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February 2018

ial Spec on re featu ta

d a ce scien

on education and research at Maastricht University

Privacy in a datadriven society Farewell interview with Truze Lodder


Chair of the Supervisory Board ----p12


The future of data in academia

26 Professor - student Leonie Cornips and Daan Hovens: Field research on multilingualism in the workplace in the Dutch-German border area

/ The hybrid researcher /

30 International


33 Off the job Research that transcends individual disciplines is highly regarded in academia, yet known to be incredibly challenging. Matthijs Cluitmans demonstrates that it is not only possible, but also of great added value. He obtained a joint PhD in 2016 from the Department of Data Science and Knowledge Engineering and the School for Cardiovascular Diseases. Before that, he studied both disciplines in Maastricht, and he now works for both institutes as well as at Philips Research.

The universe of Truze Lodder



Henry Otgaar: With the quest for perfection comes peace

36 Euregion Caroline van Heugten: “Care for people with acquired brain injury can and should be better”

40 University Fund

04 Innovative learning


New Master in Emerging Markets strengthens UM’s expertise

10, 11, 32 and 42 News

16 Special feature on data science

----p12 She opted for vocational education rather than the gymnasium, and later chose making money over going to university. She refuses to limit herself to the one designer, instead wearing both Mart Visser and Frans Molenaar. She believes in following her intuition rather than other people’s advice, and in, above all, being independent. This is Truze Lodder in a nutshell. After a decade on the Maastricht University Supervisory Board, including four years as chair, she stepped down.

Maastricht University Executive Board Martin Paul, Rianne Letschert and Nick Bos

Klasien Horstman and Marten de Vries: Story-Based Learning in Colombia



/ The future of a data-driven society /

Cosimo Monda, Apostolis Zarras and André Dekker: Privacy in a data-driven society

20 Special feature on data science Three alumni start Consense, an innovative concept involving patient data

February 2018

al Speci on re featu ta

d a ce scien

on education and research at Maastricht University

Privacy in a datadriven society Farewell interview with Truze Lodder


Chair of the Supervisory Board ----p12


The future of data in academia

22 Photo spread

This year’s Dies Natalis, held in late January to celebrate our university’s 42nd anniversary, was dedicated to the theme ‘The future of a data-driven society’. A day earlier, a symposium of the same name marked the official launch of the Maastricht Institute for Data Science (IDS). Big data, artificial intelligence, machine learning, the internet of things; these days every self-respecting organisation is investigating the opportunities and potential threats of these developments, if they didn’t already jump on the bandwagon long ago. As the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU) put it, “It is already clear that far-reaching digitalisation will radically change almost every aspect of society, not only in the Netherlands but worldwide.” The VSNU’s recent Digital Society Research Agenda calls for intensive collaboration, in every shape and form, to ensure that the Netherlands can take a leading position in the digitalising world. It is an ambition that will require a great deal of innovative research and experimentation.

education as we know and provide it today? And, crucially for UM, how can we modernise Problem-Based Learning without sacrificing those features of it that appeal to students? In any event, we are convinced that the field of data sciences is not purely the prerogative of the sciences. Our inner city faculties can and should embrace it too. Take the legal arena, where people are working hard to investigate and identify all manner of digital possibilities. It is our conviction that if every field pursues digitalisation within its own disciplinary silo, we will not be able to do justice to society and the challenges it faces. We believe, too, that to successfully apply new knowledge and technology, there will always be a need for people. According to the Erasmus Centre for Business Innovation, only 25% of the success of an innovation can be explained by technological aspects, and 75% is the result of social innovation. The field of data sciences is of the utmost importance, but it will not render all human traits superfluous. At least not for the time being. <<

In Maastricht, too, we are paying close attention to this development. How can we adapt our study programmes to the ‘nxt’ economy? Do we need to develop new programmes in certain disciplines? Exactly how disruptive will digitalisation be for

The Data Visualisation Lab at the Business Intelligence and Smart Services Institute

24 Special feature on data science Sally Wyatt and Michel Dumontier: The future of data in academia

Cover Ted Struwer

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------A career as a professional tennis player wasn’t meant to be. But when it comes to international industry, Pieter Klinkers has reached the top. The UM alum and Limburg native has been CEO of Maxion Wheels, the world’s largest producer of car wheels, since 2015. “Management is mainly about getting people to work together, to get the best out of everyone.”

Alum Pieter Klinkers ----p38

Talented photographers and illustrators were asked to come up with an image relating to one of our cover stories. Ted Struwer (Amsterdam, 1991) is an illustrator with a degree from the Utrecht School of the Arts. She enjoys doing illustrated journalism and work with a social impact. She makes editorial illustrations for publications such as Het Parool and Quest Psychologie. www.tedstruwer.nl

2 UMagazine / February 2018

Photo Sacha Ruland

3 February 2018 / UMagazine

Text Jos Cortenraad Photography Rafaël Philippen

/ New Master in Emerging Markets strengthens UM’s expertise / Innovative learning

Emerging Markets is the latest specialisation in the bachelor’s programmes in International Business and Economics & Business Economics at Maastricht University. New as it may be, it is already popular. It has even spurred on the development of a follow-up programme to be launched next autumn: the Master in Economics and Strategy in Emerging Markets. “Emerging economies are changing the world radically. This programme will strengthen our position as an international knowledge centre.” 4 UMagazine / February 2018

Recent years have seen a slowing down of previously rapid economic growth in Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe and especially Latin America. Tumbling prices of raw materials, cheap oil, the financial crisis and political unrest have all had their effect. Today the once double-digit growth figures in countries like Brazil and Venezuela are little more than a memory, South Africa is in crisis and even China has revised its ambitions downwards.

Tipping point Yet it is precisely these ‘rapidly developing countries’ that are supposed to give the world economy a boost. So it may not be the best time to set up a master’s in Emerging Markets. Or is it? “It is”, confirms Kaj Thomsson, coordinator of the bachelor’s specialisation launched in 2015. “Unrest, changing conditions, social problems; they’re all part and parcel of fast-growing economies. The slowdown in growth won’t make their role any less important. On the contrary, with the growth of the world population,

globalisation and increasing mobility, the balance is tipping. The BRIC countries and other emerging markets will play a crucial role in the production of food and goods. And they’re hardly ‘far away’. They have a direct influence on our lives, our wellbeing. That awareness is there. Interest in the bachelor’s has been higher than expected, and we’re now responding to that with the master’s.”

Popular In the bachelor’s specialisation, the emphasis is on business and economics in emerging markets from an interdisciplinary perspective. Not only is it popular among students; it is also firmly on the radar of the international business sector. “The School of Business and Economics already works closely with large and small companies both around Europe and in emerging markets”, says Thomsson, who studied in Sweden and did his PhD at Yale in the US. “Companies find this new specialisation very interesting, especially those keen to expand into emerging economies. What can they >> 5 February 2018 / UMagazine

expect there, what are the risks, what do they need to take into account? Our students do research at companies like these during internships of at least four months in emerging markets. Maastricht is gaining recognition as a knowledge centre for international business, and Emerging Markets fits perfectly with that.”

Expanding horizons To further develop that knowledge centre, a complementary master’s is an obvious next step. “We’re expanding students’ horizons. The bachelor’s focuses on business and economics in the emerging markets themselves. In the master’s we look at global and socioeconomic developments as well as strategic management. In both the bachelor’s and the master’s we explore cultures and analyse political relations, history and macroeconomic developments.” The programme is also expected to appeal to students from outside Europe. “Our bachelor’s now attracts from all over Europe, including the former communist countries in Eastern Europe. The master’s offers them a suitable path to specialise further in emerging markets, but it’s also aimed at graduates from other continents. Especially students from countries with emerging markets who want to take the knowledge they acquire here back home with them.” Last summer, the first cohort graduated from the bachelor’s specialisation. Most will continue on to a master’s programme, setting themselves up with good career prospects. “I certainly expect so”, says Thomsson, who himself chose Maastricht for its interactive teaching method and international character. “International companies want strategic thinkers to help them capitalise on the opportunities in emerging markets. But the knowledge we’re providing would also be of benefit to smaller, local companies in those countries. They’re affected by globalisation like no other, coming into contact with foreign cultures. Then there are the NGOs and other organisations like the World Bank that are faced with rapidly changing global relations. So there’s no shortage of options for our graduates.”

