Professor Pieter Kruit gives nano world eyes and hands


The FOM Foundation has awarded the FOM Valorisation Prize 2011 to Professor Pieter Kruit. He receives the prize worth €250,000 for his research in the area of electron and ion optics and his role in the valorisation of this knowledge in an industrial context. He will be presented with the prize on 17 January 2012 during the FOM conference.

Pieter Kruit started his career as a PhD student at the University of Amsterdam, where he carried out research into multiphoton ionisation of noble gas atoms. After that he took up a research position at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. Since 1989, he has led the Particle Optics group at TU Delft. Kruit is the author of more than 160 publications in peer-reviewed journals and also has 46 patents to his name. Within FOM, Kruit is the workgroup leader and programme leader of the Industrial Partnership Programme 'Microscopy and modification of nano-structures with focused electron and ion beams'.

His application-oriented research has also led to intensive collaborative relationships with various industrial partners. According to the jury, "Kruit is known as somebody who uniquely combines the characteristics of a 'die-hard' scientist with those of a real engineer." He is the founder of two spin-off companies: Mapper, which develops machines for the computer chip industry, and DELMIC BV, which is based on Kruit’s clever idea of combining confocal light microscopy and electron microscopy in a single instrument. The jury's evaluation is: "Kruit has built up an impressive track record in the area of valorising scientific knowledge and has improved both 'the eyes' with which we observe the nano world as well as 'the hands' with which we manipulate it."

FOM Valorisation Prize
The FOM Valorisation Prize was inaugurated by the Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter to encourage the valorisation of physics research. The prize is awarded each year to a Dutch researcher (or group of researchers) working in physics who has succeeded in making results from his own research useful for society. The FOM Valorisation Prize is a tribute and serves as an inspiring example for other researchers.

FOM Valorisation Chapter Prize
FOM encourages PhD students to devote a separate chapter in their thesis to valorisation of their doctoral research. This concerns issues such as who (within or outside of academia) might be interested in your results and why, and whether any long-term applications of your work are conceivable? The FOM Valorisation Chapter Prize emphasises the importance FOM attaches to valorisation and has the aim of making PhD students more aware of the valorisation possibilities of their research.

The FOM Valorisation Chapter Prize 2011 worth 5000 euros has been awarded to former FOM PhD student Dr Silke Diedenhofen. The jury was struck by how she creatively translated her work in the area of nanowires to a broader market.

For more information, see the FOM website.