About Me

Titus S. van Erp

Personal Information

Name: Titus S. van Erp

Date of Birth: 22-09-1974

Married to: Caroline

Children: Sébastien (2005), Cédric (2007), and Sophie (2011)


1999: Master in Theoretical Physics (Nijmegen, The Netherlands)

2003: PhD in Natural Sciences (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

Work Experience

2003-2006: Postdoc/Marie-Curie Fellow at the ENS-Lyon and CECAM-institute, Lyon, France.

2006-2012: Centre-of-Excellence Senior Researcher at the Department of Surface Science and Catalysis, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.

2012-2016: Associate Professor at the Department of Chemistry, NTNU, Trondheim, Norway.

Since 2016: Full Professor

Research Statement

The understanding of chemical, physical, and biological processes at the molecular and atomistic scale has changed our daily life. Medicines, computers, mobile phones, tablets, plastic, solar-cells, space crafts, and many more things would not have been developed without this knowledge. These are impressive achievements, but our knowledge on how exactly molecules interact is still very much limited. Our time faces big challenges regarding energy resources and environment. Solutions to these problems require revolutionary breakthroughs which are likely to be found at the molecular scale. Computer simulations are the ideal tool to obtain information at this nanoscale that is mostly invisible for experiments. However, even if we have the right theory, which is Quantum Mechanics, solving the corresponding equations for a complex system would take centuries even for the fastest computer on earth. A large number of smart tricks, algorithms, and subtile approximations boosted the field of Molecular Modeling tremendously. Although it is impossible to overestimate the importance of the incredible increase of computer power to this field, its effect is relatively small in comparison with the development of inventive new algorithms and methods. Yet, there is no reason to rest and be satisfied. We are still far from a situation in which we can just ‘design‘ new materials and medicines by running computer simulations. We can not reach the time-scales and length-scales of important processes that occur in biological or industrial processes without making crude approximations or invoking uncertain assumptions. My research aims to bring forward the molecular understanding of complex processes using state-of-the-art simulation techniques. In addition to these applications, a large part of my research is also devoted to the development of new innovative methodologies that can enhance the accuracy of present methods and expand accessible time- and system scales of computer simulations.