Prof.dr. U. (Urs) Staufer

Prof.dr. U. (Urs) Staufer


Research Interest

My research interest is in applying fundamental knowledge from Nanoscience in Scientific Instrumentation for Bio/Health applications. I see Scientific Instrumentation as an attractive first step in transferring basic knowledge into technology for applications with high societal impact. At the same time, Scientific Instrumentation enables new basic research, contributing to a continuous replenishment of its resource. At the Micro and Nano Engineering group, we pay specific attention that our engineering solutions lend themselves for up-scaling, which increases their societal impact.


I studied Physics, Mathematics and Philosophy at the University of Basel, Switzerland, where I received my PhD   summa cum laude  in 1990 with a thesis on how to use the Scanning Tunnelling Microscope as a tool for surface modification. I then joined as postdoc the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, USA for conducting work on a microfabricated electron-beam writer. Returning back to Switzerland, I stayed at the Univ. of Basel, IBM Rüschlikon Research Laboratory and the Univ. of Neuchatel, where I was leading the group ‘Tools for Nanoscience’. In 2003, I became associated Professor in Neuchatel, and in 2007, I was appointed full professor at TU Delft in the Netherlands, where I am leading the Micro and Nano Engineering Laboratory ever since. From 2012 until 2016, I was also head of the department PME (Precision and Microsystem Engineering) and from 2015-2016 vice dean of the faculty of Mechanical, Maritime and Material Engineering. In 2017, I could spend a few months of sabbatical as visiting scientist at the Institut de Ciències Fotòniques, ICFO in Barcelona, Spain, and in 2018 at the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, IIT in Lecce, Italy.

Selected Professional Activities

International Organisations   

  • Founding member and first president of the international Micro and Nano Engineering Society iMNEs, 2018 - present
  • Member of the Topical Team on Toxicity of Celestial Dust advising the European Space Agency ESA, since 2010
  • International Steering Committee and Program Committee of the International Micro and Nano Engineering (MNE) Conference, representing the Netherlands
  • Steering Committee for the NanoEurope Conference (until 2007)


National Organisations
  • Board member of 'MinacNed', the Dutch Association for Microsystems and Nanotechnology, since 2013
  • Board member of the foundation 'NanoNextNL', which fosters the development of national research and technology programs on micro and nanotechnology, since 2019
  • Director of the board of the Foundation for the Advancement of Sub-micron Technology 'FAST', since 2012.
  • Organizing and Program committee of the international MicroNano Conference iMNC, since 2013 
  • Director of Program 10A of the NanoNextNL Consortium (until end of program in 2017

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Research interests

Atomic Force Microscopy



Microfabrication Technology

Two-Photon Lithography 

Scientific Instrumentation

Planetary Science

Nanosystems for Bio/Health applications




More research interests


Ancillary activities