Pascal Buskens presented with German award for research into nano-structured optical materials
Prof. Dr. Pascal Buskens, principal scientist at TNO and the Brightlands Materials Center, was presented with the Friedrich-Wilhelm Award on Friday 24 November. He received the accolade for his distinguished academic research into nano-structured optical materials at RWTH Aachen University.
Over the past five and a half years Pascal, who works as principal scientist at TNO and the Brightlands Materials Center (BMC), spends one day a week between RWTH Aachen University and the Leibniz Institute for Interactive Materials performing academic research. Buskens’s research centres on the design, creation and validation of nano-structured materials with specific optical qualities. For example, these materials can be used in solar cells to improve both light output and yield, or, under the influence of sunlight, used as a photocatalyst for transforming carbon dioxide into a useable fuel.
His research results support a number of key TNO and BMC activities, including TNO’s Energy Conversion and Storage research programme and BMC’s Sustainable Buildings programme. The successful finalisation of this so called ‘habilitation’ in Aachen means that Pascal now qualifies to lecture at academic level. In 2016, the faculty of mathematics, computer science and physical science at RWTH Aachen University identified Pascal’s research as the faculty’s best habilitation and nominated him for the Friedrich-Wilhelm Award. Along with his applied research at TNO and BMC, Pascal will continue his academic career as a guest lecturer at Hasselt University as a member of the inorganic and physical chemistry research group.
The Friedrich-Wilhelm Award is a prize which the Friedrich-Wilhelm Foundation presents once a year to honour an outstanding scientific performance by students and young scientists working in areas significant to RWTH Aachen University. This award is an impressive crown for Pascal Buskens’ academic work. TNO and the 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.