University Professor

Bert Meijer

My dream is that at one point in time we will understand so much about how molecules work together, that we can make the simplest form of life in a laboratory.


Research Profile

The research of Bert Meijer focuses on the design, synthesis, characterization and possible applications of supramolecular systems with unprecedented properties and functions. It is founded on the principles of synthetic organic and polymer chemistry and aims at finding solutions to challenges in materials science and life sciences. Throughout his career Bert Meijer has explored and developed functional supramolecular polymers as a new class of materials. Via advanced molecular design and synthesis he has realized systems in which monomeric units self-assemble into long supramolecular polymeric chains, resulting in materials displaying unique dynamic properties that were thought to be exclusively reserved for macromolecules. Current research in the Meijer lab focuses on fundamental studies to understand complex multi-component supramolecular systems including the assembly behavior into supramolecular polymers. These insights are used to explore the potential use of supramolecular polymers as mimics of biological tissue, using a modular approach that allows for easy adjustment of their dynamics to external stimuli. Moreover, supramolecular materials are studied to create new avenues for adaptive soft materials and materials for nanotechnology and energy. 

Mimic Life

The first time I had made a molecule that nobody else had ever made before, I was so excited and I thought, this is what I want to do for the rest of my life: working with molecules.

Bert Meijer about his passion for molecules


Academic Background

Bert Meijer studied chemistry at the University of Groningen and obtained his master's degree in 1978. In 1982 he earned his PhD degree summa cum laude under supervision of Prof. Hans Wijnberg. In 1982 Meijer started working at the Philips Research Laboratories in Eindhoven and in 1989 he moved to DSM Research in Geleen. In 1991 he was installed as full professor of Organic Chemistry at the department for Chemical Engineering and Chemistry of Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). In 1999 his chair was also established at the department for Biomedical Engineering. Since 2004 Bert Meijer is a distinguished university professor of Molecular Sciences at TU/e. He founded the TU/e Institute for Complex Molecular Systems in 2008 and is now a co-director. Meijer is adjunct professor of Macromolecular Chemistry at Radboud University Nijmegen since 1994 and distinguished visiting professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara since 2008. In 2014 Bert Meijer was inducted as Academy Professor of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. Since 2018 he is also an external member of the scientific staff of the Max-Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany.

Educational Activities

  • Advances in Molecular Chemistry
  • Project Organic chemistry
  • Graduation Project MSMC
  • Bio-organic chemistry
  • Macro-organic chemistry

Ancillary Activities

  • Member of the steering committee of the International Academic Committee South China Advanced Institute for Soft Matter Science and, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, China
  • Research stays in germany, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation
  • Lid, Koninklijke Nederlandse Academie der Wetenschappen
  • Lid van de Raad van Commissarissen, SyMO-Chem BV
  • Consultant biomaterials, Xeltis
  • Buitengewoon hoogleraar supramoleculaire chemie, Universiteit van California
  • Directeur en via 4H-brug BV aandelen in SupraPolix BV, 4H-brug BV
  • Member of the International Advisory Board of the Center Bio-Inspired Energy Systems, Northwestern University, Evanston, USA
  • Lid wetenschappelijke adviesraad, Chemistry Department, Universiteit Cambridge
  • Lid van de Raad van Toezicht, Orkest Zuid
  • Buitengewoon hoogleraar polymeerchemie, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen
  • Directeur, Seimi holding BV
  • Lid, Koninlijke Hollandsche Maatschappij der Wetenschappen
  • Member of review committees for research (Weizmann, ETH, Solvay Institute), Universities abroad
  • Wetenschappelijk directeur, Zwaartekrachtprogramma "Functional Molecular Systems"
  • Editor van Journal Polymer Science, Part A; Polymer Science
  • Lid, Tiental wetenschappelijke adviesraden van internationale tijdschriften
  • Lid, Duitse Academie der Techniekwetenschappen
  • Support of the Research at the MPI in Mainz, External member of the Max Planck Gesellschaft
  • Chair of the external review committee "Information", Helmholtz Foundation, Berlin
  • Member of the Board of Trustees, University of Leiden
  • Voorzitter Raad van Commissarissen, SupraPolix BV