Introducing new PhD candidates

Meet Tessa de Koning Gans, Rens Ham and Rohit B Raj! Three new PhD candidates who will be working on ARC CBBC’s 4th multilateral program New Chemistry For a Sustainable Future.


Tessa de Koning Gans (UT)

Tessa de Koning Gans is a PhD student in the group of professor Guido Mul. She grew up in Zwolle and  moved to Enschede for her bachelor chemical engineering at the University of Twente. She enjoyed studying in Enschede and was actively engaged in the student life of the UT. Therefore, she decided to stay at the UT to obtain a master in chemical engineering, with a specialization in chemical and process engineering. She always wanted to use her background as a chemical engineer to contribute to the realization of a sustainable future. This was a big motivator for her to start working as a researcher. After her graduation, she was part of the Sustainable Process Technology group at the UT for one year. Her research at that time focused on the development of solid sorbents for CO2 capture. After a year as researcher, she joined the Photocatalytic Synthesis group for her PhD. Her project within ARC CBBC involves the electrochemical reduction of CO2, the goal is to develop an attractive anode process. Outside of work, she like to spend time with her friends and family, sew her own clothes and working out in the gym.


Rens Ham (UvA)

Rens Ham, is 25 years old and lives in Amsterdam. In his Bachelors, he studied chemistry as a joint degree between the University of Amsterdam and the VU Amsterdam. He really enjoyed the focus for molecular systems and that’s why he decided to pursue my Master within these universities as well, and recently graduated cum laude. In the Master chemistry research, he studied deactivation pathways for Grubbs-II catalysts induced by biomolecules using kinetic profiling. This project confirmed his interests for molecular systems and academic research, which is why he is happy to start his PhD project with the CBBC towards the design of selective methods for photoredox chemistry. Besides chemistry, he enjoys skiing, running and indoor football but also spending time with friends and playing (board) games.


Rohit B Raj (AMOLF)

Rohit B Raj is from India and as a PhD student at AMOLF is working in Prof. Erik Garnett’s group. On learning about plasmonic materials and the phenomenon of LSPR in the Photophysics course, while an undergrad at IISER Pune, he was plagued by many fundamental questions about the decay pathways. This inspired him to pursue his MS in Plasmonic catalysis. Working towards his MS dissertation, he thoroughly enjoyed driving his project to its full potential through fruitful collaborations and tireless troubleshooting. The inherently collaborative and intellectually involved nature of scientific pursuit motivated him to pursue a PhD. The project at ARC CBBC was in alignment with his intellectual interest in Plasmonics and furnished the opportunity to contribute to environmental sustainability. During his PhD, he intends to explore different plasmonic materials and to use gap plasmon resonances to create an energy selective plasmonic reactor for CO2RR. Apart from science, he loves to travel, try new cuisines, workout, and dance!!