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The name Leuven rings a bell

molecular design chemistry leuven colombia science master

A lot of opportunities for Sofia, Mercedes, David and Arne

Binnemans' team   

Different reasons to choose for chemistry research in Leuven

Sofia: I was looking for an opportunity to start working in a big research group. The Binnemans group, has an excellent reputation, so I decided to take my Marie Curie fellowship and headed to Leuven.

Arne (Master student): For my Master's thesis, I wanted to do research together with a lot of other people, not just working on my own little project. The great mix of Belgians and international people in this team, allowed me to learn a lot in a very short time. 

Sofia, Mercedes and Daphne enjoy the space and
comfort of the brand new Leuven Chem&Tech Labs.

Mercedes: For me ending up in this group was more like a coincidence. I received a paper to review and started tracking down some of the important citations, that turned out to be from KU Leuven researchers. I found it extremely interesting. So I contacted them, and then I met some people from this group and one thing led to another.

David: After I did my Master's here in Leuven, I was thinking of going abroad. But then I realized we have this world-class research group right here. And in Belgium we have a very generous system of financing masters, PhDs and post-docs, probably one of the best in Europe.

Research in an international environment with the best connections

Mercedes: Indeed there are lots of opportunities here, also outside KU Leuven. Belgium is right at the heart of the European Union, and well connected if you want to move on to another place. Leuven is also an international place. You find people from all over the world. Even if you don’t speak Dutch, people all speak and understand English. And there are lots of opportunities to meet, to do outdoor activities and sports, to attend lectures and courses.

Arne: The friendly atmosphere of Leuven is unique. On the streets, one feels this openness, this willingness to help each other.   

Sofia: In Colombia, where I come from, Leuven really rings a bell. I had a couple of professors who studied here in Leuven. When I thought  of  universities abroad, I always thought of KU Leuven, certainly in my field of science. But also in social science the university is well known, because a famous Colombian politician studied here: Camillo Torres. Actually one of the dormitories has his name. So, that’s another link between Leuven and Colombia. Torres is a famous alumnus of KU Leuven.

David: Talking about linking. We always share our international opportunities through our personal accounts on LinkedIn and Facebook. It’s not direct advertising, but we share a website link with our open positions for international students and researchers. This information very quickly reaches 1000s of people abroad. Who can share it with their friends, and their friends,… .



Prof. Koen Binnemans: "A large part of our research can be described as applied coordination chemistry. Based on a knowledge and understanding of molecular sciences, new, more efficient and environmentally-friendly processes are developed for the recovery and separation of critical metals, with, until now, a strong emphasis on the rare earths (lanthanides)."

related research:

  • rare3, advanced recycling and reuse of rare earths and other critical metals
  • DEMETER, design and recycling of rare-earth permanent magnet motors and generators in hybrid and full electric vehicles

See more