz (Polymer research).

Human capital

By connecting the labs on both sides of the Dutch-German border, a very powerful joint infrastructrure is formed. On the UT side, for example, there is an extensive infrastructure for studying turbulent flow and bubble behaviour. The micro- and nanofabrication facilities of UT’s NanoLab can also be used by the German partners. The Max Planck Institutes, in turn, have complementary facilities like a wind tunnel. Major investments, around 10 million euros, will go to human capital: the new Center is expected to be very interesting for talent from all over the world. Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science contributes to the Center as well. Minister Bussemaker: “The best discoveries and newest insights are often found by cooperation. My expectations of the first Max Planck Center in The Netherlands are high. This gets an extra dimension by cooperation of top groups across borders.”

Sixteen worldwide

The Max Planck Society has a world class reputation in fundamental research in many fields. In Germany there are 83 Max Planck Institutes. For international cooperation, the Society opens Max Planck Centers all over the world. Including the new Center in Twente, there are now 16 in the world.

The opening act on March 3 was done by State Secretary Sander Dekker, the representative of the German Embassy Mrs Verena Gräfin von Roedern, the President of the Max Planck Gesellschaft Prof Martin Stratmann and UT’s President Victor van der Chijs.

In the discussion panel, the President of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) Prof. Stan Gielen, the president-elect of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) Prof. Wim van Saarloos and the representative of the Province of Overijssel, Mr Eddy van Hijum. In the afternoon programme, research leaders of the new Center gave a brief introduction to their work: Prof. Roberto Verzicco (UT and Università di Roma Tor Vergata), Prof. Katharina Landfester (Mainz), Prof Albert van den Berg (UT), Prof. Stephan Herminghaus (Göttingen), Prof. Hans-Jürgen Butt (Mainz), Prof Eberhard Bodenschatz (Göttingen) and Prof. Detlef Lohse (UT).

The joint press release with the Max Planck Society can be found here: