Prof. Thomas Schäfer


Prof. Thomas Schäfer

Centro Joxe Mari Korta
Avenida de Tolosa, 72
20018 Donostia - San Sebastián

Tel:+34 943 018266


Thomas earned his BSc from the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg and MSc in Chemical Engineering with focus on Bioreactor Technology from the Technical University Hamburg-Harburg (Germany). He obtained his PhD in 2002 from the Universidade Nova de Lisboa (Portugal) on mass transfer phenomena in membrane separation processes. He has worked as a postgraduate and postdoctoral researcher at Wageningen University (The Netherlands), University of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia), IBET/Universidade Nova de Lisboa (Portugal), Università degli Studi di Siena and Università di Pisa (Italy), as well as Universitat Rovira i Virgili (Tarragona, Spain). Since October 2010, he is Ikerbasque Research Professor at POLYMAT, University of the Basque Country.

Honors and awards

He was awarded a Ramón y Cajal Fellowship from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology in 2006 and an IDEAS Starting-Grant from the European Research Council in the first call of 2007 ("MATRIX").


Thomas's multi-disciplinary research group focuses on mixed-matrix and stimuli-responsive membranes, as well as related interfacial phenomena. The research relies on combining new developments in chemistry and biological as well as materials sciences with traditional membrane separation technology in order to form new generations of membranes with applications in downstream processing, water treatment, sensors, monitoring, biomedicine and controlled delivery.
A particular interest exists in understanding the related interactions and mass transport phenomena on a molecular level. For this reason, the group has also a strong interest in studying emerging non-invasive methods for characterizing surface phenomena related to membrane applications, e.g., fouling, as well as elucidating conformational changes related to molecular recognition processes occurring with biomolecules.

Membranes for Water and Air