Daniel (Daan) Frenkel

University of Cambridge

Primary Section: 33, Applied Physical Sciences
Secondary Section: 14, Chemistry
Membership Type:
International Member (elected 2016)


Daan Frenkel received his PhD in experimental Physical Chemistry from the University of Amsterdam (NL). Subsequently, he worked as a postdoctoral research associate in Chemistry at the University of California at Los Angeles. After that, he worked at Shell Research (Amsterdam), the Universities of Utrecht and Amsterdam and at the FOM Institute for Atomic and Molecular Physics in Amsterdam. In 2007, he was appointed to the 1968 Chair of Theoretical Chemistry. He was Head of Department from 2011 to 2015. DF is aForeign Member of the Royal Society (London), Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Sciences (USA), member of the Royal Dutch Academy of Arts and Sciences, The World Academy of Sciences and the Academia Europaea, He is an Honorary Fellow of Trinity College Cambridge.

Research Interests

Daan Frenkel’s research interests focus on numerical simulations of many-body systems, with a special emphasis on problems relating to ordering and self-assembly in soft matter. In the context of this research, he has developed novel Monte Carlo algorithms for free-energy calculations and for the simulation of chain molecules. In addition, he has developed techniques to compute the number of disordered packings of jammed particles. Applications of his research are in the area of liquid-crystalline ordering, crystal nucleation and complex self-assembly.

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