Originally an international lawyer by training, it has been over 20 years now that I have been working at departments of natural sciences. This route has led me from Leiden, to Delft, to New Haven, to Orsay and now Twente; finally leading the part-time farmers live I always wanted, next to being member of the management team of UT’s Digital Society Institute. For DSI I am responsible for the support of the different UT research communities, with a special attention on the Artificial Intelligence and Data Science scientists.
From 1 April 2021 onwards I will shift this focus to the 4TU Resilience Community as the new Managing Director. It will be a pleasure to partly return to Delft and to get to know Wageningen and Eindhoven better: nothing is more constructive than working with engineers!
I hope to contribute in bringing the 4TU RE Centre to the next phase. It has been a great achievement of those who have been involved from the very start to bring a young and new Centre this quickly up to speed and to set up a large supporting community. Maintaining these positive vibes, the enthusiasm and meanwhile a sense of urgency, is what I see as my role.
Having the luxury of being built on the foundation of such a huge group of involved scientists, coming from many different domains, both junior as well as senior and spread over four universities, asks for reaching out even further. Current problems around the globe show us that being or becoming resilient is not a nice add-on, but true necessity. The challenges we are faced with today such as climate change, a pandemic or the intolerably high number of refugees, cannot be solved by either one scientific discipline, nor by one nation only. This undisputably calls for an open-minded mentality, an inclusive approach and united action. To me, the 4TU Resilience Engineering is a copy of exactly these ingredients and I’m honoured to become a small part of it.