Jan van Eijk receives the Martin van den Brink Award 2016
26 May 2016
Award for founder of mechatronics in the Netherlands
Jan van Eijk receives the Martin van den Brink Award 2016.
From left to right Martin van den Brink (President and CTO ASML), Jan van Eijk, Hans Krikhaar (President DSPE), Jos Benschop (Senior Vice President Technology ASML).
Jan van Eijk, former CTO of Mechatronics at Philips Applied Technologies and Emeritus Professor of Advanced Mechatronics at the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), received the Martin van den Brink Award yesterday. This system architecture award was presented at a gala dinner held at the Evoluon in Eindhoven as part of the Dutch Technology Week. The event was organised by the Dutch Society for Precision Engineering (DSPE) in collaboration with Brainport Industries. Jan van Eijk is the founder of mechatronics in the Netherlands and an unorthodox thinker. He has contributed to innovations at Philips and spin-offs such as ASML, has dedicated himself to teaching mechatronics, and places a lot of emphasis on interdisciplinary collaboration and soft skills.
The success of the Dutch high-tech industry is partly thanks to thinking in terms of system architecture. At a high level of abstraction, system architecture describes the design for a complex machine that is usually made up of multiple modules. The system architect is responsible for the main design and coordinates the contributions of all the disciplines involved. He ensures that the different modules, which are mostly built and nowadays also co-developed by suppliers, are combined to create one optimally functioning machine.
Martin van den Brink
The most successful exponent of system architecture thinking is the Veldhoven-based company ASML, which was spun off from Philips in 1984 and is now the global leader in lithography machines. Lithography is the crucial production step that determines the performance of semiconductor chips. It is partly thanks to ASML's machines that we have tablets, smartphones and other high-tech electronic products today. Since ASML's start in 1984, Martin van den Brink, its current President and Chief Technology Officer, has played an important role in the development of lithography machines.
To highlight the importance of system architecture, the Martin van den Brink Award was established in 2012 thanks to an initiative from DSPE, TNO, Brainport Industries, High Tech Systems Platform, Point-One and High Tech Campus Eindhoven. The first award was presented that same year to Erik Loopstra, system architect at ASML. For the second edition of the award, DSPE, in collaboration with Brainport Industries, organised a gala dinner at the Evoluon in Eindhoven as part of the Dutch Technology Week. No less than 180 guests from high-tech companies and universities of technology attended the dinner and the award presentation on the evening of Thursday 26 May. Martin van den Brink, after whom the award was named, presented the award to Professor Jan van Eijk for his services to Dutch mechatronics and his contributions to system architecture thinking.
Jan van Eijk
More than 30 years ago, after completing his Ph.D. at TU Delft, Jan van Eijk (1951) emerged as the founder and designer of mechatronics in the Netherlands. Back then, he worked at Philips CFT (Centre for Manufacturing Technologies, later Philips Applied Technologies, and now Philips Innovation Services). His final position at Philips was Vice President & CTO of Mechatronics at Philips Applied Technologies. After that, he started his own consultancy firm MICE bv (Mechatronic Innovation & Concept Engineering) in 2007. From 2000 onwards, he was a part-time Professor of Advanced Mechatronics at TU Delft until he retired in 2012. That year, he was honoured with the Life Time Achievement Award by euspen (European Society for Precision Engineering & Nanotechnology).
Mechatronics is based on the combination and integration of disciplines such as mechanics, electronics and software. The multidisciplinary field of mechatronics is essential for the design of complex systems with high-speed and precision control. Van Eijk has made significant contributions to many mechatronics-based innovations at Philips. Building on this, he also contributed to crucial steps of innovation at ASML, among others, especially in the area of precision movements.
Source of inspiration
Jan van Eijk was and still is an unorthodox thinker, who always comes up with surprising alternatives and challenges the technological status quo. He has been a source of inspiration for a whole generation of mechatronic engineers who had the privilege of taking their first steps in this field under his inspiring leadership. Right from the start he placed strong emphasis on broadening the technological scope, interdisciplinary collaboration and soft skills. As the initiator of internal Philips conferences, he stimulated the exchange of mechatronics knowledge. Following this, in 2012, he co-initiated the DSPE Conference on precision mechatronics, which will see its third edition this autumn. Within Philips, van Eijk was the driving force behind the famous mechatronics courses. He still contributes to these courses, which are now offered to an international audience under the umbrella of The High Tech Systems Institute and Mechatronics Academy. In recognition of all these accomplishments, the judging panel honoured Jan van Eijk with the Martin van den Brink Award 2016 on behalf of DSPE. The judging panel consisted of Jos Benschop (ASML), Pieter Kappelhof (DSPE), Adrian Rankers (Mechatronics Academy), Hans Krikhaar (DSPE) and Martin van den Brink (ASML).
The Dutch Society for Precision Engineering (DSPE) has been the network for precision engineers in the Netherlands for over 60 years. DSPE wants to stimulate the sharing of knowledge and experience and highlight the importance of precision engineering and mechatronics for the Dutch high-tech industry. To this end, DSPE organises events, Special Interest Groups (about robotics, optics and opto-mechatronics, thermomechanics, etc.) and a Young Precision Network. DSPE also publishes the Mikroniek magazine and dedicates itself internationally to education in precision engineering. In order to stimulate young talent and honour extraordinary achievements, DSPE presents several awards, including the Martin van den Brink Award.
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