I studied Chemical Engineering at the University of Twente and carried out my MSc thesis research project in the Chemical Physics group of prof. dr. W.J. Briels and prof. dr. D. Feil on the structure and dynamics of hydrogen-bonded liquids, in particular methanol, by Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulations. I graduated cum laude in March 1993.
I then moved to materials science. As a PhD student I worked on the defect structure and transport properties of mixed ionic-electronic conducting perovskite-type oxides (La,Sr)(Co,Fe)O3 and two-phase composites Er-doped Bi2O3 / silver.
After obtaining my PhD degree I worked in industry for three years, first as research chemist and later as group leader at Akzo Nobel Coatings in Sassenheim, where I was involved in the development of low VOC water-borne and high-solids coatings.
I rejoined the Materials Science group in 2000 as assistant professor. I am working as associate professor since 2007 and as professor of Inorganic & Hybrid Nanomaterials Chemistry since 2011. In the first years I worked almost exclusively on the development of mesoporous and microporous ceramic membranes for molecular separations, i.e. gas separations and pervaporation. One of the major breakthroughs from that period is the discovery and development of the microporous hybrid organosilica membrane that is now patented and sold commercially under the name HybSi® (www.hybsi.com).
I received a VIDI grant (Vernieuwingsimpuls) from the Dutch Science Foundation NWO in 2005 for a research proposal to develop a wet-chemical soft lithographic method to generate micropatterns and nanopatterns of functional oxides using sol-gel precursors. Lateron this research has been complemented with methodologies to form low-dimensional objects and thin films, i.e. inorganic nanowires and nanoplatelets. More recently, we have been developing flexible inorganic nanofibers using electrospinning technology, and in 2015 a spin-off company was founded (www.eurekite.com).