Prof. ir. K.Ch.A.M. Luyben

Karel Ch.A.M. Luyben was from 2010 till 2017, Rector Magnificus of the Delft University of Technology. He was born in Tilburg in 1951. He received his university education at Eindhoven University, where he studied Chemical Engineering. He majored in Physical Technology and graduated with an MSc degree in 1976.

He subsequently joined the Agricultural University in Wageningen where he worked as a researcher (and later supervisor) in the field of Process Engineering. His research focused on transport phenomena in drying materials and active carbon. Hereafter, he undertook a year-long contract research function in industry, both in Germany (Bayer) and the Netherlands (Cehave).

Today, Karel Luyben coordinates the Open Science Project for TU Delft.

Professor in Biochemical Engineering

In 1983 he was appointed as professor in Biochemical Engineering at the Delft University of Technology. In 1984 he was appointed as president of the joint venture ‘Biotechnology Delft Leiden’ (BDL), establishing and nurturing the biotechnology-related activities in both the universities of Delft and Leiden. From 1985-1990, he was Chairman of the Netherlands Biotechnology Society (NBV).

Scientific Director

He was Scientific Director of the Graduate School ‘Biotechnological Sciences Delft Leiden’ (BSDL) from its foundation in 1993 up until 1998. In 1989, he co-founded BIRD (Biotechnology Integrated Research & Development) Engineering, a Biotechnology company providing solutions and advice to the Biotechnology Industry.

Key positions

Luyben has held numerous other key positions related to the fields of Biotechnology and Process Engineering including that of Chairman of the European Federation of Biotechnology (EFB).

Throughout his career, he has provided and continues to provide consultation services to industries in the areas of Technology and Strategy & Policy. A prolific author and accomplished lecturer, he has published more than 200 scientific articles in prominent international journals, textbooks and proceedings. He has given more than 200 international lectures and seminars and has acted as promoter for some 30 PhD students.


Professor Luyben was Dean of the Faculty of Applied Sciences at the Delft University of Technology from April 1998 till September 2009. He was responsible for the management and development of this large, research-oriented faculty.

As of January 2010 he is the Rector Magnificus of the Delft University of Technology, a university with some 16.000 students and some 4.500 employees.

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