Professor dr. Peter Christianen new director HFML

Date of news: 3 September 2018

Peter Christianen. Foto: Gideon Laureijs

From the first of September HFML has a new director: prof. dr. Peter Christianen (1966). He is the successor of prof. dr. Nigel Hussey, who has led the lab successfully for the last five years during a period of rapid growth. With new roadmap funding, the production of magnet hours and number of projects has been doubled.

Prof. dr. Peter Christianen is professor Soft Condensed Matter & Nanomaterials in High Magnetic Fields. He has longstanding experience in the experimental investigation of hard and soft condensed matter in strong magnetic fields at HFML, mainly using optical techniques.
“I am very grateful to Nigel for all he has done for HFML during his period as director and I am very excited to take over his role. We are working on fantastic new magnets and together with the FELIX Laboratory we are developing world-unique opportunities that hold great promise for ground-breaking scientific discoveries.” Prof. dr. Nigel Hussey will continue his work at HFML as group leader of Correlated Electron Systems in High Magnetic Fields at the Radboud University.

Short biography
Christianen received his PhD in 1993 at the Radboud University Nijmegen. He investigated the ultrafast dynamics of electrons in semiconductor nanostructures using ultrafast laser techniques. After his promotion he started working at HFML, studying the optical properties of semiconductor nanostructures in high magnetic fields. But 15 years ago he developed an extra interest in an entirely different topic. He initiated a successful new research direction in using high magnetic fields to manipulate 'soft condensed matter', a collective term for materials that can easily be deformed or structurally modified, such as liquid crystals, polymers, molecular aggregates and biological cells. He now has more than 200 publications on his name. At the same time he has been heavily involved in teaching; he was twice awarded the prize for best teacher in Physics and Astronomy and from 2014-2018 he has been director of WiNSt, the educational institute for Mathematics, Physics and Astronomy.