• Remembering Prof. Johannes Lyklema

    2017-11-02

    Johannes Lyklema, Emeritus Professor of Physical Chemistry and Soft Matter at the University of Wageningen, passed away a few days ago. We will miss a great man and an outstanding scientist. He pioneered Colloid and Interface Science. 

    We proudly published his last paper, in Substantia, entitled "Interfacial Potential: Measuring the Immeasurable?"

     

    Johannes (Hans) Lyklema was born in Apeldoorn (NL) in 1930. From 1948 onwards he studied chemistry and physics at Utrecht University. This study lead to a PhD in 1956 under the supervision of prof. Overbeek. In his thesis, a first attempt was made to measure surface charges on hydrophobic colloidal particles and correlate them to stability data. After his military service with the Dutch Air Force he returned to the Van ‘t Hoff lab. of Utrecht University where eventually he became lecturer, a position more or less comparable to that of an associate professor. In 1961 – 62 he was affiliated to the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, where he joined forces with Karol Mysels in studying flow in thin fluid films. From 1962 onwards he became full professor of physical chemistry and colloid science at the then Wageningen Agricultural University, presently called Wageningen University. He retained this position till his retirement in 1995 but remained active after that. His stay at Wageningen University was interspersed with visiting professorships abroad, (a.o. in Bristol University (UK), Canberra ANU. (AUS), Tokyo Science University (JP), Univ. of Florida at Gainesville and/or stints abroad for teaching courses (a.o. in France and Finland). Hans was married to Wil van Benthem. 

    For his scientific and educational work Hans has received several distinctions, including three honorary doctorates; one on agronomy from Louvain-la-Neuve, one on the technical sciences from Stockholm and one on applied physics from Granada. He was knighted by the Dutch Queen.

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