43rd Holst Memorial Lecture Award

This year's Holst Lecture will be the 43rd since 1977. The Holst Lecturer will join the ranks of eminent scientists and/or Nobel laureates like Philippe de Gennes, Hendrik Casimir, Ilya Prigogine, Arno Penzias, Nicholas Negroponte, Alan Heeger, J. Craig Venter and Shuji Nakamura.
The first Holst Memorial Lecture was given in 1977 to commemorate the 21st anniversary of the Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands. With support from Philips Research, the Holst Lecture given by a most eminent scientist in a selected research domain to an audience consisting of university staff, students, representatives from industry and other guests with a general interest in science and technology became an annual tradition. Candidates for the Award are selected by an committee under the chairmanship of the Rector Magnificus of the TU/e, the CTO of Royal Philips and the CEO of Signify research.

Gilles Holst

The general theme chosen for these lectures reflects the important contribution of dhr.
Gilles Holst (1886-1968) to the develpment of research and technology in the Netherlands: 'the development of applied science, particularly mathematics and the natural sciences, fot the benefit of industry on the one side and their implications for society on the other.'
In his own academic career Holst played an essential part in the discovery of superconductivity by Nobel laureate H. kamerlingh Onnes, whilst working at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands. However, Gilles Holst will be first and foremost remembered as the founding director of the famous 'Nat Lab', the Philips Physics Laboratory in Eindhoven, where he worked between 1914 and 1946. During his lifetime, Gilles Holst was chairman of two committees that were instrumental in establishing the University of Technology in Eindhoven in 1956.


Eindhoven region

The Eindhoven Region, often referred to as Brainport Eindhoven http://brainporteindhoven.com/ is Europe's leading innovative top technology region and home to Royal Philips, Signify, NXP semiconductors and ASML. Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) has according to Times Higher Education World University Ranking the highest score for collaboration with industry in the filed of academic and scientific research. One of TU/e distinguished emeriti was Edsger W. Dijkstra, one of the most influential members of computing science's founding generation and Turing Award winner 1972.

Award winning speaker

After the Lecture, the rector magnificus will present the Holst Memorial Lecturer with the Holst Memorial Lecture Award, a honorary medal designed by Dutch sculptor Jos Reniers. To honor the laureate, a dinner with speakers, Management of Philips Research and TU/e and the Scientific Committee will be organized.

The Holst Memorial Lecture Award Committee nominates prof.dr.ir. Joseph Braat for his important contributions in the field of Imaging Optics. Joseph Braat provided essential contributions that enabled, but reach far beyond optical recording (e.g. CD, DVD). These can be seen as a scientific and technological base for some of the technologies that would launch the successes of the so called Brainport Eindhoven region, including Imaging Optics in Wafer Steppers that drives Moore’s law in the Semiconductor Industry. His work still proves to be important for new ventures in Digital Pathology, Automotive Lighting and Smart Lighting.”   


Prof.dr.ir. Joseph Braat 
'Optical imaging, the diffraction limit and methods to surpass it'

Joseph Braat (Professor emeritus TU Delft and former scientist Philips Research Laboratories, Eindhoven) will receive the Holst Memorial Lecture Award 2019 for his important contributions in the field of Imaging Optics.


Joseph J.M. Braat obtained his engineering degree in applied physics from the
Hogeschool Delft, The Netherlands, and his doctoral degree from the Institut d’Optique in France (University of Paris XI at Orsay, 1972). His thesis research under the direction of professor Serge Lowenthal focused on the recording of holograms with the aid of spatially incoherent light and on their signal-to-noise properties at playback. From 1973 until 1998 he worked at the Philips Research Laboratories in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, in the fields of optical data storage, diffraction theory, optical lithography and optical system design.

In 1988 he was appointed part-time professor of geometrical optics at the Technical University Delft, department of Applied Physics. He subsequently became the full professor of optics at the same university in 1998 until his retirement in 2008. Under his supervision research was carried out on high-resolution imaging and information retrieval with emphasis on subjects such as high density optical recording, extreme ultraviolet lithography, optical aperture synthesis and long-distance optical metrology. The following ten years running from 2009 to 2018 were spent by him on the writing of a comprehensive textbook on imaging optics that was published in 2019 by Cambridge University Press. 

In 1991 Braat was one of the founders of the European Optical Society and he served the society as its president in the years 2004-2006. In 1994 he became a honorary member of the Franklin Institute of Philadelphia on receiving the Edward Longstreth Medal for applied sciences of this institute. In 2001 he was elected a member of KNAW, the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.

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