Dirk J. Broer is a polymer chemist specialized in polymer structuring and self-organizing polymer networks. In 1973, he joined Philips Research (Eindhoven, Netherlands) where he worked on vapor phase polymerization, optical data storage, telecommunication and display optics. He started his work on liquid crystal materials in 1985. Within Philips he developed the process of in-situ photopolymerization of liquid crystal monomers to form densely crosslinked and monolithically ordered liquid crystal networks which led in 1990 to his PhD degree at Groningen University. Based on this process he developed optical films for LCD enhancement and in 2000 he started his work on new manufacturing technologies of LCDs for large area displays and electronic wallpaper. From 2003 to 2010 he was senior research fellow and vice president at the Philips Research Laboratories.
In 1996, he was appointed as part-time professor at the Eindhoven University covering research topics as liquid crystals, polymer waveguides, solar energy, organic semiconductors, nanolithography, soft lithography and polymer actuators for biomedical microfluidic systems. In 2010, he was appointed as fulltime professor in Eindhoven to chair the Department Functional Organic Materials and Devices with a research emphasis on clean technologies as energy harvesting, water treatment and healthcare. In 2015 he became staff member of the Institute for Complex Molecular Systems in Eindhoven and coordinates presently a program on responsive soft materials. In 2015 he co-founded the Institute of Device Integrated Responsive Materials, a joint initiative of South China Normal University and Eindhoven University of Technology.
Prof. Broer is member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) and received, among others, the KNAW Holst gold medal and the SID Jan Rajchman Prize in 2014. In total, he has around 300 publications in peer reviewed journals and more than 120 US patents.