École Polytechnique: Kees van der Beek appointed Director of Research (DR)

Kees van der Beek has been appointed Director of Research (DR), deputy to the Director of Education and Research at Polytechnic School. Placed under the responsibility of Dominique Rossin, Director of Education and Research (DER), he succeeds Benoît Deveaud, and is in charge of defining the strategy and supervising all the activities of the 23 laboratories of school research. He is a member of the executive committee of l’X and of the Education and Research Committee of the Institut Polytechnique de Paris.

“I welcome Kees and wish him every success in his new role. His in-depth knowledge of Higher Education and Research will be a valuable asset in supporting École Polytechnique and the Institut Polytechnique de Paris in a global research and innovation dynamic in line with their ambitious COP 2022-2026.”says Eric Labaye, President of the École polytechnique and the Institut Polytechnique de Paris.

Focus on a career

Originally from the Netherlands and trained as a physicist, Kees van der Beek began as a researcher in the United States in 1996 at the Argonne National Laboratory. Two years later and back in Europe, he began a second post-doctorate at EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne) within the Institute of Atomic Engineering.

Kees van der Beek continued his career in France in January 1997, at the École Polytechnique, as a researcher assigned to the Laboratory of Irradiated Solids (LSI) to carry out work on superconductivity. From 2002 to 2015, he combined his research activity with teaching at l’X. In 2009, he obtained his Habilitation to Direct Research which enabled him to obtain the title of Research Director. He directed the LSI from January 2014 until May 2017.

In January 2019, he was assigned to the Center for Nanosciences and Nanotechnologies in Palaiseau. He also joined the Institute of Physics of the CNRS (National Center for Scientific Research) where he initially performed the duties of Project Manager for monitoring scientific strategy, then Project Manager for the followed by the national site policy three years later. In January 2021, he was appointed Deputy to the Referent Scientific Director (ADSR) at the CNRS for the Grenoble-Alpes site.

In parallel with these activities at l’X and at the CNRS, Kees van der Beek became Director of the “Physics of Waves and Matter” (PhOM) Research Department of ComUE Université Paris-Saclay from January 2016 to December 2020, then , for the duration of 2021, Director of the “Physics of Waves and Matter” (PhOM) axis of the Graduate School of Physics of the same university. He will also become, in 2021, Director of the Integrative Institute of Materials at the University of Paris-Saclay.

Author of nearly 180 publications in international scientific journals, the new DAER of École polytechnique was president of the Physics of Condensed Matter Division of the French Physical Society from 2009 to 2013, president of the Physics of Matter Division Summary of the European Physical Society from 2015 to 2020, a learned society of which he is currently a member of the Executive Committee. This allowed him to establish many European contacts, notably via the Institute of Physics (United Kingdom), the Deutsche Physikalischen Gesellschaft (Germany), and the Real Sociedad Española de Física (Spain).

A graduate of the University of Leiden in 1988 and 1992, Kees van der Beek holds a Diploma in Experimental Solid State Physics and a Ph.D. in Mathematics and Natural Sciences.

École Polytechnique: Kees van der Beek appointed Director of Research (DR)