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Royal Decoration for Prof. Jilt Sietsma

Wednesday, 26 April 2023
Knight in the Order of the Lion of the Netherlands

Jilt Sietsma appointed Knight in the Order of the Lion of the Netherlands

The royal honour was conferred in recognition of Prof. Jilt Sietsma’s exceptional contribution to science, industry and society.

Sietsma's scientific work has been of the highest quality and impact, optimally combining fundamental research and applications. His extraordinary role in steel research and development at national and international levels is undebatable. His work has led to fundamental advances in materials science, while also making a direct contribution to the innovation of industrial processes. The Netherlands are an important player in the global steel world. Professor Sietsma made a contribution to that development. His academic legacy includes hundreds of students and dozens of PhD students that he has worked with over the past 30 years.

The steel community in the Netherlands -as elsewhere in the world- faces serious challenges in the current transition towards sustainable production, use and recycling. Fortunately, Jilt helped shaping a new generation of materials scientists that is well-equipped to address these challenges. Jilt combines the highest academic ambitions with a characteristic personal humbleness and a talent for didactics.

"His work has led to fundamental advances in materials science."

In his research, Sietsma focuses on understanding the structure and properties of metals. He uses experimental and theoretical approaches to investigate the evolution of the microstructure of metals as a function of time, temperature and deformation. In doing so, he manages to seamlessly connect curiosity-driven research with societal and industrial needs. This not only results in many new insights and scientific publications in the field of materials science, but leads to important innovations of industrial production processes. Sietsma is a connector, who knows how to build bridges between education, research, industry, science and society. 

A teacher at heart, he involves his students in his research questions and allows them to join him in making a substantial contribution to materials science. His teaching qualities are highly appreciated by students, who praise him for his accessibility, enthusiasm and personal commitment. The current generation of materials scientists faces the challenge of accelerating the greening and sustainability of materials. Many of them have been trained and equipped to do so by Sietsma.

His strong social commitment is reflected not only in his research and teaching, but also in his other activities. For instance, he was a devoted board member to the Oranjehotel Foundation in The Hague for twenty years. During that period, the former cell complex became the National Monument Oranjehotel and was opened to the public. 

Prof. (em.) Jilt Sietsma
Professor Materials Science and Engineering, Delft University of Technology

Jilt Sietsma is Emeritus Professor Materials Science and Engineering (Metallic Microstructures) in the Department of Materials Science & Engineering, Delft University of Technology, and former Scientific Director 4TU.HTM (2015-2021).

Source: TU Delft, Mechanical Engineering / 'Four Royal Honours at TU Delft'