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Personal profile


"I revel in bridging the traditional gaps between disciplines and between academics and society"

Research profile

Michael Debije is an Associate Professor in the research group Stimuli-responsive Functional Materials and Devices. His current research topics are broadly in the control of light in the built environment. To this end, he works on a variety of projects, including

  • Luminescent Solar Concentrators (LSCs), colorful, adaptable solar energy generators that could be ideal for use in urban settings;
  • Infrared Control Windows which can automatically switch between heat-reflecting states in summer to heat transmitting states in winter;
  • 4D-printed Responsive Polymeric Actuators capable of responding to changes in their environment; and
  • LSC-Photomicroreactors to allow sunlight-driven, off-grid production of fine chemicals among others. 

The devices generated are designed for use in urban settings, but may find application in new areas like greenhouses, automobile windows and even fashion accessories. 

Michael likes to generate new areas of research at the boundaries of traditional disciplines, creating potentially disruptive technologies.  He loves to work not just with chemists and physicists, but with fashion designers, farmers and building architects as well, and he hopes to inspire his students to do the same.  He finds it important to bring his work to the general public, for comment and criticism, and he tries to publish not only in high-ranked periodicals, but across a wide variety of journals, and to have several contributions to the popular press as well.

Academic background

Michael Debije received a MSc in High Energy Physics from Iowa State University (USA) in 1994 with a thesis describing a theoretical treatment of a new breast tumor detector.  After a year of teaching in Frydek-Mistek in the Czech Republic, he moved in 2000 to the University of Rochester (USA) where he received a PhD in Biophysics for his study of radical transport and trapping in oligonucleotide crystals of DNA.  Continuing to The Netherlands for a postdoc position at the Interfaculty Reactor Institute at TU Delft in the group of John Warman, he studied charge transport in liquid crystalline discotics and organometallics.  In 2003 he joined the staff of the Stimuli-responsive Functional Materials and Devices (SFD) group at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). He is currently an Assistant Professor under Prof. Albert Schenning and responsible for the Energy cluster within SFD. 

Affiliated with

  • Sabic
  • Heijmans
  • Saint Gobain

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action

Education/Academic qualification

Other physics, Doctor, University of Rochester


Subatomic physics, Master, Iowa State University



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