This winter school is intended for all PhD students working in the fields of computational chemistry and spectroscopy in the Netherlands, but is also open to advanced Master students and PhD students from related research fields and from outside the Netherlands.

Every year in December the school provides one week of advanced graduate courses in theoretical (quantum) chemistry, spectroscopy, and statistical mechanics. The program is now setup with a number of core lectures that rotate with a three year period, supplemented with advanced classes from guest lecturers that vary from year to year. In this manner, the school aims to provide PhD students in three years time:

  1. high-level fundamental theory of theoretical chemistry and spectroscopy
  2. insight in exciting topics at a broader scope
  3. the latest cutting-edge developments from the actual scientists in our field
Students are encouraged to present and discuss their research work with short presentations. The winter school also provides an important moment to get to know and interact with fellow students in the Netherlands as well as learn about the current research done in the Netherlands and abroad.

The winter school was started in 1988 by Wim Briels, initially at the Technical University Twente. He organized the school for ten years during which time he translocated it to Han-sur-Lesse in the beautiful Ardennes region in Belgium, where it has been held since. Gerrit Groenenboom took over the organization from 2000 until 2009. Between 2010 and 2019, the winter school was organized by Bernd Ensing. Since 2020, the school is organized by Ivo Filot.

Three of the organizers in one picture: Gerrit Groenenboom (front row, second person from the left; wearing green pullover sweater), Bernd Ensing (front row fourth person from the left; wearing navy pullover sweater) and Ivo Filot (person completely on the left; wearing blue jacket). From the 2014 edition of the Han-sur-Lesse Winterschool.