euspen lifetime achievement award 2012
Professor Dr Ing Jan van Eijk
Professor Dr Ing Jan van Eijk is, without doubt, a world leading authority in the field of high precision mechatronics. Today, he provides consultancy expertise to world renowned precision equipment manufacturers through his own company MICE bv, not only on technical concepts and designs for systems but also on how to develop key competences necessary for the successful growth of advance technology organisations.
His unique skills and expertise have arisen from the knowledge and experience gained from working at Philips, Eindhoven where he became Chief Technical Officer of Mechatronics, and also from his 12 years’ experience as part-time professor at the Delft University of Technology.
Jan gained his PhD at Delft in 1985 after which he was invited to join the Philips Centre for Manufacturing Technology. The invitation came from a leading specialist of that time, Prof. Wim van der Hoek who was nearing the end of his career. Over a 30 year period, van der Hoek had been a leader in establishing a large community of technical specialists chiefly responsible for the success of Philips industrial activities from 1955 to 1985. Jan found this strong technical community based on the open exchange of knowledge and continuous learning to be fertile ground for his own development.
During his years at Philips, Jan was himself, driven by two guiding principles. The first was the need to always thoroughly understand technical issues in every detail. He compelled his staff to translate complex science to simple descriptions, thereby permitting broader groups of individuals to contribute to the development of engineering solutions. One example is the representation of Modal Decomposition that has helped many engineers improve the critical interaction of machine dynamics and control.
His second principle was the need to protect and grow the existing community and network of technical specialists. He is convinced that such a network of world renowned mechatronics and precision engineering specialists continues to form the basis of the highly competitive industrial activities in the Eindhoven region. Jan points to a 12-day intensive industrial mechatronics training course which has trained more than 1000 in the interactive skills needed for effective mechatronics systems development. Other training activities and conferences have also contributed strongly to this.
During his time at Philips he contributed extensively to the conceptual design of a multitude of advanced technical systems, one of which was the Compact Disc modules using actively controlled motion systems to achieve micrometre accuracy. Arguably the most important contribution made by Jan and many colleagues was the architectures of the mechatronic elements of ASML’s world leading lithography tools. Here, nanometre performance at accelerations of up to 100 m/s ^2 had to be achieved together with extreme attention to fully integral system optimization.
Jan has made outstanding contributions to national and international societies in mechatronics and high precision engineering. He has served on the Council of euspen and the Board of ASPE for several years. He has made huge contributions to the enrichment, development and growth of our euspen society, by applying his second guiding principle to building our international network and running leading tutorials in precision mechatronics.
It is therefore, with the greatest pleasure that we award this outstanding engineer, Jan van Eijk, the euspen 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award.