As of 1 april, the Executive Board appointed Professor Freek van der Meer as the new dean of the ITC faculty at the University of Twente. His appointment is for a period of four years. Van der Meer succeeds Professor Tom Veldkamp, who was dean of the faculty for the last eight years and will remain in this post until April 2020.
Professor Van der Meer has a background in geology and geophysics. His research has focused on geological remote sensing and on field and airborne sensors in hydrothermic, petroleum and geothermal systems, with an eye to the contribution that the earth sciences can make to the energy transition.
Besides occupying the professorial chair in Geothermal Energy and Earth Resources, Van der Meer is portfolio holder for education and capacity development in the faculty board of the ITC.
Professor Van der Meer is also very active in the ITC teaching programme. Besides supervising more than 100 Master’s students he has contributed to the programme design of the Applied Earth Sciences module in 2002, the Applied Remote Sensing specialisation in 2017–2018, and all ITC core modules.
Besides his current posts Van der Meer also holds a variety of additional positions. He has been co-chair of the working group on capacity building of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) since 2015. In 2016 he became a member of AardNed, and in 2019 he joined the steering group of Sector Plan Earth Sciences. Van der Meer is also Editor-in-Chief of the scientific journal International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation.
Of his new appointment Freek van der Meer himself says: “I’m honoured, and proud. I’m keen to take on the challenge of working within the Shaping2030 framework to further strengthen the position of the UT and ITC, nationally and internationally. And I’m looking forward to creating some exciting new links between faculties and institutes.”
Both the advisory committee and the faculty council are positive about Van der Meer’s appointment. They have strong confidence in his ability to help shape the future ambitions of the ITC faculty. Thom Palstra, the UT’s rector magnificus, is also pleased: “Freek van der Meer has a great deal of experience as a department chair and as a member of the faculty board. He knows the faculty well, but he also has a deep knowledge of the processes that operate at a wider, university level. We see Freek as a team player who works to create synergies and win-win situations.”
The Board looks forward to working with Freek van der Meer and wishes him every success in his new role.