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In the context of the Visiting Professorship program of the institutes of Physics and Astronomy of the UvA and the VU, Prof. Zakya Kafafi (Lehigh University) will visit Amsterdam for different periods in 2019, starting with a 10 day visit from the 25th of March. During part of her visit, Prof Kafafi will also hold the Johannes Diderik van der Waals rotating chair established at the UvA.

Prof. Zakya Kafafi

Prof. Zakya Kafafi is a renowned expert in emerging technologies based on organic electronics and photonics, and her research interests span a wide spectrum of disciplines including the chemistry and physics of organic and nanostructured materials, organic nonlinear optics and light-emitting materials. In 2007 she joined the National Science Foundation as the Director of the Division of Materials Research (DMR). She was the first woman to lead the largest and unarguably the most complex Division in the Mathematical and Physical Sciences Directorate, and during her tenure she managed a budget portfolio close to one billion dollars. She has received an Edison Award for inventing a simple two- step, cost-effective method to pattern conducting polymers for flexible organic photonic and electronic devices.

Prof. Kafafi is also a member of the American Chemical Society and Sigma Xi. She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Materials Research Society, the Optical Society of America, and the International Society of Optics and Photonics. She is the recipient of the Kuwait Prize in the category of Applied Sciences (Clean & Sustainable Energy Technologies), Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS), “for her research on the uses of organic solar cells to generate clean and sustainable energy, and to improve their performance and efficiency,” and the Hillebrand Prize, the Chemical Society of Washington’s highest honour, “for her pioneering contributions in organic optics and electronics technologies through innovative physical chemistry and materials chemistry research.”

During her stay in Amsterdam, Prof. Kafafi will interact with researchers at the VU and the UvA as well as from AMOLF, and will also take part in the teaching of the Organic Photovoltaics master course.

The Physics & Astronomy Visiting Professorship program was stablished in 2017 and targets excellent academics with an outstanding research track record, well-recognized experts in some of the disciplines where the UvA and the VU are active. The selected scholars are expected to contribute to strengthening the scientific and academic activities of the Amsterdam physics and astronomy communities, as well as acting as inspiring role models to our student population.

If you would like to interact with Prof Kafafi, please contact her host, Dr Elizabeth von Hauff.