E.J.M. (Emiel) Hensen - Expertise

Hensen, E.J.M.
Address :
Technische Universiteit Eindhoven
P.O. Box 513
Chair :
Molecular Catalysis
Department :
Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry
Section :
Molecular Catalysis
Positioncategory :
Professor (HGL)
Position :
Full Professor
Room :
STW 3.33
Tel :
+31 40-247 5178
Tel (internal) :
Email :


  • D13600 - Catalysis
  • D13400 - Inorganic chemistry
  • D13500 - Physical chemistry
  • D13700 - Theoretical chemistry, quantum chemistry
  • D14800 - Energy
  • E16000 - Nanotechnology
  • E18000 - Biobased economy
  • D14510 - Inorganic chemical technology
  • D14530 - Fuel technology




Emiel Hensen, born in Geleen (The Netherlands) in 1971, received his master degree in chemical engineering and chemistry from Eindhoven University of Technology (The Netherlands) in 1994. He obtained his PhD from the same university in the field of molecular heterogeneous catalysis under the supervision of Prof. Rutger van Santen and Prof. Rob van Veen. He then took up an assistant professor position with Prof. Berend Smit at University of Amsterdam. In 2001 he returned to Eindhoven University of Technology as an assistant professor. He was promoted to associate professor in 2008. From 2006-2008 he was a visiting research scientist at the Shell Research and Technology Center Amsterdam (The Netherlands) through a Casimir grant. Hensen is since July 2009 full professor inorganic materials chemistry at Eindhoven University of Technology. He was a visiting professor at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium) from 2001 until 2016, a visiting professor at Hokkaido University (Japan) in 2016 and distinguished professor at Xiamen University (China). Hensen is the (co)author of some 300 publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals, 2 patents, several articles in national journals and 10 book contributions. He obtained the prestigious Veni, Vidi and Vici grants as well as a TOP grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research. Hensen is chairman of the Netherlands Research School for Catalysis (NIOK), management team member of the national gravitation program Multiscale Catalytic Energy Conversion (MCEC), board member of the European Research Institute of Catalysis (ERIC) and board member of Chemelot InSciTe. He is member of the Advanced Research Center Chemical Building Blocks Consortium. Hensen was appointed dean of the department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry of the Eindhoven University of Technology in 2016.




The research of Hensen focuses on the fundamental aspects of catalyzed reactions relevant to clean and sustainable processes for the production of fuels and chemicals with the aim to identify active sites and understand reaction mechanism. The working approach is to combine advanced characterization methods (synchrotron-based techniques such as X-ray absorption spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction as well as vibrational and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopies) with theoretical modeling (DFT, microkinetics) and performance testing (kinetics, high-throughput methods, transient techniques) to guide the design and synthesis of nanoscopically organized and well-defined chemically functionalized catalytic solid materials. The materials explored include primarily highly structured porous materials containing reactive centers such as protons, metal ions and metal, metal oxide and metal sulfides clusters. Applications are directed towards the improvement of current industrial chemical processes and novel processes based on renewable feedstock such as biomass. Catalytic target reactions are methane activation, the Fischer-Tropsch reaction, conversion of biogenic molecules such as sugars and lignin, and metal-support cooperativity in selective oxidation. In these areas of research, many innovative scientific contributions have been made that are internationally recognized as excellent. Hensen has pioneered the fields of Lewis-acid catalysed conversion of sugars, catalytic upgrading of lignin, synthesis of hierarchical zeolites, and microkinetics simulations of heterogeneous reactions.