UNU-MERIT The new master’s will be a collaborative effort between SBE and UNU-MERIT. “UNU-MERIT specialises in migration issues, worldwide economic developments and knowledge exchange. They add a tremendous amount of knowledge, real-world links and excitement to the study programmes. Both the bachelor’s and the master’s place us firmly in the midst of society.” <<

Broad study programme Eva Hormel graduated last year from the Bachelor in International Business specialising in Emerging Markets. She then did the Master in Supply Chain Management – but only, she says, because the Master in Economics and Strategy in Emerging Markets did not yet exist. “I could have chosen more or less comparable master’s in Denmark and Scotland, but I’ve become attached to the atmosphere and the education system in Maastricht. International, small-scale and with a lot of direct contact with the tutors and lecturers. In terms of content, too, I expect the new master’s to offer just that little bit more. As a combination of economics, politics and strategy, it’s a very broad programme, which really appeals to me.” It was this breadth that attracted Hormel, from Wetzlar, Germany, to the Bachelor in International Business, and specifically the specialisation in Emerging Markets. “I was in the first cohort. That meant going out on a limb, but it was exactly what I was looking for. It’s not only about business, but also about politics and social developments.”

Research and society

Kaj Thomsson (1976) studied Economics at Stockholm University and obtained his master’s in Industrial Engineering and Management at the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden. After his PhD at Yale University in the US he relocated to Maastricht, where he is now the Emerging Markets coordinator at the School of Business and Economics. His teaching and research focuses on the interactions between economics and politics, with a particular interest in developing countries. He also teaches and supervises students at UNU-MERIT and UCM.

/ The hybrid researcher / Matthijs Cluitmans at Philips Research / Eindhoven

The one-year Master in Economics and Strategy in Emerging Markets will start in September. More information: www.maastrichtuniversity.nl/education/master/ msc-economics-and-strategy-emerging-markets 6 UMagazine / February 2018

Text Femke Kools Photography Philip Driessen

7 February 2018 / UMagazine

Research that transcends individual disciplines is highly regarded in academia, yet known to be incredibly challenging. Matthijs Cluitmans demonstrates that it is not only possible, but also of great added value. He obtained a joint PhD in 2016 from the Department of Data Science and Knowledge Engineering (DKE) and the School for Cardiovascular Diseases (CARIM). Before that, he studied both disciplines in Maastricht, and he now works for both institutes as well as at Philips Research. “As a mathematician it’s not something I’m supposed to say, but in this case one plus one really does equal three.” When he started his medical studies in Maastricht, Cluitmans intended to become a doctor and researcher. But to nurture his technical talents as well, he simultaneously did a bachelor’s and master’s at the DKE. Starting in 2010, he combined his medical internships with a PhD. “Jordi Heijman had already been accepted to do his PhD half at the DKE and half at CARIM. So both places had two half-time positions available. I’d become fascinated by research involving patients and was very happy with the appointment.”

at DKE / Maastricht

the Department of Data Science and Knowledge Engineering (DKE) and the School for Cardiovascular Diseases (CARIM) in 2016 for his dissertation ‘Noninvasive reconstruction of cardiac electrical activity: Mathematical innovation, in vivo validation and human application’. Since then he has worked in three places at once: CARIM, the DKE and Philips Research in Eindhoven.

“The synergy between clinical and theoretical-scientific researchers at the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences and the Faculty of Humanities and Sciences in Maastricht laid the foundations for this PhD project. An inter-faculty connection for this sort of work is essential, but by no means automatic. In that sense Matthijs’s project, with its perfectly smooth integration in two faculties, was ahead of its time.”

Sudden death

By the time he finished his internships in 2014, he knew he was more into research than patient care – as long as it was technically challenging, and of direct relevance for patients. He defended his PhD on electrocardiographic imaging (ECGI) in 2016. This technique is similar to the better known ECG, which reveals how electrical impulses in the heart are expressed on the surface of the skin, but uses more electrodes and therefore provides a much more detailed picture. Combined with a CT scan, it can localise subtle abnormalities in the electrical impulses of the heart. The hypothesis is that these abnormalities play a role in sudden arrhythmic death syndrome, which has caused the unexpected death of a number of footballers and many other apparently healthy people. To investigate this theory, the Vigilance study was recently launched in Maastricht, Amsterdam and Utrecht with support from the Dutch Heart Foundation. And Cluitmans – having grown ever more intrigued by this interdisciplinary research ultimately seeking to improve patient care – was allowed to stay on. He now works three days a week for CARIM and two days for

“With his versatility, personal drive and social skills, over the last decade Matthijs has helped us to acquire – out of nothing – a leading position in this special medicaltechnical field. It goes to show how much potential UM has to lead the way in multi-disciplinary research, and at the same time it shows how important the sciences are for UM.” Ronald Westra, professor of Physics and Mathematics, Department of Data Science and Knowledge Engineering

8 UMagazine / February 2018

Matthijs Cluitmans (1985) obtained his PhD at

Paul Volders, cardiologist and professor of Genetic Cardiology, CARIM

at CARIM / Maastricht

Philips Research in Eindhoven. He also holds a zerohour appointment at the DKE, where he tries to be physically present one day every two weeks. Because as experience has taught him, getting together with people in person is one of the keys to successful interdisciplinary collaboration.

Mathematical twist

What is special about his PhD project is that the DKE and CARIM teamed up to build an ECGI system themselves. This has the advantage of allowing the researchers to alter the settings themselves. “Not to take anything away from my medical colleagues, but without my maths background I’d never have been able to write this dissertation. As a mathematician you can give your data analysis a slightly different twist, which makes the results much more clinically relevant.” One of the main challenges of a joint PhD project, says Cluitmans, is the communication between disciplines. “My supervisors on both sides, Paul Volders from CARIM and Ralf Peeters and Ronald Westra at the DKE, are very appreciative of one another. I have no doubt that it’s thanks to their personal click that projects like this can succeed. But they speak different languages, and it’s up to you as a new PhD candidate to keep the

project on track. We had many good discussions that led to interesting ideas. And I learnt to work independently and to pursue my own ideas – essential qualities in a researcher.”

Building bridges

His background in both worlds enabled him to build the bridge between the two, and Philips Research also spotted this added value in him. “Apparently I always have to do several things at once”, he smiles. There he is working on a computer model that can be used to simulate the small heart abnormalities he aims to make visible with ECGI. “I try to bring my work for Philips and UM together; I think that’s the added value of myself as a researcher and of our collaboration. And at Philips I can learn a lot about eventually getting these techniques to patients in an affordable way.” It is clear that in his hybrid role he feels like a fish in water. “I’m sort of the glue between doctors/ researchers, mathematicians and now also the business sector. That interaction really helps you move forward. As a researcher, it’s better for your CV if you join a different lab after getting your PhD, preferably abroad. But for the type of research I’m doing, Maastricht is the only place where collaboration between engineers, basic researchers and clinicians is flourishing.” <<

9 February 2018 / UMagazine


42 Dies Natalis nd

The theme of the Dies celebration was ‘The future of a data-driven society’. Two Dies lectures were held, by professor of Data Science Michel Dumontier (‘A social and technological infrastructure for data-driven science’) and professor of Digital Cultures Sally Wyatt (‘Where is the knowledge we have lost in data?’). The keynote speakers presented Professor Carole Goble (University of Manchester) and Professor Lucy Suchman (Lancaster University) with honorary doctorates. Both recipients elaborated on this year’s theme in lectures during the symposium preceding the Dies ceremony. In keeping with tradition, during the ceremony the university rector presented the Wynand Wijnen Education Prize, the Dissertation Prize 2017 and the Student Awards.

News Wynand Wijnen Education Prize 2017 The Wynand Wijnen Education Prize is awarded annually in commemoration of professor of Education Science Wynand Wijnen, who passed away in 2012. In addition to being the founder of ProblemBased Learning at UM, Wijnen is remembered for his contributions to national educational reform. This year’s prize was awarded to Dr Nynke de Jong from the Department of Health Services Research. The award recognises her as a decisive and energetic innovator of bachelor’s and master’s education at the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, whose use of electronic learning environments has improved the efficiency and effectiveness of the study process. “Nynke impresses with the breadth of her projects, their applicability beyond the faculty and her enthusiastic approach to teaching”, the jury wrote.

