I am a Full Professor in Theoretical High-Energy Physics. Since 2009 I occupy the ‘Willem de Sitter’ Chair in Theoretical Physics and in 2010 I was awarded a Academy Professorship (‘Akademiehoogleraar’) by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences. Till 01-09-2017 I was the director of the Van Swinderen Institute (VSI) for Particled Physics and Gravity.

My research is driven by the search for a unified theory of quantum gravity that combines gravity with quantum mechanics. The aim is to understand the workings of gravity at small distance scales when quantum mechanics cannot be ignored. Examples of such extreme conditions are the Big Bang at the start of our Universe and the Black Holes predicted by Einstein’s theory of gravity. String Theory is a main candidate for a theory of quantum gravity. My present work is focused on unraveling the new geometry that underlies String Theory and to use this to obtain new insights in the period after the Big Bang and the many puzzles that surround Black Holes.


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