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Scientific Director Caspar H. van der Wal Caspar H. van der Wal

The current Scientific Director of the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials is Caspar H. van der Wal. He was appointed by the Faculty Board, effective 2016-11-01.

Caspar van der Wal (Netherlands, 1971) obtained his PhD degree in 2001 at Delft University of Technology for research on quantum coherent dynamics of superconducting circuits. This was followed by a postdoc position at Harvard University (USA), where he did research on quantum optics with atomic vapors. In 2003, van der Wal joined the University of Groningen as Assistant Professor in the Physics of Nanodevices Group. In 2009, he obtained here a permanent position as associate professor in Physics of Quantum Devices, which became a full professor position in 2015. The research of his team focuses on exploring spintronic and quantum information functionalities with electron spins and nuclear spins in semiconductor devices, using both quantum optical methods and electron transport methods. For his current research he obtained the NWO-Vidi Grant (2005) and the ERC Starting Grant (2011). For his teaching in Physics and the Nanoscience Top Master he received teaching awards in 2012 and 2015. Van der Wal was educational program director of the Nanoscience Top Master from 2010 to 2016. In this period, the program was labeled four times in a row as best University Masters program of the Netherlands. At a national level, Van der Wal acts as member in the FOM committee on Nano-research (, and in the board of the national association NNV, section AMO ( Further information can be found at

Previous Scientific Directors of the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials (or its predecessor, the MSC) were:

• Prof.dr. T.T.M. Palstra (2010-01-01 to 2016-10-31)

• Prof.dr. J. Knoester (2003-01-01 to 2009-12-31)

• Prof.dr. L. Niesen (2000-12-01 to 2002-12-31)

• Prof.dr. G. Hadziioannou (1997-12-01 to 2000-11-30)

• Prof.dr. G.A. Sawatzky (1987 to 1997-11-30)

• [...]

• S. Radelaar (first chair/director, per initiating the MSC in April 1970)

Last modified:15 August 2017 4.31 p.m.