Dissertation Award 2017 Each year, UM awards a prize for the best PhD dissertation defended in that calendar year. The winner of the Dissertation Award 2017 is Mark Podesta for his dissertation entitled ‘Time-dependent verification of dynamic external beam radiotherapy’. His research led to successful collaboration with the medical industry and the subsequent introduction of his method in radiotherapy clinics. The jury praised Podesta for his enthusiastic collaboration with other researchers, the quality of his dissertation and in particular the prospects for improving patient care.

Student Awards 2017 The master’s students who received top marks for their final thesis were presented with the Student Award 2017. The winning students were Maurice Halder, Ilse de Lange, Esmée Driessen, Sebastiaan Boos, Niels Mourmans, Lea Beiermann, Robin Schormans, Diederik van Duuren and Leonie Hentrup. << 10 UMagazine / February 2018

Lipids influence how sick you get from a bacterial infection

Innovative Data Science research project wins award A symposium on ‘The future of a data-driven society’ was held the day before the Dies Natalis celebration. The event featured keynote lectures by inspiring leaders and competitions for world-changing visions and outstanding research proposals. A project titled ‘Intelligent games for assessing cognitive, social and physical capacities of elderly and children’ won first prize in the research competition, and Claudia Egher from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences won the ‘visionary essay’ competition. The aim of the intelligent games project is to use games and intelligent sensors to reduce the paperwork and other administrative duties for teachers and support staff in preschool and primary education. According to the jury, the project stands out for its modular research structure and the high number of student participants. The winning team involves eight students and five researchers from the Department of Data Science and Knowledge Engineering, three researchers from the School of Business and Economics, two from the Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience and one from the Faculty of Law. Established by Maastricht University’s Institute of Data Science, the award was financially supported by the Limburg University Fund. The jury praised Claudia Egher’s visionary essay, titled ‘Digital morning or manic by design’, for its perspective on big data and for giving the reader a sense of what it will be like to live in a new, big-data future. <<

Maastricht and York join forces in major partnership The universities of Maastricht and York have entered into a far-reaching partnership in which they will establish joint research projects and student exchanges, collaborate on teaching and share knowledge and best practices. The initial focus will be on crops, nutrition, public health, high-field imaging

Annelies van der Pauw new chair of Supervisory Board The Minister of Education, Culture and Science has appointed Annelies van der Pauw as chair of the Maastricht University Supervisory Board as of 1 December 2017. She succeeds Truze Lodder, who served on the board for ten years, the last four of which as chair. Van der Pauw was appointed for her affinity with research and education. Her expertise in the field of governance and experience with large or complex public and private organisations complement the expertise of the other board members (Jennifer Barnes, Marc Groenhuijsen, Koos van Haasteren and Renk Roborgh). Van der Pauw is a partner at the international law firm Allen & Overy LLP in Amsterdam, specialising in corporate governance and mergers and acquisitions. <<

for medical diagnostics, data science and international trade. The universities will also work together to develop relationships with industry and improve student employability. Thanks to our joint membership of the Worldwide Universities Network, UM has already enjoyed a close relationship with York (UK) for several years. Student and staff exchanges take place through the Erasmus Plus scheme and there are a number of existing research connections, most notably in the field of imaging. <<

Lipids appear to play an important role in infections. According to researchers from Maastricht University (UM) and the American University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB), USA, specific lipids can greatly accelerate bacterial infection. With the help of mass spectrometry imaging, researchers showed that specific mammalian lipids could also provide protection against that infection. Their discovery offers hope for the treatment of vulnerable patients in hospitals and the development of vaccines for travellers in high-risk areas. The researchers, led by Dr Robert Ernst and Dr Alison Scott at UMB and Distinguished Professor Ron Heeren at UM, published their findings in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. <<

Keuzegids Bachelors 2018: seal of quality for three UM colleges The latest Keuzegids guide to bachelor’s education in the Netherlands shows a continued improvement in UM’s performance. Positive student evaluations have seen many programmes rise in the national rankings, and all three UM colleges have been awarded a ‘seal of quality’, identifying them as top-ranked programmes. Remarkably, University College Venlo, participating for the first time, leads the field; University College Maastricht and the Maastricht Science Programme also remain on top.

Top programmes

Fifteen of our 18 bachelor’s programmes, two more than last year, are among the top 3 in their field, improving UM’s position in the category ‘other universities’ (i.e. smaller, younger or specialised universities). Seven programmes rose in the rankings, with three of these finishing top of their table. A further four programmes retained their number one position, including Knowledge Engineering.

Most notably, Psychology advanced from ninth place in 2014 to first in the latest ranking, while Dutch Law rose from eighth last year to third. The FHML’s Medicine programme improved from sixth place in 2015 to second. Four SBE programmes came in second, and FASoS is showing an encouraging overall trend, with Arts and Culture as well as European Studies steadily increasing their scores.

Quality assessment

As the country’s most international university, UM scores highest in the categories international exchange and international outlook. The quality of English as the language of instruction at UM is also ranked top of the table. Most UM programmes score particularly highly for their practice-oriented approach, their facilities and their curricula. <<

11 February 2018 / UMagazine

Text Annelotte Huiskes Photography Hugo Thomassen


She opted for vocational education rather than the gymnasium, and later chose making money over going to university. She refuses to limit herself to the one designer, instead wearing both Mart Visser and Frans Molenaar. She believes in following her intuition rather than other people’s advice, and in, above all, being independent. This is Truze Lodder in a nutshell. After a decade on the Maastricht University Supervisory Board, including four years as chair, she stepped down. “If I recognise myself in other people’s critiques, I’ll take it on board. Otherwise I say, ‘That’s too bad. This is the way I am; you can’t change me’.” “Jo Ritzen called to ask if I wanted to come and supervise him”, she laughs. “Back then it was still okay for a director to meddle in the composition of the Supervisory Board. The rules have been tightened since then, and rightly so.” Given the calibre of her resume, Ritzen approached her for good reason.

/ The universe of Truze Lodder /

12 UMagazine / February 2018

Once upon a time a jack-of-all-trades at the Holland America Line, she worked her way up to head of finance at the AVRO, a public broadcaster. After a brief foray into the advertising world, she and the artistic director Pierre Audi together revived the Dutch National Opera, turning it into a thriving business of international renown. If that wasn’t enough, she was serving at the same time on the supervisory boards of a number of institutions, including the railway operator NS and banking institution Van Lanschot. But UM had its sights trained on her too, despite her being, in her own words, ‘a girl who’s never seen the inside of a university’. She is proud of her status as a self-made woman. Everything she knows, she learnt on the job.

Still, in 2004, shortly after being appointed to the NS supervisory board, she decided to join the Commissarissencyclus, an executive education programme in governance at Nyenrode Business University. “It didn’t take a lot of effort, so that was good for my self-confidence. But I didn’t learn much that was new to me.”

Precocious Lodder has always been a good learner. Being the smartest kid in class made her the apple of her teachers’ eye, but also caused envy among her peers. The TT (Tegen Truze, ‘anti-Truze’) club was founded when she was in sixth grade, aged 11. Her classmates chalked TT onto the stone staircase at the front of her parental home. “That made me sad. But the universe was on my side, because when our apartment went up in flames and I was pulled out of class by the head teacher, that had a big impact on the class. The club was disbanded pretty soon after that. And I’m forgiving, so I never made a big deal out of it.” The universe was on her side, too, when she and her mother survived a serious car accident. >>

13 February 2018 / UMagazine

Don’t aspire, just do it. left their Protestant community in Oud-Beijerland and moved to Rotterdam. After excursions into the philosophy of Krishnamurti and the Freemasons, her father found the Lectorium Rosicrucianum, a school of Christian Gnosticism for the ‘universal teachings of all times’. Money was tight. Her father, with his working-class roots and lower vocational education, went from job to job but never settled down. “He was very principled – I got that from him – but that meant he’d quit the moment he disagreed with his employer. Fortunately, I don’t do that,” she smiles. The uncertain financial situation left her keen to earn money rather than study, even if it went against her parents’ wishes. “I gave part of my salary to my father so he could keep the car on the road. My mother never knew.”

