Professor Wolfgang Knoll honorary doctor of the University of Twente

Professor Knoll received the degree “doctor honoris causa” on October 25, 2011 during the 50 years celebrations, the 50th Dies Natalis, of the University of Twente, in the presence of her Majesty Queen Beatrix. Prof. Knoll’s honorary promotor, Prof. Julius Vancso, commented the work of the honorary doctor as “one of the most inspiring, most influential, most original and most productive oeuvres of the last decades in biophysics, bionanotechnology, and molecular sciences”. The full text of the considerans can be found below.

Professor Knoll,

It is with immense pleasure to present to you a doctorate honoris causa of the University of Twente. This doctorate, ladies and gentlemen, honors one of the most inspiring, most influential, most original and most productive oeuvres of the last decades in biophysics, bionanotechnology, and molecular sciences. Praising the merits of your work cannot be done in the few minutes I have, hence I just give a sampler of a few key milestones. In fact in today’s era of paradigm shifts, emergence of new disciplines such as bio-nanotechnology, and rise of multidisciplinary research, it is not easy to pinpoint a single discipline to which you should be placed. You call yourself a “generalist” read more >>

Prof. Vancso Nanyang Adjunct Professor

G. Julius Vancso has been appointed to Nanyang Adjunt Professor of Materials Science in Singapore. Nanyang Technological University is one of the two largest public universities in Singapore with the worlds's largest engineering college, and one of the fastest growing research universities of the world. See

Prof. Dr. Julius Vancso has been named fellow of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA)


The Hungarian Academy of Sciences is a leading scientific institution, founded in 1825, with a rich tradition. "This post is a great honor, and international recognition of my scientific work", said Vancso. The appointment follows his prestigious appointment, in which he was named a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry in Great-Britain, earlier this year.




Summary of his oratie held on the 19th of October 2010:

The Technology of Macromolecules: synthesis and applications in optics, catalysis and biology

The focus of nanotechnology shifts more and more in the direction of biological substances and the systems built from these basic building blocs, which also encompasses semiconductor-polymer-metal complexes. The structure of macromolecules can be manipulated relatively easily, with high precision, control and variety, using the latest technological advances. Binding chemically functional groups with covalent chemical bonds to polymer chains is relatively easy. Polymers, therefore, are ideal for use as a binding medium in molecular nanotechnology. For building nano-sized units, it is necessary for one to understand, and be able to manipulate the physical and chemical behaviour of the individual building blocks, as well as the binding intermolecular interactions. This is the focus of quantitative supramolecular nanochemistry. In his inaugural lecture, Gyula Vancsó dealt with not only macromulecular nanotechnology and quantitative supramolecular chemistry, but also with the characterization and possible applications of "intelligent" polymer systems, polymer-metal and polymer-semiconductor integrated nanosystems. In a case study he introduced a polymer-metal nanosystem, as well as it’s possible uses in microreactor technology. The Professor at the University of Twente in the Netherlands and his research team presented a complex system based on the coating of micro-reactors with a complex system to increase the efficiency and preformance of micro-reactors by a very large factor. Following this, Gyula Vancsó introduced optically active, luminescent, semiconductive polymer-semiconductor structures containing nano crystals. He proceded to detail applications in medicin, regarding the selective tagging of cancerous cells. Finally, in light of his most recent achievements, the chemist demonstrated an organic-inorganic, highly complex integrated system, held together by supramolecular forces. With help of this particular case study, Gyula Vancsó demonstrated the guided synthesis of hierarchical nanostructures, self-assembly, optical properties and molecular sensitivity sensor usage, which are made useful by biological, ecological and saftey reasons.

More than 8200 citations

The group Materials Science and Technology of the MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology of the University of Twente, headed by Julius Vancso, enjoys an exponentially growing citation index in the scientific literature for their work in macromolecular nanotechnology. As a milestone, the total number of citations of Professor Vancso exceeded 8200 by the end of 2012. This increase has been accompanied by an increase of his h-factor to 44 (see ISI Web of Knowledge).

Chemie-subsidie voor groep Vancso

Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO)

Prof. Julius Vancso en dr. Mark Hempenius hebben van de Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO) een TOP-subsidie van 675.000 Euro gehonoreerd gekregen. Deze subsidies worden toegekend aan chemische en chemisch-technologische toponderzoeksgroepen om “hen de gelegenheid en vrijheid te bieden om excellente, uitdagende en innovatieve onderzoekslijnen te versterken en/of uit te breiden”. Op nationale schaal is door NWO in deze ronde 11 miljoen uitgekeerd.

Het onderzoeksproject van Vancso en Hempenius richt zich op macromoleculaire nanotechnologie met stimulus-reactieve polymeren. Polymeren zijn moleculen die bestaan uit een sequentie van soortgelijke of identieke –kleine- moleculaire eenheden die aan elkaar gekoppeld zijn via chemische bindingen. De onderzoeksgroep “Materiaalkunde en Technologie van Polymeren” van het MESA+ Instituut voor Nanotechnologie wil enkelvoudige, geïsoleerde, op externe stimuli reagerende macromoleculen op gecontroleerde wijze op oppervlakken aanbrengen en met atomic force microscopy (AFM) bestuderen.

Die polymeerketens groeien vanaf initiatoren, met atomaire precisie geplaatst door de scherpe naaldjes van een AFM. De combinatie van AFM en moderne polymerisatietechnieken stelt de onderzoekers in staat macromoleculen met grote nauwkeurigheid “bottom up” exact te bewerken. De enkelvoudige, stimulus-reactieve (zgn. “intelligente”) polymeerketens ondergaan veranderingen in hun vorm en stijfheid als gevolg van elektrochemische, thermische of chemische stimuli en kunnen toegepast worden in responsieve nanostructuren zoals moleculaire motoren, sensoren, en “crawlers” in toekomstige op nanoschaal functionerende apparaatjes en machines.

De TOP- en ECHO-subsidies worden toegekend door het gebied Chemische Wetenschappen van de Nederlandse Organisatie van Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO). Meer informatie op de site van NWO.

Contactpersoon voor de pers: Wiebe van der Veen, tel (053) 4894244