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Ken Broeckhoven


Associate Professor, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium

Fears? The difficulty of finding funding for fundamental research for more “common” techniques, such as chromatography; it not only stifles further innovation and development, but also decreases the overall knowledge of the (basic) theory of these techniques.

Challenges? Chromatography seems to have reached a limit in separation power without the implementation of drastic technological changes (instrumentation and column technology). 3D printing technology seems promising, but I think it will probably still take at least a decade before it becomes feasible to print high performance columns.

Predictions? I expect to see more work towards user-friendly miniaturization in chromatography. This will resolve certain fundamental issues (such as viscous heating), but will also improve compatibility with emerging technologies, such as 3D printing, which can’t print large volume structures with high resolution.

Mentors? Professor Desmet was my promotor, mentor, and biggest supporter throughout my career (and still is).

Advice? Explore the unexpected! Don’t run away from strange results in your data, but try to figure out where it is coming from. Often the reason will be bland or you will never figure it out, but on some occasions you find real gems and even end up with a whole new research topic or grant proposal.


Part of the Power List 2022

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Here, we celebrate analytical science’s rising stars, who will, hopefully, provide the answers to the 21st century’s biggest questions.

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Part of the Power List 2018

The Fab Forty

The Top 40 Under 40 Power List returns to celebrate the gifted young scientists making waves in analytical science. Here we present the rising stars of the field (in alphabetical order), as nominated by our readers and shortlisted by our independent judging panel.

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Part of the Power List 2014

Top 40 Under 40

In 2013, we compiled a list of the Top 100 most influential analytical scientists – an endeavor that received a significant amount of attention and, it’s fair to say, caused more than a little controversy. Our 2014 Top 40 Under 40 list almost halves the average age of the celebrated individuals, with many of them born in the same year as the iconic Sex Pistols cover – 1977.

Go to The Power List 2014

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