New directorate at space research institute SRON

SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research will have a new directorate effective July 1st, 2010. Professor of Astronomy Rens Waters (University of Amsterdam) will become the Science Director on this date and he will also assume the position of General Director. In that capacity he also bears the final responsibility for the institute. Dr. Roel Gathier, currently acting General Director of SRON, will become the Managing Director and Deputy General Director.

The new, explicit division of tasks between both directors will enable SRON to maintain a clear strategic and scientific course. As Science Director Rens Waters is primarily responsible for setting out the scientific course and for the quality of SRON’s scientific and technological programmes. With his outstanding scientific track record, also in the area of space research, Waters is the ideal candidate for the post.

As Managing Director, Roel Gathier is primarily responsible for translating the scientific course into a solid institute programme and for the management of the institute. Gathier has succesfully fulfilled these responsibilities for more than a year now. In order to ensure a strong representation of SRON within the global arena, both directors will be active in the relevant national and international networks .

Prof. dr. Rens Waters will become Science Director of SRON.

Waters and Gathier set out to jointly lead SRON, with inspiration and enthusiasm. ‘The rapid developments in the world of science and technology, and in global space research in particular, pose a considerable challenge for the institute. However, we firmly believe that we can further strengthen SRON’s outstanding international reputation as a space research institute, and that SRON will continue to make important contributions to the compelling international space missions of agencies such as ESA and NASA.’

Rens Waters
Rens Waters (1959) was appointed professor of Astronomy in 2001 at the Astronomical Institute ‘Anton Pannekoek’ of the University of Amsterdam (UvA). He is also professor of special appointment at the Catholic University of Leuven. In particular his research into the immediate environment of stars (consisting of dusty disks and exo-planets) and the emission of material by evolved stars, has given him a strong international reputation. As a member, and more recently as chair, of SRON’s Science Advisory Committee (SAC) he has been closely involved in determining SRON’s science strategy for some time.

Roel Gathier

Dr. Roel Gathier will become Managing Director of SRON.

Roel Gathier (1953) has been a member of SRON’s directorate since 2000. He gained a doctorate in astronomy and has been active in science and science policy over several decades. For many years he served in various posts at the Directorate for Research and Science Policy of the Dutch Ministry for Education, Culture and Science.

SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research is the Dutch expertise institute for space research. The institute develops and uses innovative technology for groundbreaking research in space, focussing on astrophysical research, earth science and planetary research. In addition to this, SRON has a line of research into new and more sensitive sensors for X-rays and infrared radiation. The institute is part of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).