Royal awards for two TU/e professors

April 26, 2019

Onno Boxma and Arthur van Roermund have been appointed Knight of the Order of the Netherlands Lion.

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Two mayors, two towns, two professors, two awards. Onno Boxma received the royal insignia at his home in Nuenen from mayor Maarten Houben, while Helmond mayor Elly Blanksma-Van den Heuvel presented the insignia to Arthur van Roermund.

Emeritus professor Arthur van Roermund (Mixed-signal Microelectronics at Electrical Engineering) was already Simon Stevin Meester, but since today he is also Knight in the Order of the Dutch Lion. Van Roermund, who said goodbye to TU/e in June 2017, received the insignia this morning in his hometown of Helmond from Mayor Elly Blanksma-Van den Heuvel in the company of his family and Dean Bart Smolders, among others.

Van Roermund (1951) received his award for his services and special contributions to science and the university. He was instrumental in the development of so-called 'smart circuits'. These are used in medical electronics, wireless communication and professional metrology equipment.

 

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Arthur van Roermund

In 1999 he made the switch from TU Delft to TU/e, where he led the Mixed-signal Microelectronics department for eighteen years. During this period he was also a member of the department board of Electrical Engineering for ten years. In his time before Delft (1992-1999) he spent eighteen years at Philips Research.

Simon Stevin Master 

In 2004 he received the title Simon Stevin Meester from STW, which can be regarded as an oeuvre award. The title has a monetary value of half a million euros, which Van Roermund reinvested in his research group. When he said goodbye, he said in Slash, the client relations magazine of TU/e: " While that was a nice financial incentive, the reputation of the award has a greater impact on the group, in terms of credibility in the eyes of the outside world and for internal motivation."

Van Roermund was chairman of the board of ProRISC (the microelectronics platform in the Netherlands) from 1999 to 2012, and vice-chairman of IPN, the Dutch ICT research platform from 2000 to 2012. For eleven years, from 2001 to 2012, he was co-organiser of the annual workshop for Advanced Analog Circuit Design (AACD). Van Roermund has more than seven hundred publications to his name, has written thirty books and co-authored twelve other books.

 

Onno Boxma

Also professor of mathematics Onno Boxma was appointed Knight of the Order of the Netherlands Lion at his home in Nuenen this morning. Boxma was presented with the royal insignia by mayor Maarten Houben in the presence of his family and some close colleagues.

In his speech, the mayor described Boxma as an excellent and very dedicated scientist. His two honorary doctorates (one from the University of Haifa in Israel and one from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland) and his many important administrative initiatives testify to this.

Boxma has distinguished himself in particular as the first chairman of STAR between 2009 and 2013 and as scientific director of Eurandom between 2005 and 2011. He served as vice-dean of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science from 2009 until 2013.

Role model

Onno Boxma received several teaching awards at TU/e. “He is very accessible and always manages to find time for students who come to him with all kinds of questions, despite a busy schedule,” the nomination for the decoration says. Seven of Boxma’s former PhD candidates have been appointed professor.

 

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Onno Boxma

“Onno is a very dedicated mathematician and extremely loyal towards his colleagues and to math in general,” the nomination continues. “He is very committed to young people, be it the young permanent staff of the Section Stochastics, bachelor’s students who experience difficulties during their final projects, or our section’s secretary. Onno is always ready to help people and is the first to approach matters from a personal perspective. In a time when efficiency seems to be the magic word, perhaps too much so, this very human approach is extremely important if we wish to continue to bring people together and to let them fully develop their talents.”

“The Eurandom institute has an excellent reputation, especially in the field of probability theory and stochastic operations research, and this is largely due to Onno Boxma’s efforts,” says Remco van der Hofstad, head of the Section Stochastics and Boxma’s successor as scientific director of Eurandom. “Onno was able to convince many scientific top talents to come to Eindhoven. He did this in a way that made others shine, because Onno is very modest and doesn’t like to take center stage too much.”

During the last thirty years, Onno Boxma sat on advisory committees for several institutions, including the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW), the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), and several Dutch universities. His colleagues acknowledge that in doing so, Boxma has greatly advanced math in the Netherlands.