Joost Frenken new Dean of Faculty of Science and Engineering

As from July 1, 2022, Prof. Joost Frenken will be the Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE) at the University of Groningen. Currently, Frenken is the Director of the Amsterdam-based ARCNL (the Advanced Research Center for Nanolithography). He will succeed Jasper Knoester, who became the Dean of the Faculty of Science at Leiden University last January.

Since 2014, Frenken has been the Director of ARCNL, a public-private partnership established by the Dutch Research Council (NWO), the University of Amsterdam, VU Amsterdam, and high-tech company ASML. The ARCNL focuses on fundamental physics and chemistry research in the context of semiconductor industry application. Frenken himself specializes in the deposition and evolution of nanolayers.

Frenken is also a professor at the University of Amsterdam and VU Amsterdam. He has been a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) since 2007.

Groningen pearl
Joost Frenken calls it an honorable challenge to represent the Faculty of Science and Engineering in Groningen as its Dean, and to help to pave the Faculty’s way to the future. “The Faculty of Science and Engineering is a real academic pearl and we can take pride in that. Together with the staff and students of the Faculty, I want to make excellent research and teaching possible, in order to fulfil the important role that the Faculty plays in society. With that, it is important to have an eye for the personal development of staff and students.”

Frenken also sees the challenges that the Faculty is facing. For example, for more than eight years now, the number of students at the Faculty has been steadily growing. This positive development, however, also causes more pressure on the Faculty’s staff and the facilities.

Building and connecting
Frenken’s work is driven by building and connecting. “I always find pleasure in connecting people, parties, and activities – within our organization as well as with the outside world.” It is something that Frenken has a lot of experience with. Through the years, he has been working on public-private projects and programmes with various partners as well as with research and development (R&D) departments of commercial partners. In 2014, when ARCNL was created, he was its first director. Now, ARCNL is an established research institute with about 100 staff members. Frenken also (co)initiated two companies: Leiden Probe Microscopy BV and Applied Nanolayers BV.

Scientific career
Joost Frenken studied Physics at the University of Amsterdam. In 1986, he obtained his PhD in Physics at Utrecht University based on research performed at the AMOLF research institute in Amsterdam. From 1986 to 1988, Frenken worked as an Alexander-von-Humboldt Fellow at the Max-Planck-Institut für Strömungsforschung in Göttingen. In 1988, he started his own research group at AMOLF. Subsequently, in 1996, he became Professor of Experimental Physics at the Kamerlingh Onnes Laboratorium of Leiden University, where he headed the Interface Physics Group until 2017.