Professor Jasper Knoester will be leaving the Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE), University of Groningen (UG), and start as Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences at Leiden University as of 1 January 2022. Since 2010, Knoester has been Dean of the Groningen science faculty as well as Pro Rector of the University of Groningen. Since 2012, he has chaired the platform of Deans of science faculties across the Netherlands.
After more than 30 years at the Groningen Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE), Jasper Knoester is taking on a new challenge at Leiden University. Knoester looks back with pride on the successes of the Groningen faculty and her excellent research and education.
Knoester describes the Groningen Faculty of Science and Engineering as “a frontrunner when it comes to innovation, with courage to start new initiatives. Because of the Groninger modesty that our part of the country is known for, we are not used to express or claim that our research and education is excellent. But it is, as is apparent from the prestigious grants and prizes awarded, and this is recognized nationally as well as internationally”.
Knoester names introducing interdisciplinary research themes and developing an engineering profile in the degree programmes and research among the successes of the Groningen faculty. In 2013, it was the first science faculty of the Netherlands to offer ten of her Bachelor's degrees at once in English, attracting many students from all over the world to Groningen. This has contributed to the rising number of students at the faculty in recent years, which meets the great need for science and engineering graduates. The faculty has also built many international partnerships with universities and institutes in Asia and Latin America.
For Knoester, collaboration has always been and still is an important starting point for a well-functioning faculty. “I believe in the power of collaboration; collaboration within disciplines, but certainly also between disciplines, and with partners outside the university. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts is a motto that I cherish.”
Knoester started his scientific career as a student of Theoretical Physics at the University of Utrecht and obtained his doctorate in 1987 at the same university. After a postdoc position at the University of Rochester in the United States, he landed as a Huygens Fellow in Groningen at the Department of Chemical Physics and was appointed Professor of Condensed Matter Theory at the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials (ZIAM) in 1993. In 2003 he was appointed Director of ZIAM.
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