Stefan was born in Eupen (Belgium) and studied Chemistry at the RWTH Aachen University. After spending an ERASMUS internship with Prof. Peter O’Brien at the University of York (UK), he carried out his Master’s research with Dr. Helmut Keul and Prof. Dr. Martin Möller. In 2013, he obtained his M.Sc. in Chemistry from RWTH Aachen University (Aachen, Germany).
He subsequently started his PhD studies at the DWI – Leibniz Institute for Interactive Materials (Germany). During his doctorate, Stefan studied thiolactone-based coupling agents for the synthesis of functional polymers and biohybrid structures. Throughout this time, he developed a comprehensive skillset in organic (polymer) syntheses and worked with numerous polymerizations, including diverse physicochemical characterizations of the product polymers. As a recipient of the GARG fellowship, Stefan undertook a 4-months research project with Prof. Dr. Mitsuru Akashi at Osaka University (Japan), where he worked with bioconjugate hydrogels as tissue engineering scaffolds. This way, he familiarized himself with the areas of bioconjugation, tissue engineering and 2D/3D cell culturing further refining his ability to work in different scientific areas and cultural environments. Upon return to Germany, Stefan passed his defense with distinction (Summa Cum Laude) to be awarded a PhD in Polymer Chemistry.
In 2017, Stefan was awarded both a DFG post-doc fellowship and the Newton International Fellowship to carry out an independent research project with Prof. Dr. Oren Scherman at the University of Cambridge (UK). During this time, he worked on the exploitation of host-guest assemblies as crosslinking motifs to create supramolecular hydrogels and mastered the preparation and analysis of supramolecular assemblies and hydrogel materials.
In 2021, Stefan moved to the Netherlands to take on a post-doctoral research position with Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sander Wezenberg at Leiden University. During his time in the Wezenberg Research Group, Stefan studied polymer gels that due to their anion-responsive nature can act as soft actuators in a reversible manner.
In Fall 2022, Stefan joined ETH Zurich as an SNF Ambizione Group Leader, where he is currently setting up his own Research Group in the field of Soft Matter and High-Performance Hydrogel Materials. Hosted by the Macromolecular Engineering Laboratory, which is headed by Prof. Dr. Mark Tibbitt, he seeks to combine Organic, Polymer, Supramolecular and Materials Chemistry to generate new innovative strong and performant functional hydrogels.
A fully detailed CV can be found here.
Joining the Akashi Group for a 4-Month Research Project at Osaka University (Japan).
Bachelor & Master studies in Chemistry at RWTH Aachen University (Germany).