Having a talent for beta sciences, I was prone to enter Delft University in September 1969. The first step on the moon in July 1969 was the culmination of what mankind could do with the help of IT, and for me strengthened my choice.
The cross-correlation between electronics and mathematics and the obligatory business economics program during the second year, formed the basis for my successful career in international business consulting. After graduation during my military service, I was involved in building a communications network for the Royal Dutch Army (ZODIAC).
My first job thereafter was research engineer at the naval intelligence unit, where we built one of the first VLSI-chip sets, reducing code breaking from over 6 weeks with a then state-of-the-art computer to within 1 hour by circumventing the so-called ‘Von Neumann Bottleneck’.
Later highlights included the introduction of electronic mail (X.400) and Total Quality Management (TQM) in the Netherlands, liberalizing various European telecommunications markets including the Dutch, and starting one of the first European Mobile Internet Service Providers.
After the 2008 economic crises I retired as business consultant, having been active as researcher, development manager, sales support manager, managing consultant, business unit director, VP Technology and independent counselor. All with great joy and excitement.
The advice I would give prospective students is to invest in their initial skills and dreams. Make no compromises for whatever materialistic benefits, especially during the start of your career.
Graduation year: 1976
Master programme: Electrotechnical Engineering (TUD)
Thesis: Doctoral thesis on emerging real-time programming languages and real-time operating systems.
Current position: retired business counselor
Company: Max Kopijn Advies
Previous companies: Control Data Corporation, Royal Dutch Navy, Philips Telecommunications Industries, RAET (Computer Back-up Centre), James Martin Associates, PA Consulting Group, AtoBe (WAPMagic), Ordina, Celerant Consulting.