Full Professor

GertJan van Heijst

A model should be as simple as possible, but never too simple.


Research Profile

GertJan van Heijst is full professor in fluid dynamics at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). His research interests include geophysical and environmental fluid mechanics, in particular vortices and turbulence in rotating and stratified flows, two-dimensional turbulence, dispersion in turbulent flows, and erosion and sedimentation processes. Most of this research is a combination of laboratory experiments, theoretical modelling and numerical simulation.   Van Heijst has previously been an associate editor of Physics of Fluids and of Geophysical and Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics, and has been co-editor-in-chief of the European Journal of Mechanics B/Fluids since 1999. He is a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (since 1997), a member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences (since 2010), and a recipient of the Dutch Physica Award (2006). Van Heijst has played an active role in EUROMECH, as member (and chairman) of the ETC and EFMC conference committees. In 2008, he was elected as Fellow, and since 2010 he has been a member of the Council. Per January 2013, he serves as President of EUROMECH. Since 1991, he has been one of the local directors of the J M Burgers Centre, the national Dutch research school for fluid dynamics, and he became its scientific director in 2014. 

Academic Background

GertJan van Heijst obtained his PhD degree from the University of Twente in 1981. Afterwards, he worked as a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Cambridge (UK) for a time, where he continued his research on the dynamics of rotating flows. In 1982, Van Heijst became Lecturer at the Institute of Meteorology and Oceanography at the Department of Physics and Astronomy of the University of Utrecht. His research concerned fundamental aspects of geophysical flows, in particular the effects of background rotation and density stratification. In 1990 he was appointed Full Professor in Fluid Dynamics in the Department of Applied Physics at TU/e. 

Educational Activities

  • Advanced fluid dynamics
  • Environmental fluid mechanics
  • Geophysical fluid dynamics
  • Turbulence, waves and instabilities
  • Variables, dimensions and dynamics: Order and Chaos in Physics

Ancillary Activities

  • Als Wetenschappelijk Directeur van het JM Burgerscentrum (JMBC) heb ik een detachering (voor 0,3 fte) bij TUD. Deze aanstelling is, TU Delft