Omer Van der Biest, has been a professor in the Department of Metallurgy and Materials Engineering at Leuven University, Belgium since 1987. He obtained a Master in Metallurgical Engineering at Leuven University and a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. Previously he held positions at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory and at the Institute for Energy in Petten (The Netherlands). He carried out most of his research work in the field of ceramics.
He is the author of more than 350 scientific/technical publications in international refereed journals and of numerous contributions to conferences and other publications including 6 patents and (co)-editor of 6 books. He was elected as Academician to the World Academy of Ceramics in 2006. He co-organized a number of meetings, in particular on functionally graded materials and on electrophoretic deposition (EPD). The role that electric and magnetic fields can play in the processing of materials has been a continuous theme in his work. In shaping of ceramics this has led to research on electrophoretic deposition and texturing of materials in a strong magnetic field. In sintering, he pioneered the development of advanced sintering equipment for sintering under an electric field (FAST, SPS, PECS). He also contributed early on to microwave sintering of powders. These techniques have been applied to the development of ceramic composites, coatings and laminates for applications in wear resistant parts, energy conversion processes and for biomedical implants. He has been a member of the Basic Science Division since 1973.