FMS Research Center

2016 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for professor Ben Feringa

20161005_nobelprize_ben-feringaPhoto: Nobel media 2016 (


BenFeringaWThe FMS professor Ben Feringa (University of Groningen) has been awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize in Chemistry together with Jean-Pierre Sauvage (University of Strasbourg, France) and Fraser Stoddart (Northwestern University, USA) for their work on ‘the design and synthesis of molecular machines’. The prize was announced today by the The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Read more about it on the RUG website and on national and international media by following the links at the bottom of this page.

Check here his first words to his colleagues after receiving the Nobel Prize.
Read here his own description of the day he got the Nobel Prize on Chemistry World.



Selection of quotes from his colleagues and friends at the FMS Research Center:

Bert MeijerProf. Bert Meijer (Eindhoven University of Technology, chair of the FMS Research Center)
“The highest possible recognition for Ben’s outstanding achievements in chemistry. I am so excited to see my good friend and colleague receiving the Nobel Prize 2016. Chapeau for Ben and his students, former students and colleagues”


WesleyBrowneWProf. Wesley Browne (University of Groningen)
“My first impression of Ben, when I was a stagier student visiting Groningen for the first time in 1998, was that he was an exceptional person and scientist; he inspired me then to do photochemistry. Despite nearly 14 years working and publishing with Ben, he is still a wonder to me. Some people do great science through overcoming barriers – Ben stands apart; there are no barriers to his imagination and passion.”


Tineke Kalter-Meuken

Tineke Kalter-Meuken (Secretary to Prof. Ben Feringa, University of Groningen)
“As layman I cannot comment on Chemistry, but I am very aware of the personal chemistry between Ben and his Research Group. It is a pleasure to work for someone who is genuinely interested in the people that surround him. He puts his trust in them and they thrive in the academic environment he creates. He is modest, down to earth and lets you know that he values your opinion and hard work. I am proud to be a part of his team.”


Roeland NolteProf. Roeland Nolte (Radboud University)
“I am extremely happy that the 2016 Nobel Prize for Chemistry has been awarded to my good colleague and friend Ben Feringa. His studies on molecular motors are outstanding, requiring clever design, extensive synthesis, and detailed physical studies. I clearly remember that he presented the first results on his motor system in a lecture in Nijmegen in the winter of 1999. After his presentation he asked my opinion about where to publish his work. He was a bit concerned because a colleague outside the Netherlands had given him the impression that his motor system was nice but perhaps not shockingly new, because it involved just isomerization reactions on an overcrowded alkene. I told him not to believe this colleague and urged him to submit a paper to Nature, what he did. The outcome is clear: with his work he opened a new and very exciting field of research. Congratulations Ben!”


SyuziHarutyunyanWProf. Syuzanna Harutyunyan (University of Groningen)
“Ben is an amazing scientist who I feel lucky to have worked with. His ability to inspire people with his creativity and real passion for science is remarkable. Seeing his willingness to try new things rewarded like this is a motivation for us all.”


Wilhelm Huck

Prof. Wilhelm Huck (Radboud University)
“I am very excited about Ben winning the Nobel Prize. It is first of all a fully deserved recognition of the impact of his work and the incredible creativity and originality of his chemistry. There could not have been a better winner! It is also great news for Dutch chemistry and a great boost for our community. I hope it inspires all chemists working in the Netherlands to try and follow in Ben’s footsteps. I am sure there is more to come!.”


michael-lerchMichael Lerch (PhD student in Ben’s group, University of Groningen)
“Ben is recognized as one of the most creative chemists in the world. His passion and enthusiasm keeps his group running and keeps us all motivated. The possibility to follow our own dreams and work together on the frontiers of knowledge is what keeps us getting up in the morning.”


Henrieke Heideman

Henrieke Heideman  (PhD student in Ben’s group, University of Groningen)
“I admire Ben because he turned his hobby into his profession. Talking about chemistry is what makes him happy and his cheerfulness influences everyone around him”


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