New Professor in Surface Physical Chemistry

Monday 04 Jun 18
by Morten Andersen


Esben Thormann
DTU Chemistry
+45 45 25 24 39

As Professor, Esben Thormann will be able to strengthen the efforts of DTU Chemistry within the chemistry of complex and functional surfaces with respect to education, fundamental research and industrial collaboration.

Safe adhesion of ostomy bags to the skin and anti-ice effects at the surface of wind turbine wings are examples of advanced polymer functionalities within the research interest of Esben Thormann.

Over a few years, Esben Thormann has – as Associate Professor - built a group of 10 persons in the field of surface physical chemistry, currently including 7 PhD students. He will continue the development of the group, but from 1 June with the title of Professor in Surface Physical Chemistry.

“I am pleased to see how the research environment at DTU Chemistry can attract talents like Esben Thormann and allow them to develop impressive careers at a high pace”, says Head of Department at DTU Chemistry, Professor Erling H. Stenby.

The activities in Esben Thormann’s group cover the full range from fundamental research to projects with a high likeliness of industrial application.

“I never liked the idea that my work should be either in fundamental or in applied research. It is highly satisfying when one is able to inspire development of new products and ideas in cooperation with industry, but at the same time we also need to do research which is primarily driven by curiosity. It is a typical feature of polymer surface chemistry that the road from fundamental research to application is often very short,” says Esben Thormann.

“First of all, I see the Professor title as a recognition by DTU of the work I have done so far, and to the importance of my field of interest. I expect the backing from DTU implied by the title to be highly supportive in discussions with external research partners, potential industry collaborators and other stakeholders.”

Major projects in Esben Thormann’s group

Esben Thormann heads the group on Polymers and Functional Interfaces at DTU Chemistry. In recent years the group has attracted several major grants and projects:

Polymer Surface Chemistry with applications for ostomy bags and sun screens respectively. Main sponsor Innovation Fund Denmark – with 12.2 million DKK – and two companies, Coloplast and Riemann, contributing significantly to the total budget of 22.5 million DKK.

Biomimetic and responsive adhesives for a challenging biological environment. Budget of 2.6 million DKK sponsored by the Danish Council for Independent Research (DFF) / Technology and Production.

Studies of tuneable inter-chain forces in highly charged poly(ionic liquid) brush layers. Sponsored by the Danish Council for Independent Research (DFF) / Natural Sciences, also with a budget of 2.6 million DKK.

Swedish Young Investigator Grant from the Swedish Academy of Science (VR) for Esben Thormann. The grant of 3.3 million SEK was transferred to DTU via the EU initiative “Money follows researcher”.

Two grants from Carlsbergfondet for advanced research equipment – 1.25 million DKK in total.

Duo-protecting green antifouling coating. Budget 0.8 million DKK sponsored by the Danish Maritime Foundation.

The group has recently attracted a new grant from the Independent Research Fund Denmark (DFF). Read more: Smart Polymers may prevent Icy Airplane Wings

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