The first Holst Memorial Lecture was held in 1977 to commemorate the 21st anniversary of the Technische Universiteit Eindhoven. With support from Philips Research, the Holst Lecture became an annual tradition. An eminent scientist is invited to deliver the lecture to an audience consisting of university staff, students, representatives from industry and other guests with a general interest in science and technology. The general theme chosen for these lectures reflects the important contribution of Dr. Gilles Holst to research and technology in the Netherlands: ‘the development of applied sciences, particularly mathematics and the natural sciences, for the benefit of industry on the one side and their implications for society on the other.’
In his own academic career Gilles Holst (1886-1968) played an important part in the discovery of superconductivity by Nobel Laureate H. Kamerlingh Onnes, whilst working at the University of Leiden. However, Gilles Holst will be first and foremost remembered as the founding director of the famous ‘Nat Lab’, the Philips Physics Laboratory in Eindhoven, where he worked between 1914 and 1946. Dr. Holst also was chairman of two committees that were instrumental in establishing the
second Dutch university of technology in Eindhoven in 1956.
After delivering the Holst lecture, the speaker will receive the Holst memorial Lecture Award, an artist medal designed by Dutch Master sculptor Jos Reniers. Candidates for the Award are selected by a committee under the joint chairmanship of Frank Baaijens, Rector Magnificus of the TU/e, and Henk van Houten, CTO Royal Philips. The 2017 scientific committee consists of Paul van de Wiel and Matthias Bertram (Philips Research) and Josien Pluim, Massimo Mischi and Luc Brunsveld (TU/e). Secretary to both committees is Joep Huiskamp (TU/e).