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Berend Smit

chemical engineer: Materials Sciences Division

Media contact: Lynn Yarris, senior science writer, 510-486-5375,


As a Lab Scientist and a professor of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at UC Berkeley, Berend's research interests include molecular simulations, multi-scale modeling, catalysts, soft-condensed matter, biological membranes, and clays.

A central theme in Berend's research is trying to understand how the environment influences the molecular behavior of many systems of scientific and technological interest.

One example is the absorption of molecules in the nano-pores of a zeolite, for which it is difficult to obtain experimental data. Berend's group has developed accurate models of the interactions between the molecules allowing them to mimic the experimental situation and to predict experimental properties, such as diffusion coefficients or adsorption isotherms.

Recent Publications

  • Venturoli, M., Sperotto, M. M., Kranenburg, M., & Smit, B. Mesoscopic models of biological membranes Phys. Rep. 437, 1 - 54 (2006)
  • Beerdsen, E., Dubbeldam, D., & Smit, B. Understanding Diffusion in Nanoporous Materials Phys. Rev. Lett. 96, 044501 (2006)
  • Dubbeldam, D., Calero, S., Beerdsen, E., & Smit, B. Molecular path control in zeolite membranes Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 102, 12317-12320 (2005)
  • Jakobtorweihen, S. et al. Understanding the loading dependence of self-diffusion in carbon nanotubes Phys. Rev. Lett 95, 044501 (2005)

Awards and Memberships

  • 2006 Marie Curie Excellence Grant of the European Community
  • 1997 Gold Medal of the Royal Dutch Chemical Society 
  • 1998 Dutch Research Council PIONIER grant award


Ph.D., Chemistry, Utrecht University, The Netherlands


last updated: 2011-05-11 15:20:24