Ben Feringa

Short biography

Ben Feringa

Ben L. Feringa obtained his PhD degree at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands under the guidance of Professor Hans Wynberg. After working as a research scientist at Shell in the Netherlands and at the Shell Biosciences Centre in the UK, he was appointed lecturer and in 1988 full professor at the University of Groningen and named the Jacobus H. van't Hoff Distinguished Professor of Molecular Sciences in 2004. He was elected Foreign Honory member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and is member and vice-president of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences. In 2008 he was appointed Academy Professor and was knighted by Her Majesty the Queen of the Netherlands.

Feringa's research has been recognized with a number of awards including the Koerber European Science Award (2003), the Spinoza Award (2004), the Prelog gold medal (2005), the Norrish Award of the ACS (2007), the Paracelsus medal (2008), the Chirality medal (2009),the RSC Organic Stereochemistry Award (2011), Humboldt Award (2012), the Grand Prix Scientifique Cino del Duca (French Academy 2012), the Marie Curie medal (2013) and the Nagoya Gold Medal (2013). The research interest includes stereochemistry, organic synthesis, asymmetric catalysis, optopharma, molecular switches and motors, self-assembly and molecular nanosystems.

Academic and industrial career

1969-1978 Undergraduate and graduate studies in chemistry, University of Groningen
 PhD at Department of Organic Chemistry, University of Groningen, Thesis: Asymmetric Oxidations of Phenols; supervisor Prof. Dr. Hans Wynberg
1978-1982 Research Chemist (organic synthesis, oxidation processes, photochemistry), Royal Dutch Shell, Shell Laboratories, Amsterdam.
1979-1982 Lecturer Amsterdam (Hogere Analistenschool).
1982-1983 Research Chemist (Bioorganic Chemistry), Shell Biosciences Laboratories, Sittingbourne, UK.
1983-1984 Project Leader Homogeneous Catalysis, Shell Research Laboratories, Amsterdam.
1984-1988 Lecturer Organic Chemistry, University of Groningen.
1988- Appointed successor of Prof. Dr. H. Wynberg; chair of Organic Chemistry, Professor of Organic Chemistry, University of Groningen.
1991-1995 Chairman Department Organic and Molecular Inorganic Chemistry
2003-2011 Director Stratingh Institute for Chemistry
2003- Jacobus H. van 't Hoff Distinguished Professor of Molecular Sciences
2008- Academy Professor; Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences
2011- Hans Fischer Honorary Fellow, Institute for Advanced Studies, TU Muenchen