A beginning and an end

Lodder is the eldest daughter in a family of five children. She describes herself as a precocious child who always knew exactly what she wanted. “From the time I was a toddler, my mother didn’t have to lay out clothes for me; I chose them myself. And when I wanted to learn the piano at the age of eight I spent every lunch time for a year taking the scooter to the music school so I could practice, before a second-hand piano materialised at home. Later, when I had to choose between the gymnasium and a vocational high school, I went for the latter. Why would you spend six years at school when you could be done in five?”

Father’s daughter She had a close relationship with her father. He discussed everything with her, more even than with her mother. “I developed a deeper bond with my mother after my father’s death in 1985. Only then was I able to see the stability she’d provided. She was a wise woman.” Her father, on the other hand, was always searching for something. When Truze was three, they 14 UMagazine / February 2018

Her parents remained students of the Lectorium Rosicrucianum for the rest of their lives. For the family, this meant avoiding meat, alcohol and cigarettes. “And this while my mother was the daughter of a butcher. My youngest brother and sister were raised entirely vegetarian, and still can’t tolerate meat.” Truze was eight years old when her parents joined the Lectorium, which had a parallel programme for children. She has fond memories of this time – especially the annual summer camp, where she fell in love for the first time. “I was 11 and head over heels, but he wasn’t ready. It didn’t turn into something till I was 14.” Although the philosophy gave her a strong foundation for life, she decided to part ways with the Lectorium Rosicrucianum at the age of 20. “I made a conscious choice to leave, but to bring with me what I’d learnt. I had to go my own way. One of the things I took with me was the awareness that everything that has a beginning also has to have an end. I’ve never wallowed in my grief, not with the death of my father, my mother, my first husband. I have felt grief, but I don’t make myself a victim. Losing someone is part of life.”

Perfectionist It was in broadcasting that she met her first husband: the radio journalist and later NOS manager Tom Nieuwenhuijsen. He was 27 years her senior and had

four children. “His marriage was already over. It was a rocky start; we must have split up 80 times, because he’d say ‘I’m too old for you’. He didn’t want any more children and felt he couldn’t impose that on me. Ultimately I respected his wishes and chose him. I’ve never regretted that. I think I’m too much of a perfectionist to combine both work and motherhood up to the standards I set for myself. This way I’ve been able to do my work to the best of my ability.” She now enjoys the children and grandchildren of Tom and her current husband, Arie Visser; yes, the father of fashion designer Mart Visser. “It’s a miracle to have met another man who challenges me and knows me better than I know myself. It’s wonderful to be able to experience that again.”

Inner compass She sees her career as being built on taking action. Don’t aspire, just do it. Know your characteristics and your abilities. “I’m not interested in status; the most important thing to me is the content of the work. In that way my career has always developed organically.”

Truze Lodder (1948) was head of finance at the AVRO (1974-1984), business director of the Dutch National Opera (1987-2013) and chair of Het Muziektheater in Amsterdam (1992-2013). Additional posts include treasurer of Europa Nostra, member of the supervisory boards of the NS, Van Lanschot and the Nexus Institute, and chair of the supervisory board of the National Youth Orchestra. She sat on the Maastricht University Supervisory Board from 2007 to 2017, as chair since 2014. In 2000 she was appointed Officer and in 2012 Commander in the Order of Oranje Nassau. In 2012 she was also awarded the Frans Banning Cocq Medal from the City of Amsterdam.

And she is stubborn. “I’ve tended to do things in life if I felt an inner certainty about them. I rarely ask others for advice; I prefer to follow my own compass. I have a strong sense of responsibility and think I should figure it out for myself.” She can’t recall a time when her intuition deserted her. Her successes include her choice of the then unknown Pierre Audi as artistic director of the Dutch National Opera and, recently, Rianne Letschert – also young and relatively inexperienced – as UM rector. It was Lodder who nominated Letschert for the job. “Compared to the private sector, I found Maastricht University as an organisation to be bureaucratic, slow and difficult to change. I said to Rianne, ‘The board needs a new dynamic. If you have courage, dare to be yourself and don’t become part of the existing culture, we want you.’” As chair of the Supervisory Board, Lodder has always sought to act with integrity and transparency, without fear or favour. “It’s not always easy. There was a culture of talking in the corridors but not taking responsibility at all levels to solve problems. When that happens I get fierce – not angry, but passionate about getting things right. That’s been a common thread throughout my life. I’ve come to love this university; that’s why I’m so critical. Simplicity, ownership and unity: that’s what an organisation is all about. I’m glad I’m leaving at a time when things are going well.” Although she now has more time for her hobbies – travelling, playing the piano and reading – she has no intention of slowing down. In July she took up a new board position on the pension fund of none other than the Holland America Line, the company that launched her career. Things have come full circle. Life is good in the universe of Truze Lodder. << 15 February 2018 / UMagazine

Text Florian Raith and Hans van Vinkeveen Illustration Ted Struwer

Three UM academics give their views on the EU-wide General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which will come into force in May 2018. The GDPR aims to protect the individual rights of citizens while guaranteeing free and secure movement of data. It obliges companies to have a data protection officer, to inform authorities and affected individuals of security breaches, and to invest in data encryption and intrusion prevention and detection systems. Director ECPC Cosimo Monda / Professor André Dekker / Assistant professor Apostolis Zarras

/ Privacy in a datadriven society /

The new regulation is a timely and positive development, Cosimo Monda says. The current privacy legislation of the EU member states is based on the Data Protection Directive, a now outdated European guideline from 1995. Back then there were no social networking sites, cloud computing, big data analytics or smart devices. “Today interconnected devices themselves share personal information without people being actively involved at all. The regulation aims to protect citizens’ privacy by increasing their control over their own data. At the same time it ensures the free flow of data and should cut costs for organisations, helping to unleash the potential of the EU’s digital single market.” The GDPR will also put an end to legal fragmentation at the national level. Because governments were able to implement the privacy guidelines of the 1995 directive in different ways, there are at present 28 different systems of privacy rules. “The regulation aims to harmonise these systems and minimise national manoeuvres. There will be a single data protection law for the citizens of all member states.”


The GDPR, which in the Netherlands will replace the Personal Data Protection Act (WBP), will necessitate a number of reforms. For organisations, there is greater emphasis on accountability: they will need to implement measures that allow them to demonstrate compliance with the regulation upon request. This means, among other things, performing periodical privacy-risk assessments and making transparent data-protection policies; for instance, clearly stating how long they retain personal data. Certain organisations will also be required to appoint a data protection officer. Privacy by design (building data protection into the development of products and services) and privacy by default (making default settings as privacy-friendly as possible) will become mandatory. And data breaches will need to be reported within 72 hours.

Stricter rules

The rules surrounding consent are changing too. Implicit consent will no longer be sufficient: data subjects will need to give explicit prior consent for the processing of their data, and the consent requirements will be more stringent. Further, the new ‘right to be forgotten’ will allow people to request that organisations delete their personal data if there are no legitimate grounds for retaining it. For example you can ask Google to remove links with personal information about you. New, too, is the right to restrict or prevent data-processing operations and the right to portability, allowing individuals to move their personal data from one service provider to another. Will all these obligations impede the use and transfer of data for research purposes? Not if you ask Monda. He points out that the free exchange of data for scientific purposes remains an exception in the GDPR. In general, Monda has few bones to pick with the new law.

16 UMagazine / February 2018

“See it as a harmonisation of the national regulations. There are changes and additions, but the general privacy principles are the same as under the previous directive. Not much will change.”

Good governance

Organisations and companies may have concerns about living up to the new law, but data protection is part of good governance, he says. The implementation of the GDPR will give companies the opportunity to better themselves by making fairer and more efficient use of personal data. “You can even gain a competitive advantage by promoting yourself as a transparent company in full compliance with the GDPR. The same goes for organisations in the public sector. By showing that you collect data honestly and fairly, you inspire more trust among consumers and citizens.”

