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Colloid chemist is new honorary doctor of science

Portrait. Photo.
Jan Dhont.

Jan Dhont, a chemist whose major achievements have been significant for life science and food science, has been awarded an honorary doctorate by the Faculty of Science at Lund University.

Jan Dhont is a professor at the Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf and Director of the Institute of Biomacromolecular Systems and Processes at Forschungszentrum Jülich in Germany. He is a prominent name within soft matter research and colloid chemistry, a part of physical chemistry bordering physics, biology and technology. The common element in this field of research is the colloidal length scale, which ranges from one nanometre to one micrometre. Within this scale are many biological systems, for example proteins, cell membranes and organs, such as the skin. It also includes emulsions, foams and aerosols that are found in various food products, lotions and cosmetics. Jan Dhont’s research focuses on statistical mechanics and transport properties in complex colloidal systems. He has written over 170 research articles and in 1996 published the textbook An Introduction to Dynamics of Colloids, which has become a reference work in second-cycle teaching.

“It is an honour to be named as an honorary doctor and to now have an official connection with Lund University,” says Jan Dhont.

In addition to his research, Dhont has arranged a number of conferences, been involved in teaching and initiated several important networks for researchers within physical chemistry. He has had strong ties with Lund University since 2013. Among other things, he has been involved in the Lund-led “Aniforce” research project and spends at least one month per year at the Division of Physical Chemistry, where he has become a much-appreciated research colleague and inspiring lecturer for doctoral students, who value his curiosity, openness and teaching skills. By strengthening the link with him as an honorary doctor, the Faculty of Science hopes to build upon and further develop the collaboration.

“Professor Jan Dhont is a frequent visitor to Lund and a regular contributor to the science and education here. His internationally renowned work on soft matter is relevant to both life science and food science,” says Sven Lidin, dean of the Faculty of Science.

Text: Johan Joelsson.