I am an astronomer with a passion for data-intensive astronomy, instrument precision calibration, astro-informatics and astronomy with a societal impact. I am leading several teams that develop data flow systems for the next generation of ESO’s and ESA’s instrumentation. My scientific interests include Super Massive Black Holes, Near-Earth Objects, and the astrophysical influences on the long-term future habitability of Earth.
I was born in the Netherlands, grew up in The Hague, studied astronomy at the Sterrewacht at Leiden University and did my PhD research there and at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, USA. Afterwards I lived a few years in Germany as ESO Fellow at the European Southern Observatory. I went back to The Netherlands to take up a position at the Kapteyn Astronomical Institute of the University of Groningen. I am there today on a permanent position. I’m happy to provide a more detailed CV upon request.
If I am in more boisterous and less serious mood I would say: “I am an astronomer using Petabytes of astronomical data. Besides my scientific usage of that data, I have assigned myself the societal duty to ensure no unknown Near-Earth Object larger than 100 meters is lurking in there. I am also designer and trader of spaceships with a price tag ranging from 0 – 300 Trillion euro. Before becoming astronomer, I used to be the elected mayor of city that receives over a million tourists per year.”