With Ed Brinksma’s appointment, EUR has been able to recruit a scholar with a science background to manage the university. Brinksma studied Mathematics at the University of Groningen and completed a PhD in informatics at the University of Twente in 1988. He later became Dean of the Informatics Faculty at that university. Between 2005 and 2008 he was Director of a scientific institute at Eindhoven University of Technology.

He then left for Twente and was Rector Magnificus at the University of Twente between 2009 and 2016. In his interview with the university’s Utoday magazine on his departure, he said that he wanted to see if he could restart his ‘rather successful’ scientific career, but also realised that this may prove difficult after eight years in management. Ed Brinksma was President of the Hamburg University of Technology from February 2018.

Collaboration with other universities

Supervisory Board Chair, Jaap de Winter, is extremely enthusiastic about Brinksma, also in view of the approaching collaboration with other regional universities, including technical university TU Delft. “With his experience and background he is excellently placed to lead our university in the coming period and to further realise the Strategy 2024 ambitions and the regional convergence with this colleague university,” stated De Winter in the university press release.

The Chair of the University Council, Hans van den Berg, is also delighted with Ed Brinksma’s appointment. “We had a really extensive discussion with him and it was an extremely positive meeting. He has a huge amount of experience and we are delighted that he is committed to being EUR Chair. It is a pity that Brinksma does not contribute to the diversity of the Board, but we understand that he is an excellent candidate with an extremely strong CV.”

‘An honour’

Brinksma himself considers it an honour to come to Rotterdam. “I find the combination of academic excellence and the compelling urge to work with our partners to achieve substantial societal impact to be a really inspiring objective that I’m looking forward to helping shape from my new position.”

The appointment of Hans Smits, which was actually until the end of June, has been extended until 17 July 2020. Smits became interim Executive Board Chair after Kristel Baele announced her decision, in consultation with the Supervisory Board, not to run for a second term.