Soft Matter Emerging Investigator – Stefan Guldin

Dr Stefan Guldin is Professor of Adaptive & Responsive Nanomaterials and Deputy Head (Enterprise) of the Department of Chemical Engineering at University College London. He studied Physics at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (2003-05) and the Technical University of Munich (2005-08) and graduated with a PhD from the University of Cambridge in 2012 (Advisor: Prof Ulli Steiner; thesis title: Inorganic nanoarchitectures by organic self-assembly). Subsequently, Dr Guldin carried out postdoctoral research as a scholar of the German Academy of Sciences at EPFL (Advisor: Prof Francesco Stellacci) before taking up his current position in 2015. His research interests include the study of material formation on the nanoscale by molecular self-assembly, creation of adaptive and responsive materials architectures and translation into real-world applications, ranging from chemical sensors and biomedical diagnostics to electrochemical devices and optical coatings. For his work, Dr Guldin has received awards by the Institute of Physics, German Academy of Sciences, the German National Academic Foundation, Springer Publishing and the European Materials Research Society. He is co-founder of the biomed start-up Vesynta, which is devoted to the development of companion drug monitoring solutions for personalised medicine with currently 6 full-time employees. His educational platform, which enables researchers to conduct analytical chemistry with a smartphone, is used in 47 countries across 6 continents.

Find more about Stefan’s work via:


Twitter: @AdReNa_Lab

Read Stefan Guldin’s Emerging Investigator article


How do you feel about Soft Matter as a place to publish research on this topic?

While there is such a broad choice now, Soft Matter remains one of my favourite journals. The reason is quite simple – its quality of peer review remains unmatched. Every article that has gone through the publication process with Soft Matter significantly improved in response to the reviewers’ comments. The depth of responses and enthusiasm for science that often resonates from Soft Matter reviewers shows that the journal is able to recruit some of the most knowledgeable subject experts that are willing to give their time and brain power to the community.

Can you share one piece of career-related advice or wisdom with other early career scientists?

When building a research group from scratch, it can be tempting to go after every opportunity for growth. It is very important that you are creating synergies between your group members and building up a core expertise in specific materials systems and characterisation techniques. This will allow you to build your own profile and become attractive for collaborations. While you may be perfectly able to go very broad even early on, this will rarely be recognised by your community.

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