Plenary Speakers

Prof. Dr. Ben L. Feringa, (Nobel Prize winner, Chemistry 2016), University of Groningen, the Netherlands

Ben Feringa

Ben L. Feringa obtained his PhD degree at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands under the guidance of Professor Hans Wynberg. After working as a research scientist at Shell in the Netherlands and the UK, he was appointed lecturer and in 1988 full professor at the University of Groningen and named the Jacobus H. van 't Hoff Distinguished Professor of Molecular Sciences in 2004. He was elected Foreign Honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences as well as a member of the Council of the Royal Society of Chemistry. In 2008 he was appointed Academy Professor and he was knighted by Her Majesty the Queen of the Netherlands. Feringa’s research has been recognized with numerous awards including the Körber European Science Award (2003), the Spinoza Award (2004), the Prelog gold medal (2005), the Norrish Award of the ACS (2007), the Paracelsus medal (2008), the Chirality medal (2009), the RSC Organic Stereochemistry Award (2011), the Humboldt award (2012), the Nagoya gold medal (2013), the ACS Cope Scholar Award (2015), the Chemistry for the Future Solvay Prize (2015), the August-Wilhelm-von-Hoffman Medal (2016), The 2016 Nobel prize in Chemistry and the Tetrahedron Prize (2017).

Feringa’s research interest includes stereochemistry, organic synthesis, asymmetric catalysis, molecular switches and motors, self-assembly, molecular nanosystems and photopharmacology.


 Prof Dr. Joseph Keddie, University of Surrey, United Kingdom

Joseph Keddie Joe Keddie is a Professor of Soft Matter Physics at the University of Surrey in Guildford, UK. His main research area is waterborne polymer colloids and their applications in coatings and soft adhesives. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics and was awarded their 2001 Paterson Medal and Prize for his contributions to the understanding of polymer dynamics in thin films and colloids. In 2015, he was awarded a Medallion from Coatings Societies International. He was awarded the 2017 Thomas Graham Lectureship by the Joint Colloids Group of the Royal Society of Chemistry and the SCI. He is the former Chair of the IOP Polymer Physics Group, a Council Member of the High Polymer Research Group, an Editorial Board member of ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, Awards Co-ordinator for the RSC/SCI Joint Colloids Group, and on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Chemical Building Blocks Consortium (CBBC) in The Netherlands. He holds a PhD degree from Cornell University (USA) in materials science and engineering, and spent three years at the University of Cambridge as a post-doctoral researcher and an Oppenheimer research fellow. A co-author of more than 150 journal articles and a book on latex film formation, he has an h-index of 41. He has contributed to several EU projects, and he collaborates widely with industry.

Dr Jürgen Omeis, Altana AG, Germany


Jurgen Omeis

Jürgen Omeis received his PhD in Macromolecular Chemistry from the University of Freiburg at the Hermann Staudinger Institute. Since 1986 he worked in several industrial positions starting at Röhm in Darmstadt and currently as Head of Science Relations of ALTANA AG. During his industrial carreer he gave numerous talks, papers and authored more than 50 patents in the field of functional polymers for various applications. As a member of the GDCh he actually serves as Deputy Chairman of the group “Lackchemie” and “Makromolekulare Chemie”. Additionally, he is member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Leibniz Institute for Interactive Materials in Aachen.

As part of the ALTANA Innovation Council he promotes open innovation, crossfunctional collaboration and sponsoring of technological platforms established in ALTANA’s divisions.