Gerco Onderwater appointed as department head and programme director of MSP

The Faculty of Science and Engineering has appointed Gerco Onderwater as Department Head and Programme Director of MSP and professor of experimental particle physics. Gerco succeeds Leon Claessens, who was dean since 2019.

Gerco spent nearly twenty years at the University of Groningen's FSE, where his focus slowly shifted from pure fundamental physics research, via teaching, curriculum development and quality control, to several leading positions. Firstly as programme director (Applied) Physics and lastly as director of the School of Science and Engineering. Outside FSE, Gerco was actively involved in the startup of the University College Groningen, taught in several university-wide and (inter)national PhD programmes, and chaired the University Committee on Education.

In addition to being a passionate teacher, Gerco is also a curious and avid researcher, with experience at labs in Europe, the USA, and Japan. He combines physics, mathematics and computer science to devise new experimental approaches and learn about the properties
of the elementary particles.

Gerco is eager to start his new position at UM:
"I see the vibrant environment of MSP, FSE and UM as an invitation to work for an interesting, inspiring and sustainable future for and with MSP staff and students. Making it to the #1 position is a commendable achievement, maintaining it remains our goal and requires passion, creativity and dedication. I see it as my job to create the right environment and conditions for everyone to thrive and excel.”