Event speakers

Ben Feringa

Professor Ben L. Feringa has done groundbreaking research on light-driven molecular motors and switches, an area that opens many exciting doors for life-changing biomedical applications, nanorobots, advanced catalysis and materials for a sustainable future. Together with Sauvage and Stoddart, Feringa was awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the design and synthesis of molecular machines.

Ben Feringa received his PhD in organic synthesis from Gröningen University, the Netherlands, in 1978. After some time at Shell he returned to Gröningan as an active lecturer soon to become a full time professor, spearheading research in optical chirality of molecules on the nanoscale and stereochemistry. 

Ulla Vogel

Professor Ulla Vogel has worked with nanosafety research since 1997 with focus on the toxicology of inhaled particles in the working environment. She has led the Danish effort on nanosafety in Danish Centre for Nanosafety 1 and 2 and participated in several EU projects related to nanosafety. Her research is focused on particle-induced cancer, cardiovascular disease and effects on fertility and reproduction using various methods spanning from in vitro studies on cell lines, animal studies, biomonitoring studies on human volunteers and epidemiological studies. Much of her research is tied to ensuring that the innovations produced across the field of nanoscience can be safely put into practice and she acts as advisor for the Working Environment Authority and the Environmental Protection Agency.


Ulla Vogel received her PhD in molecular biology from the University of Copenhagen in 1995. Since then, she has spent most of her career at the National Research Centre for the Working Environment in Denmark, where she currently is a professor. She is also an adjunct professor at the department of Health Technology at DTU.

Omar Yaghi

Professor Omar Yaghi is the scientist behind the first metal-organic-framework (MOF), developed in 1995! Since then, he has continued being a pioneer in both the field of MOFs as well as other novel nanomaterials. He is the creator of Reticular Chemistry, the art of linking molecular building blocks into strongly bonded, highly ordered structures. The materials Yaghi has pioneered have significant applications within sustainability, specifically gas separations, carbon capture, efficient catalysis and harvesting water from the air.


Omar Yaghi received his PhD in chemistry from the University of Illinois-Urbana in 1990. From there he has followed an impressive career path including professorships at the University of Michigan, UCLA and UC Berkeley. Yaghi is among the most cited chemists in the world. He is also the founder of Water Harvesting Inc., a company aiming to harvest drinkable water from the air. He has received awards and recognitions from sixteen countries including the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the Wolf Prize in Chemistry.

Heiner Linke

Professor Heiner Linke uses experimental and numerical methods to study non-equilibrium phenomena in diverse systems such as semiconductor nanostructures, biomolecular systems, and fluids. A common theme is the question of how thermal fluctuations in non-equilibrium systems can be harvested to produce useful work, something that has potential applications in increasing the energy efficiency of computing and energy conversion. Specific research topics today include nanowires, artificial bio-molecular motors based on DNA and proteins, self-propelled fluids and optical trapping.


Since 2013 Heiner Linke is the Director of Nanolund, the Center for Nanoscience at Lund University. After first receiving his PhD from Lund University in 1997, Linke spent 11 years abroad as a postdoc in Sydney and  as an associate professor at the University of Oregon, before returning to Lund in 2009 as a professor of Nanophysics.

Christelle Prinz

Professor Christelle Prinz’s research group at Lund University investigates the interactions between living cells and nanostructures. They specifically investigate how nanowires could be used to sense and control cell behavior. The goal is to develop novel methods based on nanotechnology for biosensing and therapeutic applications. 


Christelle Prinz received her PhD in polymer physics from the University of Strasbourg in 1999. Since then, Prinz has been at Princeton and at Lund University as a postdoc until she became an associate professor at the department of Solid State Physics at Lund University in 2014.

Chris Palmstrøm

Chris Palmstrøm is a Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Materials Departments at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His research involves atomic level control and interface formation during molecular beam and chemical beam epitaxial growth of metallic compounds, metal oxides and compound semiconductors. He has pioneered dissimilar materials epitaxial growth studies using a combination of molecular beam epitaxial growth with in-situ surface science probes, and ex-situ structural and electronic characterization. 

He received his B.Sc. in physics and electronic engineering and Ph.D. in electrical and electronic engineering from the University of Leeds. After being a Lecturer in Norway and a Research Associate at Cornell, he joined Bellcore as a Member of Technical Staff in 1985. From 1994-2007 he was a Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at the University of Minnesota. In 2007 he joined the faculty at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Heike Riel

IBM Research Fellow Heike Riel is an expert in the field of nanoelectronics. In her research she contributed to advancements in the science and technology of nanoscale electronics, in particular the exploration and development of semiconducting nanowires for applications in future electronic and optoelectronic devices, in molecular electronics for future nanoscale switches and memory applications, and organic light-emitting diodes for display applications. Her current research interests include new materials and device concepts for future nanoelectronics for applications in quantum computing and neuromorphic computing.


Heike Riel received her PhD in Physics from the University of Bayreuth in 2002 and an MBA from Henley Business College in 2010. Riel has been working at IBM Research since 1998 where today she is responsible for leading the research agenda of the Science & Technology department aiming to create scientific and technological breakthroughs in Quantum Computing and Technologies, Physics of Artificial Intelligence, Nanoscience and Nanotechnology including IoT and health applications.

"There's plenty of room at the bottom." - Richard Feynman

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