Leon Abelmann (1965) received his MSc degree in Electrical Engineering at the University of Twente, The Netherlands, in 1990 with a specialization in the area of integrated optics. He spent the first two years of his Ph.D. study at CNRS in Meudon, France, studying oblique evaporation of thin magnetic films. He continued this research at the University of Twente, where he obtained his Ph.D. degree in 1994 with Professor Lodder and subsequently moved into the novel field of magnetic force microscopy.
In 1997 Leon Abelmann received a grant from the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences, allowing him to spend one year as a postdoctoral researcher at the Data Storage Systems Center at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburg, USA in 1999, where he worked on micromagnetic simulations. In 2000 he received an Innovation Grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), which allowed him to work on probe-based data storage. He was appointed Assistant Professor in 2001, and Associate Professor and interim chairholder in 2004 after the retirement of Professor Lodder.
In 2006 Leon Abelmann and his team joined the Transducer Science and Technology group of Professor Elwenspoek, where he continued his work on novel, MEMS-based, information storage systems and nanomagnetism. In 2010 he extended his research towards self-assembly, focussing on magnetic forces to steer the assembly process and self-assembly of magnetically functionalized units, and was appointed full professor.
In 2013, Leon Abelmann started as principal scientist at the European branch of the Korean Institute of Science and Technology in Saarbrücken, where he moved his field towards nanotechnology and magnetism for life sciences. He maintained his professorship at the University of Twente to strengthen the connection with KIST Europe and Korea. In 2014, Leon Abelmann was appointed honorarprofessor at Saarland University, in the department of Mechatronics, to strengthen the academic cooperation between Korea and Saarland University.
In 2022, he returned to academia as an associate professor at the Electrical Engineering Department of the Delft University of Technology. Here he focuses on educational innovation, magnetism for biomedical applications, and self-assembly.
Leon Abelmann is (co)author of over 150 peer-reviewed publications. He was chairman of the steering committee of the MME workshop and chairman of the European School on Magnetism (Saarbrücken, 2022). Leon was very active in education in the Electrical Engineering and Advanced Technology programs, as well as the Honours Program of the University of Twente. He was nominated Teacher of the Year for Electrical Engineering from 2002 to 2011, only interrupted in 2010, and was a recipient of the prize in 2005. He received the best teacher award for the Advanced Technology bachelor program in 2010, and the award for excellent education by the TNW department in 2012.