One-stop shop

A major advantage of the GDPR is that it is based on the principle of a one-stop shop. There will be a single set of rules of the entire EU, and in cross-border contexts, organisations and companies will only have to deal with one national Data Protection Authority (DPA). “Big companies previously had to satisfy multiple national DPAs; now it’s only the DPA where the business is established. Gone are the days when companies could head for a country with a small and relaxed DPA. Nor can they dodge the rules by being outside of Europe, because the law applies to all organisations that offer goods or services to EU residents or monitor their behaviour, even if the data processing takes place offshore.” An overarching committee, the European Data Protection Board, has been installed to ensure the GDPR is implemented uniformly across member states. “This board will provide guidelines to make sure the law is interpreted the same everywhere.” On balance, he is positive about the new regulation. “It’s a good starting point, one single law for the whole of Europe. The message from my side? Organisations need not worry; if they already have good policies in place under the current law, they could even benefit. I’d advise them not to hold off, but to start implementing the regulation as soon as possible. Otherwise they risk potential fines up to 4% of their global annual turnover for non-compliance.” >> 17 February 2018 / UMagazine

Apostolis Zarras is an

ient. But all that data is stored with companies whose primary aim is profit, not security, and certainly not our privacy. Your hoover bot has created a floor plan of your house, your fridge knows your dietary habits, your heating system knows when you are out of the house, your Fitbit knows when and where you run and sleep, and online retailers know almost everything you own or want.

The GDPR should improve the security of sensitive personal data – but it is important to remember that there’s no such thing as a perfectly secure system. Apostolis Zarras is a cybersecurity expert. At Maastricht’s Department of Data Science and Knowledge Engineering, he studies malicious online activities on a large scale in an effort to make the Internet that little bit safer. “Even big companies, which can hire the best experts, are always compromised to some extent, so it’s important to understand what personal data you’re leaving where.”

Share with care

To Zarras, the GDPR represents a step in the right direction. “Among other things, there’s the ‘right to be forgotten’, so you should be able to view, correct or delete any data companies have on you. They also have to state what data they’re storing and why, and they aren’t allowed to keep it for longer than necessary.” There are some caveats, of course, in that potential fines are capped at around €20 million; just a drop in the bucket for big tech companies. “It also remains to be seen how much political capital the EU would be willing to spend on enforcing the GDPR in a potential showdown with Silicon Valley giants.” Zarras emphasises that there’s no such thing as a perfectly secure system. With the inevitable trade-off between convenience and privacy, it’s up to individuals to educate themselves and to decide how much risk a service is worth to them. So do read the cookies policy of your favourite website – and surf safely!

He emphasises the importance of educating people. “Nowadays you have to understand that having your password saved in a text file on your computer is like writing your PIN on your bank card or that opening a compromised website with JavaScript running can allow malware onto your computer.”

Dekker has a dream. There will come a day when the consultation between doctor and patient on the right course of treatment will be supported by an objective data system. Would it be better to opt for the most intensive treatment, with all the ensuing side effects? Or for the best quality of life? The system will then indicate, immediately and accurately, which treatment will yield the best result. Currently no such method exists, and the average doctor and healthcare worker are drowning in a sea of clinical data (personal data, diagnoses, imaging, DNA data), medical decisions and irrelevant evidence.

CPU & you – software everywhere

Our daily lives will be increasingly dominated by the Internet of Things, a network of smart devices with CPUs communicating with each other, which knows all our habits and thus makes our lives more conven18 UMagazine / February 2018

Towards a greater focus on security and transparency

Social media is an obvious example. “You pay for using a service like Facebook with data about yourself, in particular the kinds of things you’re likely to spend money on.” So share with care, he warns: not only might your career prospects hinge on pictures you uploaded when you were 17, but, more insidiously, you are leaving behind a map of your behaviours and preferences. Zarras cautions especially against exposing children on social media: “You’re not only revealing their habits to your family and friends. You might also be making information publicly available on where they are and when, and what sweets, toys or pets they like – you can see how that could be really problematic.”

The threat of malware, a contraction of malicious software, is by no means limited to laptops; anything with a CPU, which includes all smart devices (phones, cars, vacuum cleaners, etc.), can be affected. “Hackers might just want the processing power of your CPUs to mine for bitcoins, or they might be sending spam emails, generating fake traffic to increase advertising revenue, spreading fake news on social media – everything a computer can be used for. If your smart TV has been compromised, it might be hosting a website with adult content.”

assistant professor at the Department of Data Science and Knowledge Engineering at Maastricht University. His research focuses on systems, networks and web security.

It’s not bad, but it is complex, says André Dekker of the new GDPR. And so, to err on the safe side, medical data are kept under lock and key. So concerned are we about privacy protection that we’ve lost sight of the value of the data. “We need to be careful not to throw the baby out with the bathwater.”

Coin toss

As a result, treatment outcomes are actually extremely uncertain, Dekker says. “You may as well toss a coin to see whether a specific cancer patient will still be alive after x years. So doctors don’t know in advance which treatment is best.” The answer, he believes, lies in artificial intelligence. The systems for making connections between structured data are already in place. There’s only one big problem waiting to be solved: clinical data are spread across thousands of hospitals and, thanks to legislation, aren’t easy to share.

Cosimo Monda is director of the Maastricht European Centre on Privacy and Cybersecurity. He is involved in research, training and education in the fields of privacy, cybersecurity, data protection, e-learning and consultancy.

The new European data regulation doesn’t do much to help the situation. Dekker is relatively positive about the GDPR, but many terms need clarification. Take the requirement of ‘de-identification’: the anonymisation of data. This is important, because with anonymous data you can do what you want. But the GDPR does not specify how far this process needs to go. “Images and DNA characteristics can be traced back to an individual person. Are these data still anonymous if there’s only one person they refer to?” The regulation contains many such unclear terms. “The risk is that you take a very conservative approach and, especially in the initial phase, allow nothing at all.” That, in his view, would be the worst application of the European regulation.

Missed opportunity

As Dekker sees it, the rationale behind the GDPR is faulty. “Asking patients’ consent started as a way of preventing physical harm during medical procedures, or properly justifying them if necessary. That requirement has now also been applied to privacy risks. Which is strange, because the chance of physical harm as a result of a data leak is minimal. It’s of a completely different order than causing a disability.” The balance is skewed towards privacy protection, which makes it easy to lose sight of the value of the data. “Hospitals go into lockdown and there’s no way to learn from one another which treatment works best. Ultimately it’s to the detriment of science, healthcare and society. It is worth the price?”

Dekker sees the GDPR as a missed opportunity. He’d rather see a law focused on what can – instead of what can’t – be done with the data. Why do cancer researchers get the data they ask for, while healthcare insurers don’t get the data they need to identify fraudsters? “That’s an ethical question more important than merely controlling the data. How do you set up a system in which you can weigh up these kinds of considerations? That would make for a much broader legal basis than what we have now.”

André Dekker is professor of Clinical Data Science at Maastricht University. His research focuses on the development of global data-sharing systems for machine learning by personalised models that can predict cancer outcomes after radiotherapy. Dekker is head of the Department of Research and Education at MAASTRO Clinic and leads the GROW-Maastricht University research division of MAASTRO Knowledge Engineering.

Research train

To solve the problem of the unavailability of data, Dekker came up with a concept of data exchange: the Personal Health Train (PHT). The idea is that if the mountain won’t come to Mohammed, Mohammed will have to come to the mountain – that is, instead of bringing the data to the research, the research goes to the data. The research question is sent to ‘visit’ various data stations (e.g. hospitals), collecting the data it needs in coded form. For example, what are the predictors of lung-cancer outcomes? Having completed its journey, the train comes back with an answer: age x sex + 3 x the size of the tumour - 2 x a certain gene. “That way we learn from other people’s data without having to actually move those data.” The advantage of the PHT is that it avoids the privacy issue entirely. Because no data leave the hospital, there is no risk of a privacy breach. And Dekker doesn’t expect the new regulation to pose an obstacle. On the contrary: the GDPR offers opportunities for many more research trains to be developed. “We already see that happening in the Netherlands. And the fact that we’re leading the way in this respect is a win-win situation. We’re setting an example, showing Europe that this is the right approach.” << 19 February 2018 / UMagazine

Text Theo Tamis Photography UM Stock

/ UM alumni work to streamline informed consent procedure / From left: Marta Giralt and Laura Thiel

Cut red tape in healthcare and facilitate research: this is what three UM graduates are hoping to achieve with their newly established company, Consense Data Exchange. They recently completed the two-month Brightlands Blockchain Innovation Programme, fleshing out their innovative concept involving transparent data practices. The idea won them first prize at the Hack4SmartServices Hackathon in Heerlen in May 2017. “There were seven of us at the Hackathon, a motley bunch of students from different disciplines and cultures, including New Zealand and India”, Laura Thiel recalls. “We had no connection whatsoever and apparently little in common. But within the space of three days, we became a real team, bubbling with creative energy, and we came up with this amazing idea.”

