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Dr K.P. Velikov (1970) has been named professor by special appointment of Physics of Soft Matter at the University of Amsterdam’s (UvA) Faculty of Science. This chair was established on behalf of the Van der Waals-Fonds Foundation. Velikov will combine this chair with his current position as Science Leader at Anglo-Dutch consumer goods company Unilever.

Prof Krassimir Velikov, Science of soft materials
Credits: Dirk Gillissen

Krassimir Velikov’s research covers broad topics of soft-condensed matter, molecular and colloidal assembly, fibrillar networks, gels, biopolymers, colloid and interface science of dispersions (e.g. colloids, suspensions, emulsions, foams) and their uses to control product functionality (e.g. stability, appearance, texture, taste, encapsulation), physical-chemistry of digestion, and formulation and delivery of functional ingredients.

As professor by special appointment, Velikov will continue his research in the field of physics of complex fluids in relation to product functionality of consumer products. Velikov will support industrial-academic cooperation, promote industrial R&D among students, and facilitate technology and intellectual properties rights transfer from academia to industry.

Velikov obtained his PhD in Soft Condensed Matter Physics from both FOM Institute AMOLF (Amsterdam) and Soft Condensed Matter & Biophysics, University of Utrecht. Since 2002, he has worked at Unilever’s Research and Development division in Vlaardingen, the Netherlands, where he is presently Team Leader and Science Leader. Since 2009, he has been combining this position with a part-time position at Utrecht University’s Soft Condensed Matter & Biophysics department. In 2010, he took up a special position as Adjunct Associate Professor at the department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering of North Carolina State University’s (US) College of Engineering. Between 2014 and 2016, he was a program director of 5B “Molecular Structure of Food” program at NanoNextNL, which includes AMOFL, Wageningen University, University of Maastricht, MPI Mainz, Danone and Unilever. Velikov participates in many EU and NWO funded projects with AMOLF, Utrecht University, Wageningen University, Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge.

Velikov has over 30 patents and patent applications to his name, and has authored 8 book chapters and more than 70 scientific papers in various journals, including Soft Matter, Langmuir, Current Opinion in Colloid and Interface Science, Journal of the American Chemical Society, Small, Advanced Functional Materials, and Science. Velikov is section editor of “Colloidal Dispersions” in Current Opinion in Colloid and Interface Science (Elsevier), a member of the editorial board of the journal Food Digestion (Willey), and a member of the programme committee for the NSTI Nanotechnology Conference.