Roel is from the Netherlands, where he studied chemistry at the University of Utrecht. He completed his PhD in 2005 in the Van ’t Hoff Laboratory for Physical and Colloidal Chemistry at the same university under the supervision of Prof. Willem Kegel. He then joined the group of Prof. Clemens Bechinger at the University of Stuttgart as an Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow. In 2007 he took up a lectureship at the Department of Chemistry of the University of Oxford and a Fellowship at Lincoln College. In 2014 he became an associate professor and was promoted to full professor in 2016.
Roel’s research interests cover a wide range of topics in soft condensed matter, including two-dimensional systems, grain boundaries and other defects in colloidal crystals, interfaces in colloidal systems and driven colloidal systems in external fields such as optical or magnetic fields. Outside of the lab, Roel enjoys hiking, sports, playing table tennis (which is also a sport yes), travelling and listening to Tool (and other progressive metal/rock bands).