Three physicists elected as new KNAW members

KNAW has elected 22 new members, three of whom are physicists: Daniel Bonn (UvA), Roberta Croce (VU), and Maria Antonietta Loi (RUG). All new members are to be inducted on 12 September 2022.
The DPC congratulates all three of them, and feels honoured to have Roberta and Maria in its Advisory Board.
Daniel Bonn

Credit: Daniel Bonn

Daniel Bonn has played a revolutionary role in the research of complex liquids such as blood, shampoo or oil. Thanks to him the fundamental physics behind the transition of these substances from solid to liquid or vice versa is now better understood. This has also increased the understanding of the instability of blood in veins or oil in pipelines. Bonn is also a pioneer in investigating the interaction between liquids and solids. His work has important practical applications. As a result, he shares his insights with industrial partners and collaborates with medical researchers, among other things on the spreading the corona virus through aerosols. Blood splatter analysis in forensic trace research and an invironmentally friendly way to spray pesticides are other applications of his work.

Credit: Roberta Croce

Roberta Croce‘s work is of great significance for a better understanding of photosynthesis, the process by which plants, algae and bacteria use sunlight to convert carbon dioxide into biomass. Croce studies at molecular level how organisms optimise this process in different environmental conditions and protect themselves against damage from various forms of abiotic stress. This fundamental knowledge is of great importance for improving food crops to adapt to a changing climate. Photosynthesis in plants is also a source of inspiration for human use of solar energy. Croce enjoys international recognition and attracts talent from all over the world. She has mentored young scientists from twenty different countries.

Credit: Maria Antonietta Loi

Maria Antonietta Loi holds two world records: that of the best performing solar cell created with quantum dots and made using Sn-based perovskites. Loi has the perfect combination of creativity, vision and transdisciplinary knowledge required to create the solar cell of the future. By exposing physical principles and manipulating materials down to the nanoscale, she translates fundamental physics into concepts that can be used for the energy transition. Her work has yielded patents, start-ups and close cooperation with industry. Loi is also a passionate and knowledgeable educator. Her PhD students invariably complete their PhDs within the nominal four years and her postdocs find excellent positions.


Press release KNAW