Ambitious project

“Our original goal was nothing less than the holy grail of healthcare”, says Marta Giralt. “How can you build a platform that allows for the secure exchange of medical data? The infrastructure in the Netherlands is fragmented and the information is scattered across healthcare providers. Individuals like us don’t hold the data; it’s healthcare providers like hospitals and pharmacies that have your personal information. The 20 UMagazine / February 2018

holy grail of data exchange is still our vision, but we’ve decided to zoom in on a specific part of this process, and automate it with the use of blockchain technology.” That specific part is informed consent, which is key to any medical research or trial. It’s about giving individuals control over their data and raising their awareness of the aims, risks and benefits of a study so they can make an informed, voluntary and rational decision to participate. The initiative could not be more timely: in May a new regulation will come into force giving all Europeans full control over their data. Under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), EU citizens will enjoy a new set of ‘digital rights’ at a time when the economic value of their personal data is rapidly increasing. For the companies and organisations that use these data, the new regulation will have major repercussions.

Sea change

The GDPR constitutes nothing less than a sea change in our rapidly digitising world, according to Oskar Person. It presents major challenges for the healthcare industry, and healthcare researchers in particular. “Their core business is all about collecting, analysing and using patient data, and from next May, they will no longer own this digital information. The regulation could inhibit research, but we see it as an enabler of free science and empowerment of both researcher and data subject.” “The GDPR specifies how to approach consent and how to deal with people who want to withdraw their data from a study”, Giralt continues. “The regulation is strict and the penalties are quite high, but there’s no mention of the technology that needs to be used. So there’s space for innovation.” And that’s where the prize-winning Hackathon team stepped in. They wanted to streamline the process of giving consent and develop a proper permission procedure that ensures individuals are in control of their data. “The current consent process is quite cumbersome”, says Thiel. “Much of it is still done on paper, which you need to print and sign. The consent forms are frequently sent back and forth. We focused on digitising this process and providing metrics on how the process is going. We also want to set up communication channels so individuals can request information about the study and become more involved.”

Benefits for science

Involving individuals in the research process: this is what the three had in mind when they launched their company. Improving the informed consent procedure will make more data available to researchers, enabling them to provide new insights and advance science. This will, in turn, benefit society as a whole. In short, Consense Data Exchange will simplify the bureaucracy for healthcare research so that more research can be done. “Research institutes will want to pay for this service”, says Thiel. “The service can be subscription-based or licence-based for large organisations like UM, which can integrate it into their software systems.” Having developed their business model, the Consense team are now writing a business plan with the support of experts from the Brightlands Innovation Programme. The programme is based in Techruption, a co-creation zone on the Brightlands Smart Services Campus in Heerlen, and is supported by multinationals, financial institutions, energy companies, local and regional authorities and research institutions. In addition, Consense is trying to forge partnerships with researchers, hospitals, insurance companies and other stakeholders to get the project off the ground. The overall response has been positive. “We’re applying for funding from the EU, LIOF and other sources, which will allow us to do a proper feasibility study”, says Giralt. “We can then look at the legal, technical and business aspects. Our plan is to have a minimal viable product by the time the GDPR comes into effect.” <<

Oskar Person (1990) holds a BSc from the Maastricht Science Programme and is currently doing the Master in Data Science for Decision Making at the Department of Knowledge Engineering. Marta Giralt (1990) obtained her Master in International Business (Strategy and Innovation) at SBE in April 2017.

Laura Thiel (1990) graduated from the SBE Master in International Business in November 2017 with two specialisations: Business Intelligence & Information Management and Strategy & Innovation.

More information: contact@consensedata.com

21 February 2018 / UMagazine

Data visualisation

From left: Kay Schrรถder - Head of the Date Experience Lab, Kenny Jeurissen, Loes Moritz

How can we best find our way around the increasing mountain of information? One answer is data visualisation. Converting information into visual form makes it easier to present, understand and use. In the Data Experience Lab at the Business Intelligence and Smart Services (BISS) institute, ICT students and art academy students work together with professionals to find answers to questions from the business sector. This interdisciplinary approach, bringing computer scientists, designers and user experience experts together, is unique in this domain. BISS is a partnership between Maastricht University, Zuyd University of Applied Sciences and the Open University. For more information, visit www.biss-institute.com.

Photography Jonathan Voss Visualisation Kenny Jeurissen and Kay Schrรถder

22 UMagazine / February 2018


23 February 2018 / UMagazine

From Apple’s personal assistant Siri helping you out to Netflix recommending content for you, artificial intelligence and big-data technologies are increasingly affecting our daily lives. Is society prepared for the data revolution we are experiencing? And what will the data-filled world of the future look like? These questions were explored on 26 January during Maastricht University’s 42nd Dies Natalis. Keynote speakers Sally Wyatt and Michel Dumontier share their thoughts on data in academia. Text Jolien Linssen Photography Sacha Ruland

/ The future of data in academia /

The event brought Dumontier together with Sally Wyatt, professor of Digital Cultures at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. “Both of us were invited by the rector to give a keynote lecture, and then obviously you’re going to say yes”, she laughs. “Unlike Michel, I don’t really work with big data on a daily basis, but I am interested in meta-questions surrounding collaboration and what counts as data. How do you get a historian and a computer scientist, who have very different ideas of data and method, to work together? Facilitating those kinds of collaborations is something that Michel and I – besides both being Canadian – share.”

Reusable data Central to building a data-science community, according to Dumontier, is the idea of FAIR data: Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable. “I haven’t produced my own data in I can’t remember how long”, he says. “So in some sense my mission is to create infrastructure and training that allow research-

Michel Dumontier (1975) studied biochemistry at the University of Manitoba and received his PhD from the University of Toronto, both in Canada. He worked as a professor at Stanford University and Carleton University. In 2017, he was appointed distinguished professor of Data Science at Maastricht University, where he leads the new interfaculty Institute of Data Science. He is the scientific director of Bio2RDF, an open-source project to generate linked data for the life sciences.

24 UMagazine / February 2018

Data-science community “Throughout the university, researchers love data and do all kind of interesting things with it”, says Michel Dumontier, distinguished professor of Data Science. “Data science is practised in every department and faculty. And yet, even though we share these methods, we barely get to talk to one another.” As head of the recently established Institute of Data Science, his mission is to build an interfaculty data-science community that fosters interaction between researchers from all disciplines. The Dies Natalis marked the official opening of the institute.

Sally Wyatt (1959) studied economics at McGill University, Canada and Sussex University, England. In 1998 she received her PhD in science and technology studies from Maastricht University, where she is now professor of Digital Cultures. Until recently she was also programme leader of the e-Humanities Group of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) and director of the Netherlands Graduate Research School for Science, Technology and Modern Culture (WTMC).

ers from all disciplines to do the same kinds of things that we do in the Institute of Data Science, and that motivates them to publish content in such a way that we can all reuse it. For me, success is that every group knows how to do these kinds of analyses; that it’s just a common thing, like using your phone.” Wyatt understands Dumontier’s enthusiasm and is persuaded by the principle – what’s not to like about big, open, fair data? But she sees problems too. “Part of it is a lack of skills, as well as the fact that we work in a university system where looking after data, which is time-consuming, is not highly valued. Instead, researchers are judged on their next publication.” She also points out the ethical issues involved in dealing with data from living people. The idea of informed consent, where an individual agrees to participate in a particular study, is not compatible with the reuse of data for different purposes. So Dumontier emphasises the need for a holistic approach, where technology is always considered in a social, legal and ethical context. “What new dangers arise from collecting an ever-increasing amount of data? What social consequences might there be when these data are misused? I believe that as researchers we can have an important impact on the social, legal and ethical aspects of our science if we’re at the forefront of developing policies in these areas.”

