Pascal Buskens presented with German award for research into nanostructured optical materials
Prof. Dr. Pascal Buskens, principal scientist at TNO and Program Manager at Brightlands Materials Center, was presented with the Friedrich-Wilhelm Award on Friday November 24th. He received the award for his distinguished academic research into nanostructured optical materials at RWTH Aachen University.
Nanostructured materials with tailored optical properties
Over the past five and a half years Pascal, who works as principal scientist at TNO and program manager for the Sustainable Buildings program at Brightlands Materials Center (BMC), worked part-time at RWTH Aachen University and the Leibniz Institute for Interactive Materials performing academic research. His research focuses on the design, preparation and validation of nanostructured materials with specific optical properties. For example, Pascal developed nanostructured materials for application in solar cells to improve sunlight harvesting and generate more electricity with the same solar panel. Furthermore, he developed nanoparticles which can be used as photocatalysts for transforming carbon dioxide into a useable fuel using sunlight as energy source.
Qualification at academic level
His research results support a number of key TNO and BMC activities, including TNO’s Energy Conversion and Storage research program and BMC’s Sustainable Buildings program. The successful completion of his so called ‘habilitation’ in Aachen means that Pascal now qualifies to lecture at academic level. In 2016, the faculty of Mathematics, Computer Science and Natural Sciences at RWTH Aachen University identified Pascal’s research as the faculty’s best habilitation and nominated him for the Friedrich-Wilhelm Award.
About the Friedrich-Wilhelm Award
The Friedrich-Wilhelm Award is a prize which the Friedrich-Wilhelm Foundation presents once a year to honor an outstanding scientific performance by students and young scientists working in areas of significance to RWTH Aachen University. This award is an impressive crown on Pascal Buskens’ academic work. TNO and Brightlands Materials Center are proud of this wonderful result. It clearly demonstrates that academic excellence and applied research can go hand in hand to strengthen and complement each other.
Employment at Hasselt University
On October 1st 2017, Pascal started as part-time guest-professor in the research group of inorganic and physical chemistry at Hasselt University. His work at Hasselt will support Brightlands Materials Center with the development of novel concepts for smart nanostructured coatings that reduce the energy consumption of buildings, and TNO’s Energy Conversion & Storage program through development of novel nanoparticle catalysts for the production of solar fuels.