The Power List 2015
Professorn and Faculty of Sciences Vice-dean, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Belgium.
Most important lesson That the joy and fun of being in science and research is the people you can work and share with – be it on a daily basis with students (which I prefer to call co-workers, by the way) or cooperating or discussing at conferences with colleagues.
Encounters with serendipity I fear I am rather the 99 percent perspiration–1 percent inspiration kind of guy. And the fact that most funding schemes are project-based is also not very helpful, as it keeps people working on predestined roads.
Most unexpected outcome Maybe the most unexpected thing is that I got into chromatography in the first place. I was predestined for a career in biotech, doing a PhD in fermentation technology. Maybe it was the fact that I also was the only guy in the group who was not using a chromatograph that woke my interest and made me study it more deeply than my fellow-PhD students.
Eye on the horizon I rather hope we can keep up our groups qualitative strength rather than pursuing large numbers, which entails finding good people and bringing them into a great environment. I am very fortunate have such an environment, surrounded by people like Sebastiaan Eeltink, Wim De Malsche, Ken Broeckhoven and Deirdre Cabooter.
I think we can be very optimistic about the future of analytical sciences. Given man’s natural urge to control things, the interest of the society in chemical measurements will increasingly grow hand in hand with the new possibilities this field is developing.
Feature article: tas.txp.to/1015/Desmet