Hendrik Kurniawan was born in Semarang on 18 December, 1960. In 1979, he entered the Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Trisakti, Jakarta. He got his BSc degree in 1982 majoring in suburban electricity distribution network in Central Java Prefecture. He got his Engineer degree in 1985 at the same department majoring in short circuit protection of extra high voltage transmission line in Indonesia. In the same year, he joined the Graduate Study Program of Opto-Electrotechniques and Laser Applications, The University of Indonesia. In 1987, he got his MSc degree majoring in laser technology with his final research project on master-oscillator power-amplifier nitrogen laser system (MOPA). This work was awarded a first prize in the Second Asean Science and Technology Week in the Philippine in 1989. In 1988, he started his doctoral study at the same department in the University of Indonesia. In the early stage of the program, his topic of research was mainly concerned with laser technology such as a high power carbon-dioxide laser and excimer laser production.

In the final stage of his research, he became involved in plasma spectroscopy, and he got his Ph.D degree in 1992 in the field of plasma spectroscopy and its application for spectrochemical analysis. This part of the research was fully carried out in laser laboratory of Prof. Kiichiro Kagawa of Fukui University, Japan who also served as a member of the team of supervisor together with Prof. M. Barmawi and Prof. May On, Tjia from Bandung Institute of Technology. He earned his Doctor degree with a judicium of cum-laude.

He was awarded as the best participants during Second Asean Science and Technology Week in the Philippine in 1989 for his works in the field of nitrogen laser. He was also awarded as the best young researcher in engineering field from Indonesia Institute of Sciences in 1997. In 2001 he was further awarded as the best researcher in the field of science and technology from Indonesia-Japan Toray Science Foundation. Currently, he is involved in the research field of laser plasma for spectrochemical analysis and in the field of laser technology. Besides under the direction of Prof. Kiichiro Kagawa from Fukui University, he is trying to develop simple physics experiments for high school physics teacher, for example by designing a cheap water lens microscope, prism spectrometer and artificial snow crystal production. In December 2001, joining Prof. Kiichiro Kagawa group of Fukui University, the first artificial snow crystal was successfully grown in tropical country using a mixture of ice and salt. This technique has been introduced to participants in National Workshop in Physics Education in UI on Dec, 27-28, 2001. Similar results regarding the snow crystal and water lens microscope were also published in Physics Education Journal. Up to now, he has published close to 100 papers in international journals and conferences and currently he is the research coordinator of Makmur Maju Mandiri Research Center. He is also an active member in Indonesia Physical Society, Japanese Laser Society and American Society for Applied Spectroscopy. In January 2007, he became a felow in the Royal Society of Chemistry.