prof.dr. R.A. (Rutger) van Santen - Expertise

Santen, prof.dr. R.A. van
Address :
Technische Universiteit Eindhoven
P.O. Box 513
Department :
Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry
Section :
Molecular Catalysis
Positioncategory :
Full Professor emeritus (HGL em)
Position :
Full Professor emeritus
Room :
CE 1.44c
Tel :
+31 40-247 3082
Tel (internal) :
Tel (inh internal) :
Email :


  • D13400 - Inorganic chemistry
  • D13500 - Physical chemistry
  • D13600 - Catalysis
  • D14500 - Chemical technology, process technology
  • D13700 - Theoretical chemistry, quantum chemistry



Rutger Anthony van Santen was born in 1945 in Langedijk, The Netherlands. After finishing the gymnasium at Middelburg, he studied chemistry at the University of Leiden. For 1966 he received a bachelors degree in biochemistry and in 1967 his masters degree in theoretical organic chemistry (cum laude). He received his Ph.D. in 1971 on a thesis titled "On the theory of resonant scattering" with promoter Prof. Dr. L.J. Oosterhoff. (cum laude) From 1971-1972 he continued research as a postdoc at SRI, Menlo, California in the Molecular Physics department headed by Dr. F.T. Smith. In 1972 he joined Shell Research at Amsterdam. In the period 1972-1988 he had several different functions at Shell Research. His main interest was catalysis and his last function was head of the section Physical Chemistry and Catalysis. In 1976 he was a visiting Professor in Theoretical Chemistry at the Free University Amsterdam. From 1982-1984 he was assigned to Shell Development Co. in Houston, Texas. In 1986 he became Professor Extraordinarius in Surface Chemistry at Eindhoven, University of Technology. In 1988 the appointment to full Professor of Catalysis followed. In the period 1992-2000 he was scientific director of the Netherlands Institute of Research in Catalysis. He was the first and founding director of this institute. In 1981 he received the golden medal for excellence in research of the Royal Dutch Chemical Society. In 1991 he was awarded the Chiapetta Lectureship by the North American Catalysis Society. The Royal Society of Chemistry, Great Britain, invited him as Bourke lecturer in 1996. In 1997 he received the Spinoza Award from the Dutch Foundation for Pure and Applied Research. In 1998 he became an Honorary Doctor at the National Ukrainian Technical University (Poly Technical Institute), Kiev, Ukraine. In 1999 he was the Gwathmey Distinguished Lecturer of the University of Virginia, U.S.A. In 2000 he was awarded the Karl-Ziegler-Lectureship at the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung in Mülheim, Germany. From 2001 until 2005 he was Rector-Magnificus of the Eindhoven University of Technology. In 2001 he received the Alwin Mittasch Medal Dechema, Germany and he became a member of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences and Arts. In 2004 he was awarded the Miller Visiting Professorship, Berkeley University, California and received the Academy Professor Award of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2005 he became director of the Schuit Institute of Catalysis and scientific director of the National Research School Combination Catalysis Controlled by Chemical Design (NRSC-C). In 2008 he was elected foreign associate of the United States National Academy of Engineering (NAE). In 2009 he was admitted as Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry. In 2009 he was awarded the EFCATS (European Federation Catalysis Societies) Francois Gault Lectureship. In May 2010 he was awarded the Honorary Professorship from the TU/e and the ICMS (Institute for Complex Molecular Systems). In February 2011 he was awarded Visiting Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Studies, Technische Universität München.