Faculty of Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering (3mE)

Jilt Sietsma, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering made Knight in the Order of the Dutch Lion

The royal honour was conferred in recognition of Jilt’s exceptional contribution to science, industry and society. In his research, Sietsma focuses on understanding the structure and properties of metals. He uses experimental and theoretical approaches to investigate the evolution of the microstructure of metals as a function of time, temperature and deformation. In doing so, he manages to seamlessly connect curiosity-driven research with societal and industrial needs. This not only results in many new insights and scientific publications in the field of materials science, but leads to important innovations of industrial production processes. Sietsma is a connector, who knows how to build bridges between education, research, industry, science and society. A teacher at heart, he involves his students in his research questions and allows them to join him in making a substantial contribution to materials science. His teaching qualities are highly appreciated by students, who praise him for his accessibility, enthusiasm and personal commitment. The current generation of materials scientists faces the challenge of accelerating the greening and sustainability of materials. Many of them have been trained and equipped to do so by Sietsma. His strong social commitment is reflected not only in his research and teaching, but also in his other activities. For instance, he was a devoted board member to the Oranjehotel Foundation in The Hague for twenty years. During that period, the former cell complex became the National Monument Oranjehotel and was opened to the public.