University Researcher

Alex van Herk

Built Environment


Alex van Herk leads the Polymer Engineering and Characterization group in the Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences and also is a guest professor at the Dept. of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. His research areas are emulsion polymerization, water-based coatings, controlled release systems, anti-fouling surfaces and polymer reaction engineering. Implementing concepts such as the controlled polymer composition reactor in industry is one of his activities. <br/> <br/>In Van Herk’s research the use of free and controlled radical polymerization in homogenous and heterogeneous systems is central. Understanding the polymerization processes on a molecular level and translating them to macroscopic phenomena and practical aspects of the process is currently one of the main topics.  <br/><br/>Van Herk has led an industrial consortium, the Foundation Emulsion Polymerization (SEP), for 18 years and is currently running a consortium on Controlled Release and Encapsulation (CoreNet) in Singapore with 14 industrial partners. He is program manager of a 5 MS$ program on Advanced Surfaces and a 5MS$ program on Environmentally Friendly Water-Based Products. He is collaborating with several of the major latex producing companies. Furthermore he is conducting trainings for industry worldwide in the area of emulsion polymerization and coatings technology.

The possibilities of nanomaterials are tremendous and far from fully explored. The practical relevance is growing in the areas of functional coatings, personal care products and controlled release systems and industry is rapidly adopting nanotechnology.


Alex van Herk Storm obtained his MSc in Inorganic and Polymer Chemistry at Free University Amsterdam and earned his PhD in 1986 under supervision of Prof. Sybe Balt. He was guest professor at the University of Gottingen and the University of Sydney. In 1985 he was appointed Assistant Professor at TU/e (department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering). He became full professor in 2001. Since November 2012, Van Herk has worked as Visiting and later Guest Professor at TU/e, while leading a 50 staff Polymer group in Singapore, Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences, one of the A*Star institutes.

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