2006 Håkan Wennerström

Håkan Wennerström (Lund)

Håkan Wennerström has a long and outstanding career in colloid science, with many contributions to different fields of the discipline. He was educated in Lund and first became a professor at Stockholm University, after which he returned to his Alma Mater in 1984 where he has been ever since. He is respected by the entire scientific community; the fact that he presently chairs the Nobel Prize committee can be seen as a token of this. 

    Among his many achievements one should particularly mention his profound understanding – inspired by Overbeek – of charged interfaces. Not only did he develop this in many directions, e.g., into quantitative predictions for cmc’s of ionic surfactants, but he was also among the first to point out the importance of ion correlations for ions of multiple valency, something which is now, many years later, generally recognized. Surface forces, which are at the heart of colloid science, were carefully analyzed by him for many different systems, such as those between lipid bilayers discussed in a classical paper with Israelachvili in Nature. But we do not only know Håkan as a scientist writing papers of exceptional quality, but also as a passionate and devoted teacher, who has disseminated his clear insights in ´The Colloidal Domain´ , a book to be found on the desk of many scientists, professors and students alike. Following from the formal recognition and award of Overbeek himself last year, we are now proud to award him the very first Overbeek Gold medal.