Isabel Arends new dean of the Faculty of Science

Effective 1 July 2018, Prof. Isabel Arends has been appointed dean of the Faculty of Science by the Executive Board of Utrecht University. Arends is currently professor Biocatalysis and Organic Chemistry, as well as chair of the Biotechnology department, at TU Delft.

Professor Isabel Arends
Professor Isabel Arends

Prof. Anton Pijpers, President of the Executive Board, is extremely pleased with Arends’ new appointment at Utrecht University. ‘Isabel Arends has proven her ability to unite people from multiple disciplines, both within the university and beyond. She has a fantastic academic track record and a passion for teaching. Thanks to her administrative experience, she can be a major asset to this faculty and the university as a whole. I am truly looking forward to the collaboration!’

From 1 July, Arends will succeed Sjef Smeekens, who has been serving as acting dean of the Faculty of Science since 1 January in connection with the departure of Gerrit van Meer.

Professor Arends studied physical organic chemistry at Leiden University and obtained her doctorate cum laude in 1993 with a thesis entitled ‘Thermolysis of arene derivatives with coal-type hydrogen donors’. Following a year as a post-doc with the Steacie Institute of Molecular Sciences in Ottawa, Canada, she began work at TU Delft in 1995. She was appointed to professor in 2007; she has chaired the Biotechnology department of the Faculty of Applied Sciences (TNW) since 2013. Arends is also vice-chair of the Applied and Engineering Sciences domain of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). In 2016, she founded the TU Delft Bioengineering Institute.

Isabel Arends is a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) and conducts research into new techniques that make chemical processes significantly more sustainable using enzymes as catalysts. She was among the first researchers to combine chemical and biocatalytic processes. In addition to her research, Arends also focuses on education and teaching. Her projects include the creation of a successful online course in industrial biotechnology.