Christoffel Waelkens is Professor in Astrophysics at the KU Leuven. He acts as Programme Director for the master in Astronomy and Astrophysics and the advanced master of Space Studies. His research topics are stellar evolution, circumstellar media, and space astrophysics. Waelkens is the author of many scientific publications and the promotor of several research projects. He was co-Principal Investigator of the PACS instrument on the Herschel satellite, and the instigator of the project for the Mercator Telescope at the La Palma Observatory on the Canary Islands.