A warm welcome to our new PhD candidates! We would like to introduce them to you.
Jeroen Smaak (Leiden University)
Jeroen Smaak (photo left) grew up in Bergen op Zoom located in Noord-Brabant. He received his bachelor Chemistry at the university of applied sciences in Breda and completed his masters at Leiden University. Outside of the university, he enjoys to relax with a good book but also likes to go bouldering or sailing. In the catalysis and surface science group at Leiden, he studied the CO2 reduction reaction on copper. Because of a deep interest in electrocatalysis, he decided to continue as a PhD student to study electrochemical oxalate synthesis from CO2 in the group of Marc Koper. CO2 reduction to oxalate is simple but energy inefficient. In his research, Jeroen will experiment with different electrode materials and electrolyte compositions in non-aqueous solvents. The objective is to discover catalytic conditions and explain their mechanism to intelligently design even better catalysts
Keimpe-Oeds van den Berg (RUG)
Keimpe-Oeds (photo right) obtained his BSc in chemistry at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences. During his undergraduate studies he worked on the development of a PET-tracer for prostate cancer at the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG) under the supervision of Prof. Philip Elsinga. He then performed a pre-master in chemistry at the University of Groningen (RUG) and finished his MSc in chemistry. Keimpe-Oeds conducted his research project in the group of Prof. Ben Feringa and guidance of Prof. Wiktor Szymanski. His research project was focused on the synthesis of water-soluble visible light-responsive azobenzenes to manipulate biological systems. Then he worked for more than two years for Symeres B.V. (contract research organization) as a research scientist. During his industrial career he worked for clients in the pharmaceutical industry focusing on the isolation and synthesis of side products from synthetic routes of active pharmaceutical ingredients. In October 2023, Keimpe-Oeds started his PhD in the group of Prof. Ben Feringa on the synthesis of new building blocks for waterborne coatings to meet sustainability demands.