|Submitter:||Arnold van Ardenne|
|Description:|| Today, 14 June 2013, ASTRON's most respected low-noise specialist retires. The picture shows Bert (right) together with another low-noise receiver colleague Bou Schipper (rtd) and our former colleague Andre Kokkeler (now teaching at Twente University). |
Bert was educated as a microwave ingenieur in Leiden and Twente University. He embodies the temperament and knowledge that are needed to create microwave amplifiers for Radio Astronomy with the highest reliability and lowest noise. Initially, he built cooled and uncooled receivers for the cutting-edge Dwingeloo and Westerbork cm radio telescopes. Along the way he also ventured into the field of (sub)millimeter receivers. The somewhat grainy inset on the right depicts Bert in 1985 in Granada (Spain), working for the JCMT in Hawaii together with his then boss Jean Casse and Arnold van Ardenne.
Since low noise is in his character, it is perhaps surprising to hear that the same Bert used to play the guitar and was the lead singer in a rock band, where low noise is less of a priority.
But that is a long time ago and we now recognize his qualities in all the (close to a hundred) low-noise amplifiers in the WSRT Multifrequency frontends! On the whole one can say that Bert was invisibly essential(*) for many excellent observational results!
As Bert also works on future systems like APERTIF and the SKA (see inset on the left), it is wonderful that he will continue to contribute for a while to the lowest noise Aperture Array tile.
All the best Bert!
(*) Invisibly essential, the usual fate of hardware ingenieurs