Boundless mind

At Amsterdam Science Park, we believe knowledge has no borders. That’s why you’ll find cutting-edge institutes, top-class facilities and business incubators in one convenient location. You’ll meet motivated students, innovative researchers, talented scientists and adventurous entrepreneurs – all in an environment where it’s easy to work together. Cross-disciplinary initiatives and holistic thinking flourish. Ground-breaking research projects become successful spin-offs. That’s the strength of Amsterdam Science Park: connecting boundless minds.

Erik van Heumen

Erik van Heumen is an assistant professor at the Institute of Physics, located at Amsterdam Science Park, where he heads a research group on the electronic properties of materials.

“The main reason I chose to come here, to the University of Amsterdam’s Faculty of Science, and the Institute of Physics in particular, is the fact that it has excellent facilities. I’m fortunate enough to be fully independent as a researcher, having started my own ‘tenure track’ research group at the institute. My field is condensed matter physics – the physics of solids – and the topic of my research is electronic properties."

“There’s a unique group of people at the Science Park and that makes me really, really want to be here”

“This research area is crucially important because everything that we do now involves electricity, which is totally essential to our modern life yet remains highly energy intensive. The kind of materials research I’m doing here could one day enable much more energy-efficient devices and appliances."

“I studied for my master’s degree at Leiden University, did my PhD at the University of Geneva, and was a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Amsterdam and the University of California: San Diego in the USA. I returned here because, as well as the excellent facilities, the institute has some incredibly well qualified people."

“Amsterdam Science Park makes it possible to do research I couldn’t do otherwise”

“I want to develop my research here in two ways. Firstly, I want to use different experimental techniques to study materials, including making optical experiments on nanoscale objects – only one or two groups are currently doing this worldwide. Secondly, I want to contribute to developing new applications from the materials we study. This type of interdisciplinary research also opens up new questions that I want to answer, such as discovering the smallest limit of superconductivity."

“All this is possible at Amsterdam Science Park because, outside the university, there are nano-based facilities in the form of the AMOLF nano research institute, which is just around around the corner. Its presence means I can make the small devices I need to use in my research. Another neighbour is ARCNL (Advanced Research Center for Nanolithography) – the research arm of the ASML chip company, which was established to develop the technology for the next generation of chips. Part of the research there is also related to what I’m doing, so I hope to be a small part of that. Having all these initiatives together at the park makes it possible to do research I couldn’t do otherwise."

“You can certainly make more connections here at the park and expand your own capabilities. This can lead to broad initiatives, big drives towards a shared goal. For example, Solardam is an Amsterdam Science Park project run by the Institute of Physics that looks at solar energy research in a multi-disciplinary way, uniting different groups of biologists, chemists and physicists. That's the kind of project that can flourish at the park."

“Having all the research facilities just around the corner reinforces my funding proposals, and gives it added credibility”

“Because there’s more here than just a university, there are more possibilities. There’s a unique group of people at the Science Park and that makes me really, really want to be here. You can meet people you wouldn’t otherwise meet. There’s also the presence of business and start-ups. In five or ten years time, as my research develops and applications begin to emerge, the start-up facilities here will be very useful."