Director Research institute COBRA and TU/e professor Harm Dorren (EE) suddenly deceased

In the early morning of Monday the 30th of March, prof.dr. Harm Dorren of the group Electro-Optical Communication Systems (ECO) of the department of Electrical Engineering and scientific director of COBRA, has suddenly passed away at the age of 49 years. He just returned from a business trip to Los Angeles. On his return in Amsterdam, because of a serious infection, he underwent surgery urgently. Nevertheless he passed away shortly after.

Harm Dorren received his MSc degree in Theoretical Physics in 1991 and the PhD degree in Geophysics in 1995, both from Utrecht University, the Netherlands. He joined Eindhoven University of Technology in 1996 where he most recently served as a full professor and as the scientific director of COBRA – the Inter-University Research School on Communication Technologies Basic Research and Applications. COBRA is one of the world's top institutes in the field of optical communications. Between 1996 and 1999, he also was a part-time researcher in KPN-Research in the Netherlands. In 2002 he was a visiting researcher at the National Institute of Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) in Tsukuba in Japan. In 2013 and 2014 he was a visiting researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston, USA.

In 2002 he won an NWO VIDI award, and in 2006 an NWO VICI award. His research interests include optical (packet) switching, optical signal processing, ultrafast photonics and optical interconnects in data centres. With his entrepreneurial spirit, he also started a company on data centre technologies. Harm Dorren (co-)authored numerous papers in journals and conference proceedings and served as an associate editor of the IEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics between 2005 and 2009. As the scientific director of COBRA he was one of the key players in the photonics research. He was recognized a leading scientist.

The Department of Electrical Engineering reacts with disbelief and is deeply struck by the death of Harm Dorren. "Next to his family, his work was an important part of his life. Harm Dorren was a much liked colleague. We will miss him dearly."

photo: Bart van Overbeeke