On May 1, 2020, DIFFER group leader Gerard van Rooij has been appointed Professor of Plasma Chemistry at the Faculty of Science at Maastricht University (UM).
The appointment of Van Rooij is the first appointment from Maastricht University within Brightsite. Brightsite is a collaboration between Sitech Services, TNO, Brightlands Chemelot Campus and Maastricht University with the aim of making the chemical industry more sustainable at the Chemelot site in Limburg.
Gerard van Rooij obtained his MSc in Physics at the Eindhoven University of Technology (specialization Plasma Physics) and received his PhD degree at the University of Amsterdam for his research on macromolecular mass spectrometry performed at AMOLF. Following a post-doctoral work on calibration techniques for fluorescence microscopy at the UvA, he became project leader for low temperature plasma physics at DIFFER.
Within DIFFER, Gerard van Rooij pioneered the scientific basis of the unique devices for plasma surface interaction studies within DIFFER and participated in the research programs of the major international facilities for fusion research to study the role of plasma chemistry therein. Since 2012, he researches plasma activation of chemical reactions to aid storage of sustainable energy in chemical potential energy for its integration in other sectors such as transport and chemical industry. Van Rooij will retain his connection to DIFFER and his part-time professorship in sustainable plasma chemistry at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) to continue research on fundamental non-equilibrium aspects of plasma chemistry and to facilitate collaborations between Eindhoven and Maastricht.
From his role at UM, Van Rooij will participate in various program lines of Brightsite, in particular in the field of electrification. Van Rooij's expertise in the field of plasma chemistry is very promising, says Prof. Dr Thomas Cleij, Dean of the Faculty of Science: “The appointment of Gerard van Rooij fits within the ambition of the faculty to use engineering to improve circularity and sustainability. Van Rooij is an excellent expert in his field and brings along a valuable network from which our research programs can benefit. ”