Art meets Science

As part of the 100-year anniversary of WUR, Maarten has taken part in the “Creative Innovation: Arts meets Science” initiative. During a kick-off meeting he presented how elements of his work on recyclable plastics can be a source of inspiration for artists: a major, common topic is the interaction and collaboration between species or compounds, and the ability for humans to learn from or alter those.

Interested to find out more about this initiative? Check out our university’s website.

Welcome to Grzegorz

Today Grzegorz Markiewicz joined the group for a 3-month visit. Grzegorz is a PhD student in the group of Artur Stefankiewicz, at the Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań (Poland). He will work on a collaborative project focussed on the thermodynamic characterisation of new non-covalent supramolecular polymers based on amino-acid functionalised diimides.

PhD Vacancy in Dynamic Polymer Chemistry

Our lab has a vacancy for a PhD position in the area Dynamic Polymer Chemistry. The position is part of a NWO-funded Vidi project, entitled “4D control over smart dynamic polymers” that was recently awarded to Maarten Smulders.

For more details on the vacancy and to apply, please go to our university’s website.

(Click on this news item to be able to open the link to the website).

Congrats to Mees

Last week, July 2, Mees Vos successfully completed his BSc thesis project, entitled: Synthesis of dynamic polymers grafted with bisimine pincer crosslinkers. In his BSc thesis project Mees demonstrated that imine-based pincers can be appended to a polymer backbone in order to introduce reversible crosslinks in the polymer network.

Awarded grant in Top Sector Chemistry Student Competition

The team Beads vs Beats was awarded a grant in the Top Sector Chemistry Student Competition, for a proposal entitled: “Metafoams: a new and effective material for sound isolation”. The team consists of students Sophie van Lange (WUR) and Roel Borgers (TUE), and will be supervised by Maarten Smulders (WUR) and Albert Poortinga (TUE).

In their project a highly efficiently sound-isolating material will be produced, aimed at the blocking of low-frequency sound. This novel material, or ‘metafoam’, will consist of a foamed polymer that encloses heavy beads in its pores. These beads will resonate with incoming sound waves, leading to destructive interference.

Lecture Esther van Andel at the ACS meeting in New Orleans

This Thursday, March 22, Esther will give a lecture during the 255th ACS National Meeting in New Orleans. The title of her lecture is: Highly selective capturing of biomolecules by antifouling zwitterionic polymer-coated microbeads. If you want to find out more about romantic beads (and if you’re in the neighbourhood) you should definitely check her lecture out (details on the ACS website).

Master Class Bert Meijer during 100-year anniversary of WUR

As part of the activities to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of Wageningen University Maarten Smulders will host a master class with chemist Bert Meijer, who is Distinguished University Professor at Eindhoven University of Technology and (amongst other awards) recipient of the 2001 Spinoza Award. In this master class, the scope and limitations of how to create artificial life from a chemistry perspective will be discussed.

Attendance is open to students and employees of WUR. For more information (and to register), please go the (WUR intranet) web page:

New group members

This month we welcome the following people to the lab:

  • Dr Ghazal Tavakoli (visiting postdoc), who will be working on the synthesis of multivalent pincer complexes that can assemble into dynamic polymer materials.
  • Albert-Jan van Zuilichem (BSc student), who will be working on a project involving dynamic polymers, together with Dr Joshua Dijksman (Laboratory of Physical Chemistry and Soft Matter).