Daniela Kraft will be awarded the NWO Athena Prize 2019 in a ceremony at the CHAINS Chemistry Conference on 10 December. The prize recognizes excellent female chemists who carry out outstanding scientific research and act as role models for their fellow researchers. Kraft will receive the Athena Prize for her achievements as a highly independent researcher and for the clear leadership she has shown in both science and outreach.
Daniela Kraft is an Associate Professor of Soft Matter Physics at Leiden University’s Huygens-Kamerlingh Onnes Laboratory. Her research, on the interface between physics, chemistry and biology, focuses on the role of self-organization in the behaviour of biological and soft matter systems. Working closely with physicists, chemists and materials scientists, she develops model systems and analysis methods in order to study self-organization. Kraft is currently working on microparticles with the capacity to propel themselves and change shape. Her discoveries can pave the way for miniature robots capable of delivering medicines or carrying out repairs in our bodies.
The Athena Prize: female chemists in the spotlight
Kraft is very active in the scientific community. She has mentored many PhD candidates and she has organised events designed to encourage more women to pursue a career in science. The jury praises Daniela for the many ways in which she serves as a role model.
Through the annual Athena Prize, the Dutch Research Council (NWO) aims to draw attention to the achievements of outstanding female chemists who conduct superior scientific research. It is important that they contribute to for example educational, administrative, communications and/or other activities that are relevant to society. The Athena Prize consists of a sum of €25,000, a statuette and a personal media package. 2019 marks the last year that NWO will award the Athena Prize. NWO is currently exploring the options for establishing a new diversity prize.