Park benches Back to the meta-perspective espoused by Wyatt, whose humanities background makes her well aware of the fact that not everything is digital. “There’s this tendency at the moment to think, we’ve got so much data now, we can do whatever we want and answer all kinds of questions. But consider the big collections of cultural heritage in the Rijksmuseum or the Louvre – maybe 15 percent are digital. And that might have consequences for the kinds of questions that get asked. The thing is, we don’t know what we don’t know.” In her Dies lecture, Wyatt emphasised the commonalities between digital technologies and … park benches. “We think park benches are perfectly neutral objects on the streets for people to sit on,” she explains, “but take a closer look and you’ll see that they look different and do different things. Some have armrests, for instance, which are there to prevent homeless people from lying down on them. The point is that everyday objects and machineries structure the way we live our lives to some extent. And that’s true for park benches and for digital technologies.” <<

25 February 2018 / UMagazine

Text Hans van Vinkeveen Photography Paul van der Veer

/ The perfect match /

26 UMagazine / February 2018

Professor / student

PhD candidate Daan Hovens is studying multi­ lingualism in the workplace. “It became clear very quickly that it would be Daan”, says his supervisor Leonie Cornips. “I admire his language skills and learn from him to ask my questions clearly in advance.” Hovens: “I enjoy sinking my teeth into a subject.” Both professor and PhD candidate are in agreement: “We need to learn to value people’s creativity in overcoming language barriers.”

27 February 2018 / UMagazine

There was little doubt that Hovens, a PhD candidate in sociolinguistics, would do participatory fieldwork. How, though? “I had no experience and thought I’d start by doing a literature review and developing a methodology.” He laughs: “But Leonie said you’ll figure it out as you go along, so just get started. And that’s what happened – I trusted her completely.” Cornips: “As soon as you start doing fieldwork you get the hang of it. Daan was no different. It’s a perfect match.” Before long, Hovens found himself on the assembly line in a metal foundry, where boilers and products for the car industry are manufactured. “I worked all the shifts, helped with making sand cores – moulds that liquid aluminium is poured into – and blasting and milling the final products.”

Intrigue His research focuses on multilingualism in the workplace in the Dutch-German border area. The idea arose from ITEM, the cross-border research centre with which both linguists are affiliated. After all, language can form an obstacle when it comes to crossing borders. They chose a Dutch and a German company with low-skilled workers. “That’s where you find the real language barriers”, Cornips explains. As professor of Language Culture, she is a strong proponent of ethnographic fieldwork, a new method in sociolinguistics that emphasises listening and

observing. “You start by being intrigued by the things you encounter, and then trying to interpret them. What ideologies do these people subscribe to? What is the social significance of a language choice? You can’t answer questions like that with a questionnaire.” In her view, many researchers place too much value and rely too heavily on numbers without considering the factors that may underlie the choice for one language over another.

Innovation Hovens has since completed his first round of fieldwork. He studied the ways in which the workers communicated with one other, recorded conversations and filmed non-verbal behaviour, paying particular attention to how language barriers arise and how people deal with them in concrete and creative ways. His first conclusion is that linguistic diversity is much greater and more complex than is assumed. “Some of the workers are immigrants, but what’s interesting is they come from both sides of the border. So you’ll have a Syrian refugee who speaks a few words of Dutch

You start by being intrigued by the things you encounter. Leonie Cornips (1960) is professor of Language

Daan Hovens (1988) has been a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Maastricht University since January 2017. He is studying linguistic diversity and communication in multilingual workplaces in the Dutch-German border area. This project is part of ITEM, the Euregional research institute for cross-border cooperation.

alongside a Turk who speaks German. What I noticed was that they used their knowledge of Dutch and German to understand one another, because those languages are closer to one another than Arabic and Turkish. They also made extensive use of nonverbal communication.” Cornips describes the various scenarios they predicted they might find. “It could be that workers use their first language only. You might get a lingua receptiva situation, where I speak Dutch and you reply in German. People might choose a lingua franca like English, or a new, hybrid language could even emerge.” Hovens finds it doubtful that a new language might emerge in the workplaces he studied. “The flexible labour market we have today makes that virtually impossible. There’s too much turnover.” “That’s an important point for your research”, Cornips rejoins. “That the present economic circumstances work against group formation and a target language is an innovative idea. Sociolinguistics assumes that group cohesion arises, but can that really happen when people work somewhere for so short a time?”

Enthusiasm In terms of what they learn from each other, the roles of student and supervisor seem to be reversed. Cornips: “I’m impulsive and enjoy surprises in my research. From Daan I’ve learned to ask my questions clearly in advance and to come well-prepared; that’s a good trait to have. I also admire his multilingualism. 28 UMagazine / February 2018

Culture in Limburg at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. She is also a researcher of language variation at the Meertens Institute (KNAW) in Amsterdam. Her book Eigen en vreemd: Meertaligheid in Nederland was published in 2012.

All the languages he speaks fluently!” Hovens appreciates her enthusiasm. ‘It’s very motivating. What’s also great about Leonie, but I’ll never learn myself, is how quickly she responds to emails and whatever I send her. It’s quite miraculous.”

Linguistic diversity Hovens hopes his research will raise awareness that linguistic diversity in the workplace is a reality. “European migration won’t stop overnight, and as the situation with the Syrian refugees shows, you can’t predict how it’s going to go. So people should be prepared for a degree of unpredictability in the language backgrounds they encounter, and also learn to value the creativity workers show in overcoming language barriers. Migrant workers need to be adequately prepared for the Euregional labour market, and the same goes for pupils from vocational schools in both the Netherlands and Germany, who often end up in these kinds of multilingual workplaces.” <<

29 February 2018 / UMagazine


/ Story-Based Learning in Colombia /

Village elder Media Luna

Text Mark van der Linde Photography Klasien Horstman and Marten de Vries

It is dark in Media Luna, a farming village in the far northeast of Colombia. Only a pale croissant in the sky illuminates the forested foothills of the mountains that embrace the village in long shadows. Just one short year ago, those same mountains meant danger. From their hilly hideouts on the border with Venezuela, smugglers, guerrillas and paramilitary groups terrorised the villagers for over 30 years.

In their next trip to Colombia, she and De Vries met the same group of participants in the Valledupar region. There they developed ideas for four media productions, due to be released next spring.

A faint gleam emanates from the humble quarters of the village elder. Squeezed into the 94-year-old’s modest living room, hanging on his every word, is a motley collection of villagers, local politicians, researchers from the distant capital Bogotá, a filmmaker and two professors from the even more distant Netherlands. For tonight is a very special night. For decades guerrillas and other armed groups silenced the people of Media Luna. Literally: the village radio, their main mode of communication, was the first thing the paramilitaries took a hatchet to. Even if they hadn’t, the villagers’ wary silence seemed to be an appropriate response to a world of violence and repression. Tonight, though, the village elder speaks for hours.

The river

The year 1997 is indelibly marked in the collective memory of the Kankuamo people in the village of Atanquez, an unspoilt paradise on the Guatapurí River at the southeastern foot of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. Its population was halved when, before the eyes of their fellow villagers, 400 people were summarily executed by paramilitaries. The river has come to symbolise death – but also life. The people of Atanquez swim, fish, wash, fall in love, relax, daydream and die in or by the river; even if that river is heavily polluted by the encroaching mine industry and sweeps along with it victims of violence. The villagers have decided to use a frame narrative – a literary technique in which one main story frames a number of secondary narratives – to tell the tale of the river.

Marten W. de Vries

Klasien Horstman

(1948) is emeritus professor of Social Psychiatry and director of Mind Venture International (MVI). As a psychiatrist and anthropologist, he studies the experience of mental illness under different sociocultural and traumatic circumstances. MVI works together with target groups to develop media productions aimed at improving mental health and social wellbeing. For this work, De Vries was recently appointed Knight in the Order of the Netherlands Lion.

(1959) is professor of Philosophy of Public Health and head of the Inequity, Participation and Globalisation research line at the Care and Public Health Research Institute (CAPHRI). Her research focuses on the dynamics of science, politics and society in public healthcare: healthy neighbourhoods, vaccination programmes, citizen initiatives etc.


