Matthijs studied chemistry at the University of Amsterdam (the Netherlands) where he received his masters degree in physical chemistry in 2007. He performed his PhD work at the same university, and focused on investigating the mechanics of synthetic molecular machines with time-resolved infrared spectroscopy. He defended his thesis in 2013, after which he worked on the folding dynamics of small peptides. He joined the Westenhoff group in 2014. Currently, Matthijs is working on visualizing fundamental reaction events in light-triggered chemical reactions with time-resolved WAXS.