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Posted: Oct 01, 2012

New incubator facility for breakthrough research in engineering of complex molecular systems

(Nanowerk News) The university has transformed its former boilerhouse dating back to 1959 into an architecturally special building for a special user: Institute for Complex Molecular Systems (ICMS). Named the Ceres building, this highly transparent and spacious accommodation is intended to become a focal point for international synergies among scientific researchers. And it will be the location at which ICMS will work further on its mission: reaching breakthroughs in the engineering of complex molecular systems.
The renovated Ceres building
The renovated Ceres building.
Knowledge of molecular self-assembly is a relatively new and exciting field of scientific research, which takes nature itself as its major source of inspiration. In nature, molecules are able to organize themselves in very special ways so that processes take place as if by themselves. Just two examples are the healing of wounds and the division of cells. ICMS, founded in 2008 by TU/e, aims to gain a deeper understanding of complex molecular self-assembly processes of this kind. This will enable the development of completely new materials and functional molecular systems such as cultured kidney tissue and molecular ‘motors’. To do this the institute brings together knowledge of chemistry, mathematics, physics, biology and engineering. The scientific director is Spinoza Prize winner prof. Bert Meijer, and around 120 researchers are members of ICMS.
Renowned scientists
ICMS aims to offer scientists from varying backgrounds an inspiring and enabling environment, with a high level of freedom in which to reach new breakthroughs in knowledge. For this reason the new facility also has an Advanced Study Center, in which renowned scientists from a wide range of disciplines can work for longer periods, and where workshops will be organized with complexity as their overarching theme. The kick-off for these activities will take place during the opening symposium on Thursday 4 October, at which the speakers will be top scientists prof. Samuel Stupp (Northwestern University), prof. Takuzo Aida (University of Tokyo), prof. Christof Schütte (Freie Universität Berlin) and prof. Ewine van Dishoeck (Leiden University), together with TU/e Rector Magnificus prof. Hans van Duijn and prof. Bert Meijer.
The activities of the Eindhoven Multiscale Institute and the Eindhoven Polymer Laboratories will also be based in the Ceres building.
Meeting place
ICMS moved during the summer to the new Ceres building, which has a very open atmosphere to promote synergies and connections between people. Ceres consists of offices, laboratories, meeting rooms and a large, open central meeting place extending over the full length of the building. Built in 1959, Ceres formerly served as a central boilerhouse. Architects diederendirrix have succeeded in preserving the historical and industrial character of Ceres to a large extent, and have transformed it into a building with a very distinctive architectural ambiance. The 70 meter high brick chimney next to the building has also been preserved. The costs of the rebuilding project were a total of around 3.5 million euros.
Source: Eindhoven University of Technology
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