Ilja Voets

Full professor

Nationality: Dutch
Undergraduate Institution: Wageningen University
Master Institution: Wageningen University
Graduate Institution: Wageningen University
Phone: +31 40 247 5303
Office: STO 2.49


In 2004 I obtained my MSc degree in molecular sciences (cum laude, 2004) from Wageningen University and started my PhD research on the electrostatically driven co-assembly of double hydrophilic block copolymers in aqueous solution (cum laude, 2008) in the Laboratory of physical chemistry and colloid science under the supervision of dr. Arie de Keizer and prof. Martien A. Cohen Stuart. I moved to Switzerland in 2008 for my postdoctoral research at the Aldolphe Merkle Institute, University of Fribourg in the group of Prof. Peter Schurtenberger on the phase behaviour of concentrated protein mixtures. In 2011, I became assistant professor at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). From 2015 to 2017, I was associate professor at TU/e and in February 2018, I became full professor at the chair of Self-Organizing Soft Matter.

Research Interests:
My research focuses on the physical chemistry of self-assembly processes in soft matter to gain fundamental insights to be translated ultimately into rational design strategies for novel functional nanostructured materials. I am interested in colloidal self-organization, polymer assembly and folding, and protein biophysics. I study how to control intra- and intermolecular copolymer assembly to reveal key structure-property relations, to package fragile biomolecules, to develop artificial enzymes, to enhance colloidal stability and to tailor smart materials. I am fascinated by ice-binding proteins, in short IBPs, that help fish, insects, and plants survive in extreme environments at subzero temperatures. Another key research challenge is to orchestrate colloidal self-assembly with remote cues such as light and temperature.

Selected Publications:


"To most organisms crystallization of water into ice is lethal. I am fascinated by the way antifreeze proteins protect against damage and want to develop new macromolecular antifreezes for sensitive soft materials."


Collaborations in academia:

  • Amolf
  • Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia
  • Leiden University
  • Queen's University Kingston
  • Wageningen University and Research

Collaborations with industry:

  • DSM
  • Kemetyl
  • Unilever