Willem van Saarloos

Wim van Saarloos, Professor of Theoretical Physics at Leiden University (LU), has been President of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) since 1 June 2018. He combines his work as President with teaching and research at LU, and is also a theoretical condensed matter physicist.


After obtaining his PhD in 1982, he joined AT&T Bell Laboratories in the USA as a researcher in the Materials Science division, before returning to LU in 1991. His research in theoretical physics focuses on statistical physics and condensed matter physics. In 2009 he became the full-time director of the Dutch national foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter (FOM), at that time the physics branch of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), the national science funding agency.


While in Leiden, Wim founded and served as the long-time director of the Lorentz Center (1997-2009), an international workshop centre in the sciences.