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Dr R. Peters (1970) has been appointed professor by special appointment of Bioterials Analysis at the Faculty of Science (FNWI) of the University of Amsterdam (UvA). The chair was established on behalf of the Science Plus Foundation (Stichting Bèta Plus).

Prof Ron Peters
Photo: Dirk Gillissen

Ron Peters carries out research into the analysis of functional polymers: complex assemblages of molecules that are frequently used in applications which must meet stringent requirements, such as foodstuffs, energy, health care, aviation and biomedical treatments. In the latter case these polymers are frequently referred to as 'bioterials'. His research will focus primarily on characterising the molecular structure of complex functional polymers, mainly through the use of innovative multidimensional separation methods, combined with innovative sample pre-treatment and detection methods.

Ultimately, how continuous macroscopic materials behave is largely down to the polymer's molecular structure and the resulting microscale ordering. A proper description of the molecular structure will increase our understanding of the microscale ordering and ultimately of the way these polymers behave at the macroscopic level. This should lead to new innovative polymers with new functionalities geared to certain advanced applications, which also meet society's strict requirements in the area of sustainable development.

Ron Peters will concentrate on analytical and materials chemistry education as part of the nationally recognised Master's programme in Analytical Sciences at the UvA and the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and the national honours programmes coordinated by COAST, the Dutch organisation for PPPs in analytical chemistry, with sectoral support.

Peters is also employed as science manager analytics by DSM Coating Resins, where he heads polymer analysis development. His analytical expertise at DSM has led him to collaborate with a variety of partners. For instance, he was the initiator of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) project 'Making Analytically Incompatible Approaches Compatible' (MAnIAC), a collaborative venture of the UvA, DSM, Heineken, Shell, Micronit Microfluidics, Radboud University and the University of Groningen.