The Executive Board has appointed Professor Jennifer Herek as the new dean of the Faculty of Science and Technology at the University of Twente. As of 1 January 2019, she will succeed Hans Hilgenkamp, who has held this position since February 2014. She has been appointed for a period of four years.
Jennifer Herek is currently dean of University College Twente (UCT), which she co-founded, and she also served as figurehead for the UCT’s ATLAS programme in recent years. She is also dean of the honours programmes at the University of Twente and a professor in the Optical Sciences Group at the Faculty of Science and Technology.
Professor Herek gained a PhD in chemistry in 1996 at the renowned California Institute of Technology in the United States. Thereafter she left for Lund University in Sweden, where she continued her scientific career at the chemistry department until 2002. After 2002, Professor Herek came to the Netherlands to work at AMOLF (FOM Institute for Atomic and Molecular Physics) in Amsterdam, where she oversaw the ‘Biomolecular Control’ group and worked on her research programme in 'Ultrafast laser spectroscopy and coherent control’. In 2006, she was appointed professor and chair holder within the Optical Sciences Group at the University of Twente. Since 2012, she has combined this position with the role of dean of University College Twente and, since 2017, also with the role of dean of the honours programmes. As of 1 January 2019, Tom Veldkamp, dean of ITC, will temporarily succeed her in the role of ad interim dean of UCT and Joost Kok, dean of EEMCS, will ad interim fulfil the role of Honours dean for the next six months.
In addition to her current positions, Jennifer Herek holds various ancillary positions and is an active member of the Stichting Physica, the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) Academic Physics Platform, the NWO Physics/v Committee, and the European Consortium of Liberal Arts & Science. She sits on a number of panels and acts as an expert reviewer for, among other things, NWO’s Veni-Vidi-Vici Programme and European Research Council grants.
Jennifer Herek is active in many areas within the University of Twente. She is a member of the Female Faculty Network, co-founder of the Young Academy of the University of Twente (JA@UT) and member of the DesignLab Research Fellows. Her knowledge and experience make an important contribution to educational innovation and to achieving quality agreements in education at the University of Twente. Currently, she is also a member of the supervisory board of the Student Union.
Jennifer Herek had this to say about her appointment: “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to serve as Dean of the Faculty of Science and Technology, and am fortunate to step into this position at a time when our research is thriving, education is strong, and the new organizational structure is taking hold. My experience in developing and leading interfaculty initiatives like the University College and Honours programmes will bring new perspectives and foster strong interactions within the UT and beyond.”
The University of Twente’s Executive Board is delighted with the appointment of Jennifer Herek. "Jennifer Herek is a respected and successful scientist. She has strong personal skills, an inclusive vision that focuses on working together based on mutual trust, and a clear vision for areas such as talent management. Jennifer brings creativity and inspiration to those around her, and she is full of surprises. In Jennifer, we see a team player whose ideas and actions will contribute to diversity at the university level,’ said Thom Palstra.
The Board very much looks forward to working with Jennifer Herek and wishes her every success in her new role.