Born in Tel Aviv in 1949, Jacob Klein received his secondary education in England. After completing his military service in the IDF in 1970, Klein gained his BA in Physics at the University of Cambridge, where in 1977 he also received his M.A. and PhD at the Cavendish Laboratory. He did his postdoc at the Weizmann Institute in Israel, and from 1980-1984 was a Senior Scientist at the Weizmann Institute and a University Demonstrator at the Cavendish Laboratory. In 1984 he was appointed Professor at the Weizmann Institute (full Professor from 1987), and subsequently headed its Polymer Research department and was Chairman of its Scientific Council. From 2000-2007 Klein was concomitantly the Dr. Lee's Professor of Chemistry at the University of Oxford and Head of its Physical and Theoretical Chemistry Department. His interests in soft matter have ranged from the dynamics and interfacial properties of polymers to the behaviour of confined fluids, biological lubrication and tissue engineering. Klein has published over 240 papers. His honours include the Charles Vernon Boys Prize of the Institute of Physics, UK (1984), the High Polymer Physics Prize of the American Physical Society (1995), the 2010 Prize of the Israel Chemical Society, the 2011 Soft Matter and Biophysical Chemistry Award and Medal of the UK Royal Society of Chemistry and the 2012 Tribology Gold Medal. In 2013 he was elected to the European Academy. Of some 70 students and post-docs who have worked with him in his labs, 26 are currently in academic faculty positions in North America, Europe, Israel and China.
Prof. Klein has worked extensively on the physics of polymers and interfaces, using surface force balances to investigate static and dynamic force laws between interacting surfaces, especially steric, lubrication and frictional forces. He has also carried out extensive studies of surface and interfacial structure in polymeric systems using nuclear reaction analysis techniques at the Institute 3MV van de Graaff particle accelerator. His current research interests include issues of transport, wetting, surface interactions and nanotribology.
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