Universities have two tasks: to conduct research, and to teach. We take both equally seriously, and try to integrate them as much as possible. There is no reason why lectures should not be (inter)active, and why they should not include results from recent or even ongoing projects - while of course also providing a solid basis to build that research on. Neither does teaching stop at giving lectures, since you cannot learn how to `do research' from a lecture. Therefore, our group is always open for students interested in doing a theory-minded BSc or MSc end project.

The diversity of the activities and methods we employ in our group is reflected in the fact that we contribute to teaching in various educational programs. These include applied physics, nanobiology, and applied mathematics - but even though the various courses formally belong to a given program, they, like our research projects, are open to all interested students.

Starting August 2020, Timon Idema became the programme director of the MSc Nanobiology.

Current courses (2023-2024)

  • Soft matter (NB4070) - an elective course for NB and AP students (cross-listed as AP3511 biophysics). The course includes an introduction to continuum mechanics (elasticity and fluid dynamics). We discuss mixtures, polymers, viscoelastic materials, and membranes, with applications to biological systems. September-January, lectures online Mondays, in-person sessions on-campus Thursdays 10:45-12:30 (Q1) / Wednesdays 13:45-15:30 (Q2), problem sessions on-campus Fridays 13:45-15:30.

  • Geometry of physics (NB4110) - an elective for NB, AP and AM students, open to MSc and PhD students from other programs. In this guided self-study course students learn how to use differential geometry to describe polymers, membranes, and spacetime. Please contact me directly if you'd like to join.

  • Quantum mechanics for Nanobiology (NB3017 & NB3018) - February-April.

  • Pre-university physics (MOOC) for all prospective students.

Former courses

  • Physics 1A for Nanobiology (NB1140) - 2013-2016 and 2019-2021. Taught by Hyun Youk in 2017 and 2018 and by Jos Zwanikken from fall 2021.

  • Physics 2 for Nanobiology (NB2141) - 2013-2015. Now taught by Chirlmin Joo.

  • Mechanics and relativity for Mathematics (TN1531TW) - 2015-2021.

  • iGEM (LM3691) - 2013-2020. TU Delft team for the international Genetically Engineered Machines competition; multi-disciplinary with participants from LST, NB, AP and various other programs - May-October.
    Each year the team participates in the iGEM competition in Boston. The last seven teams have been very successful:
    • The 2020 team won the prizes for best food and nutrition project as well as seven other prizes and five more nominations.
    • The 2019 team won the prizes for best foundational advance and best part collection.
    • The 2018 team won the prizes for best new application and best product design, and was nominated for six more prizes.
    • The 2017 team won the overall competition as well as a bunch of other prizes.
    • The 2016 team won the overgraduate prices for best new application, composite part, and model.
    • The 2015 team won the overall competition as well as prizes for best hardware, website, and applied design.
    • The 2014 team (joint with Leiden) won the prize for best microfluidics project.

Education projects

While the objective of teaching (transfer of knowledge and training of skills) has not changed in centuries, the means by which we reach those objectives are developing continually. We run two projects that contribute to this development, moving from classic prited 'closed' textbooks to more dynamic open education materials (OER).

  • OLMO (open learning materials for a multidisciplinary program) for Nanobiology, in which we help teachers in the Nanobiology program find and select existing open educational resources and develop their own material to publishable level.
    • For some impressions, check out our blog post for the 2022 TU Delft open education week.

  • Interactive textbooks, an initiative to help teachers develop open educational materials together, using ideas from succcessful examples like Wikipedia and Gitlab. This project started as a Education fellowship project. We will be publishing multiple interactive textbooks as part of this project; for examples see


Our teaching work has lead to a number of educational publications, and has been highlighted in various places.