Born 25-12-1967 in Utrecht, the Netherlands and received his PhD at the Univ. of Amsterdam in 1995. Currently he is professor at the department of physics of the University of Florence, head of the micro and nano photonics research area at the European Laboratory for Non-linear Spectroscopy (LENS) and president of the National Metrology Institute INRIM. His research interests lie in the fundamental optical properties of photonic materials, their practical applications and the synthesis of new materials. In particular he has played a pioneering role in the development of the field of disordered photonics, random lasers, and recently started to combine photonics with micro and nano robotics in a project financed by an ERC Advanced grant. He has always been interested in working on both fundamental problems as well as real-life applications and appreciates teaching based on an innovative method he developed, similar to peer-instruction. He published about 200 scientific papers of which more than 20 in Science and Nature journals and 14 cover stories (h-index 48, av. citations per paper 59) and holds 6 international patents. He delivered more than 100 invited keynote and planary seminars at international conferences, is chair of an ERC evaluation panel, co-founder of Nanophotonics Europe, and has been scientific director of 15 international conferences and schools. For his work he received the Ugo Campisano award in 2004, the premio Tartufari for physics in 2014, and the Enrico Fermi prize in 2015.