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New University of Groningen building named after Nobel Prize laureate Ben Feringa

18 November 2016
Impression of the Feringa Building

The new Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences building of the University of Groningen is being renamed the Feringa Building. Last month, University of Groningen professor Ben Feringa was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the development of the molecular motor . The new building for science education and research was named Zernikeborg in the design phase. Jasper Knoester, Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, made the announcement at a Faculty reception held on Friday in honour of Feringa.

‘A unique gesture on the part of the University of Groningen, and it will be a great honour for me to work in a building bearing my name in a few years time', Feringa responded proudly. The Feringa Building will be the location for high-ranking fundamental and applied research, and will house top-level institutes such as the Stratingh Institute for Chemistry, to which Feringa belongs, the Engineering and Technology Institute Groningen, the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials, the Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute, the Van Swinderen Institute, the Kapteyn Astronomical Institute and SRON.

Building with molecules

Feringa was awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the development of the molecular motor. He shares the prize with the Jean-Pierre Sauvage (France) and Sir James Fraser Stoddart (UK). Feringa has always remained loyal to Groningen. He studied at the University of Groningen and gained his PhD here in 1978. He is recognized wordwide as a pioneer in the field of molecular motors. Last year, he was cited extensively in a background article on nanomotors in the scientific journal Nature. One of the potential applications of these motors is the distribution of medicine to particular locations in the human body. Feringa also works on catalysis.

Construction of the new building in two phases

The Feringa Building will be built on the Zernike Campus Groningen in two phases, between 2017 and 2022. It will replace the outdated Nijenborgh 4 building. The southern part of the building will be completed first (2017-2018), and will include the main entrance, the large lecture hall, the atrium, the clean rooms and part of the Research Cluster. After that, the first teaching departments and research institutes can move in, including Feringa's Stratingh Institute for Chemistry. The Nijenborgh 4 buildings 17 and 18 can then make way for the second phase of construction (2020-2021). In 2022 the entire project should be completed, and the old building demolished. The design is a collaborative effort of Ector Hoogstad Architecten, Stevens Van Dijck, Arcadis, DGMR, ABT Wassenaar and dr Heinekamp.

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Last modified:05 April 2019 11.49 a.m.
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