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prof. dr. B.L. (Ben L.) Feringa

Profile picture of prof. dr. B.L. (Ben L.) Feringa
+31 50 36 39021 (MoA (Chantal Dikken))

Short biography

Ben L. Feringa obtained his PhD degree at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands under the guidance of Professor Hans Wynberg. After working as a research scientist at Shell in the Netherlands and at the Shell Biosciences Centre in the UK, he was appointed lecturer and in 1988 full professor at the University of Groningen and named the Jacobus H. van't Hoff Distinguished Professor of Molecular Sciences in 2004. He was elected Foreign Honory member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and is member and vice-president of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences. In 2008 he was appointed Academy Professor and was knighted by Her Majesty the Queen of the Netherlands.

Feringa's research has been recognized with a number of awards including the Koerber European Science Award (2003), the Spinoza Award (2004), the Prelog gold medal (2005), the Norrish Award of the ACS (2007), the Paracelsus medal (2008), the Chirality medal (2009),the RSC Organic Stereochemistry Award (2011), Humboldt Award (2012), the Grand Prix Scientifique Cino del Duca (French Academy 2012), the Marie Curie medal (2013) and the Nagoya Gold Medal (2013).

The research interest includes stereochemistry, organic synthesis, asymmetric catalysis, optopharma, molecular switches and motors, self-assembly and molecular nanosystems.

Academic and industrial career


Undergraduate and graduate studies in chemistry, University of Groningen
PhD at Department of Organic Chemistry, University of Groningen, Thesis: Asymmetric Oxidations of Phenols; 
supervisor Prof. Dr. Hans Wynberg

1978-1982   Research Chemist (organic synthesis, oxidation processes, photochemistry), Royal Dutch Shell, Shell Laboratories, Amsterdam.
1979-1982   Lecturer Amsterdam (Hogere Analistenschool).
1982-1983   Research Chemist (Bioorganic Chemistry), Shell Biosciences Laboratories, Sittingbourne, UK.
1983-1984   Project Leader Homogeneous Catalysis, Shell Research Laboratories, Amsterdam.
1984-1988   Lecturer Organic Chemistry, University of Groningen.
1988-   Appointed successor of Prof. Dr. H. Wynberg; chair of Organic Chemistry, Professor of Organic Chemistry, University of Groningen.
1991-1995   Chairman Department Organic and Molecular Inorganic Chemistry
2003-2011   Director Stratingh Institute for Chemistry
2003-   Jacobus H. van 't Hoff Distinguished Professor of Molecular Sciences
2008-   Academy Professor; Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences
2011-   Hans Fischer Honorary Fellow, Institute for Advanced Studies, TU Muenchen

Editorships and editorial boards

  • Chair Editorial Board Chemistry World RSC
  • Member Editorial Advisory Board Chemical Communications
  • Member Editorial Board Faraday Trans., Royal Society
  • Member Editorial Board Advanced Synthesis and Catalysis
  • Member Editorial Board Adv. Phys. Org. Chem.
  • Member Editorial Board Topics in Stereochemistry
  • Member Editorial Advisory Board, Chemistry, an Asian Journal
  • Member Editorial Advisory Board, Journal of Organic Chemistry
  • Editorial Advisory Board, Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry
  • International Advisory Board, Macromolecular Rapid Communications (till 2010)
  • International Advisory Board, Israel Journal of Chemistry
  • Prof. Feringa is the founding Scientific Editor of the new RSC Journal Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry (2002-2006)

Memberships to academies

  • Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, USA
  • Member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences KNAW
  • Member of the Netherlands Academy for Technology and Innovation (ACTI)
  • Member of the Academia Europeae
  • Member of the American Chemical Society
  • Member of the Royal Netherlands Chemical Society
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry UK

Present and recent functions

  • Vice-President and chair Physical Division and member board KNAW; Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences (KNAW)
  • Chairman board Chemistry Division, Netherlands Science Foundation NWO-CW
  • Member Council Royal Society of Chemistry (UK)
  • Member publishing board RSC (UK)
  • Management team NRSC-C Topresearch School Catalysis
  • Board Catchbio National Program, co-program leader Fine Chemistry
  • Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials, Trust leader
  • Member Executive Director’s ACS 2010 Board, American Chemical Society, USA
  • Member board H.J. Backer Foundation
  • Member board Havinga Foundation
  • International Conference on Chirality, member scientific committee
  • Member International Scientific Committee Photochemistry Conference
  • Member International Scientific Committee International CD Conferences
  • Member International Organizing Committee International IUPAC Conference on Physical Organic Chemistry (ICPOC)
  • Member Regiegroep Chemistry, The Netherlands
  • Member scientific evaluation committee Volkswagenstiftung, Germany
  • Member international scientific evaluation committee Max Planck Institutes 2014
  • Chair international Janssen Pharmaceutical Prize
  • Co-founder of the contract research company SELACT (now KIADIS)
  • Founder and director of the Center for Systems Chemistry at the University of Groningen
  • International Scientific Advisory Board Max-Planck Institute fuer Kohlenforschung, Muhlheim (former member and chair 2001-2005), Germany
  • Member International Scientific Evaluation Committee Wissenschaftsrat Germany 2007
  • President European Symposium on Organic Chemistry, ESOC-12, 2001, Groningen, the Netherlands
  • Member international scientific evaluation committee 2011, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
  • Member evaluation committee Topinitiatives DFG, Germany
  • Co-chair and Organizer International CD conference 2007 (with E.W. Meijer)
  • President 2009 Burgenstock Conference, Switzerland
  • Co-Chair and organiser ArmChemFront 2013 Conference
Last modified:25 June 2022 1.37 p.m.