Jasper Knoester new Dean of the Faculty of Science
Professor Jasper Knoester has been appointed Dean of the Faculty of Science at Leiden University. He will take up the role on 1 January 2022. Knoester is currently Dean of the Faculty of Science & Engineering at the University of Groningen. He succeeds Paul Wouters (Dean of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences), who has been acting Dean since March this year.
Knoester has been Dean of the Faculty of Science & Engineering (FSE) and Pro-Rector of the University of Groningen since 2010, and in this last role was also Chief Diversity Officer at the University of Groningen until 2020. He began his academic career as a student of Theoretical Physics at Utrecht University and received his PhD from the same university in 1987. After a postdoc at the University of Rochester in the United States, he took up a position as a Huygens Fellow in the Physical Chemistry group in Groningen and was appointed Professor of Theory of Condensed Matter at the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials (ZIAM) in 1993. He was appointed Scientific Director of ZIAM in 2003.
The power of collaboration
For Knoester collaboration is the cornerstone of an effective faculty. ‘I believe in the power of collaboration. Not only within but also between disciplines as well as with partners outside the university. “The whole is greater than the sum of the parts,” is a motto I believe in strongly. As Dean of FSE in Groningen this has been a guiding principle for me and I’m very much looking forward to joining the Faculty of Science community in Leiden and making lots of connections both within the Faculty and outside.’
There is a much enthusiasm in the Faculty about Knoester’s appointment. On behalf of the Faculty Board, Vice-Dean Bart de Smit said the following: ‘We are extremely pleased with his appointment. Jasper is hugely experienced in managing a large science faculty, and as chair of the science faculties consultation he has played a leading role on the national arena for many years already. With his appointment a bright future lies ahead of us.’
The institutes also have full confidence in Knoester. Jan Aarts, Scientific Director of the Leiden Institute of Physics (LION) said: ‘I think that all the institutes at the Faculty are looking forward to working with Jasper. We certainly are! He knows what is happening on the shop floor and is not only an administrator but a researcher too. He will help us take advantage of the opportunities our research fields offer for greater connection.’
Years of administration experience
The Executive Board is looking forward to working with Knoester and welcoming him to the Leiden team of deans. ‘We are really pleased that Jasper wants to make the move from Groningen to Leiden. He has a considerable track record, and his unifying style of leadership and years of administration experience will be of huge value to the direction and future of our wonderful Faculty of Science,’ said Hester Bijl (Rector Magnificus of the Executive Board).