They have both earned their stripes in the field of public health. These days Marten de Vries, emeritus professor of Social Psychiatry and Public Mental Health, is keeping busy with his foundation Mind Venture International. Klasien Horstman, professor of Philosophy of Public Health, runs projects all over the world, from the Malberg district in Maastricht to Tomsk in Siberia. Now they have joined forces to seek out tales of reconciliation in Colombia. 30 UMagazine / February 2018

In a certain sense Media Luna serves as a model for an entire country. After 50 years of civil war, Colombia has some 6.5 million internally displaced people. Victims and perpetrators alike are struggling to come to terms with the past and with their new identities. Working with researchers from Javeriana University in Bogotá, the Maastricht professors Klasien Horstman and Marten de Vries have developed a special training programme to help communities along the path to peacebuilding and reconciliation. The training is financed by Nuffic and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Last summer, in Bogotá, the researchers came together with participants from the northern city of Valledupar in Cesar province for the first time. The group also included local officials, journalists, development workers, representatives of victim organisations and leaders of indigenous communities. They were there to discuss one key question: How can local media contribute to trauma recovery, reconciliation and social resilience? “The training is based on the idea that media productions and scripts need to be rooted in the everyday reality of the inhabitants”, Hofman explains. “They need to be made with the active involvement of the communities, do justice to the diversity of experience and shades of grey, and foster the language of a return to coexistence rather than a return to violence.”


The four productions, including the frame story about the Guatapurí River, will be unveiled this summer during a national meeting. In another, participants are writing a TV miniseries about love, relationships and violence. De Vries: “A girl from the village is raped by a guerrilla wearing a hoodie and a balaclava. A few years later, following the demilitarisation of the FARC, the boy returns to the village and she falls head over heels for him. How does he go about telling her what he did?” The third project is a radio play about the life of the 25-year-old Constanza, who is struggling with class relations. She discovers that acting too tough hinders rather than helps her move up in the world. The play will be aired on local radio stations. Finally, the residents of Media Luna – the silent village – are working on a children’s book about the chameleon Tirri, a story about identity. The choice for a children’s book is no accident; it is an excellent way of teaching the villagers and their children the importance of storytelling. The village elder embodied that lesson on that special night back in October. The next morning he was found, resting in peace. << 31 February 2018 / UMagazine

Off the job

Text Annelotte Huiskes Photography Arjen Schmitz

News Ancient games and artificial intelligence Cameron Browne has been awarded an ERC consolidator grant of €2 million for a five-year research project called the Digital Ludeme Project. Browne is part of the Game AI and Phylogenetic Networks research group at the Department of Data Science and Knowledge Engineering. His work forms a new field of study called ‘digital archaeoludology’: improving and preserving game knowledge using modern computational techniques. By analysing and reconstructing traditional games from incomplete descriptions, Browne aims to provide historians and researchers with tools and methods to track how traditional games developed over time. The ultimate goal of the project is to foster a better understanding of traditional games and their development over recorded human history. “I hope to set out the foundational principles and approaches of digital archaeoludology, to provide practical software tools that games historians, archaeologists, anthropologists and ethnologists will find useful in their own work, and to bring an unprecedented level of mathematical rigour to the historical and cultural study of traditional games.” <<

Labour market overheats Between now and 2022 the number of people in work in the Netherlands will grow by 520,000, an average annual employment growth rate of 1.0%. Graduates of research universities and universities of applied sciences will have the best job prospects. This is one of the main conclusions of the report De arbeidsmarkt naar opleiding en beroep tot 2022 (‘The labour market by degree and profession until 2022’), published

People with a degree in technology, engineering or healthcare will have good to excellent job prospects, regardless of whether they have a senior secondary vocational education (MBO) diploma or a university degree. Employers will continue to struggle to fill vacancies for technical staff and ICT specialists. The most significant employment growth is expected in healthcare, wholesaling, business consulting and construction. Economic growth will bring about a greater demand for technically skilled staff, particularly in the construction industry. <<

Plaques can cause memory problems without causing dementia Plaques, also known as Alzheimer’s proteins, can cause memory problems in people who have not been diagnosed with dementia, according to researchers at the Maastricht UMC+ and the Alzheimer Centre Limburg. They recently published the results of their study on the effect of plaques on brain function in the journal JAMA Psychiatry. Amyloid plaques are proteins that accumulate in people with Alzheimer’s disease, the leading cause of dementia. These plaques are also present in roughly one third of people aged 60 and older, but their effects had never been demonstrated. The Maastricht researchers analysed data from more than 7,000 research participants at 53 international research centres to determine how plaques influence brain function. They found that it could take 10 to 15 years for people with plaques to perform poorly on memory tests. “This is compelling evidence to suggest that plaques in people

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by Maastricht University’s Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).

without dementia could be an early sign of Alzheimer’s disease”, says researcher Willemijn Jansen. The findings can aid in the development of new prevention strategies. “There is currently no medication to combat plaques”, explains physician and researcher Pieter Jelle Visser. “If such a medication could be administered at an early stage, before dementia is diagnosed, it would help to prevent Alzheimer’s-related dementia symptoms in the long term.” Several new medications for the removal of plaques are currently being tested on dementia patients, but the results will not be known for several years. <<

/ With the quest for perfection comes peace / Assistant professor of Forensic Psychology Henry Otgaar

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Henry Otgaar has two passions: his work as assistant professor of Forensic Psychology, and pencak silat, a form of Indonesian martial arts. By day it’s full steam ahead with his research at UM on the workings of memory, and by night – a full five evenings a week – he trains some 60 students at his own pencak silat school. If that weren’t enough, he also has his own daily practice. How does he manage it? “Pencak silat is the key. It brings me great peace. I wear out my body and my mind, but it gives me a boost, so even if I have really sore muscles from yesterday, I feel full of energy. Which in turn means I can really go for my work here. I see colleagues suffering from burnout; if I didn’t have pencak silat that could happen to me too.”

Indonesian soul

Otgaar got his first lesson in pencak silat around the age of 8, from his grandfather. As the only grandson, he shared a close bond with his opa, who came from Java and told him many stories about Indonesia. “He was a soldier in the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army (KNIL) and experienced many terrible things, both as perpetrator and as victim. He found it difficult to talk about it with his own children, but he could talk to me. He was interned in a Japanese camp and forced to work on the Burma railway. As a KNIL soldier, he was treated particularly harshly. They tortured him by making him collect coconuts from a tree, but then chopping it down when he reached the top. When he was freed from the camp, out of revenge he cut off the hand of the guard who had chopped down the tree. He saw many people die, and killed people himself. During the police actions it was no longer safe for former KNIL soldiers, so he came to the Netherlands with my grandmother and their children in the late 1940s. My father was born in Maastricht, but his siblings were born in Indonesia.”

Pencak silat is the key. It brings me great peace.

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His grandfather’s stories raised the young Otgaar’s awareness of his Indonesian roots, and pencak silat was a way of getting closer still. “My father’s generation wanted to integrate and become Dutch as quickly as possible. They didn’t have much connection with Indonesian culture. For me as the third generation, it’s very important. Pencak silat brings me closer to a part of my identity that would otherwise be lost.”


On the advice of his grandfather, Otgaar started training at the age of 10 with a local pencak silat master. Since then, not a day has passed that he hasn’t practised. “It was a real homecoming. Everything the teacher did was magic to me. I wanted to learn it all. My teacher became my second father.” Pencak silat is more than just a martial-art form; it is also steeped in Indonesian history and culture. “The mystical element is very important there: they believe in gods and spirits. And there are all sorts of sayings in pencak silat which are supposed to help protect you. I don’t believe in that, but I do love that tradition.” Otgaar has since taken over the school from his master, and hopes that he too will one day find a student who can take over the baton from him.

Rice table

Pencak silat is a way of life for Otgaar. “It has five aspects: self-defence, exercise, the mental part, the art and the sense of brotherhood. Besides intense physical training we also do a lot of meditation and yoga. For the first few years you get basic training, and after that you can choose the aspect you want to focus on. You have to eat the whole rice table before you can choose the tastiest dish. Although I still find the whole rice table interesting. It’s intense: I push my limits because it’s about striving for perfection. I’d find it a waste of time to just practise any old thing with my students. With the quest for perfection comes peace, focus and concentration.

Henry Otgaar (1983) is assistant professor in the Department of Forensic Psychology at Maastricht University, specialising in memory developments from child- to adulthood. He has received many awards for his research and teaching. In 2015 Otgaar was Dutch allround champion and his school Panca Sila was Dutch champion for style in pencak silat. In 2018 the school will take part in the European and World Championships.

“When you train so much to perfect that one movement, you have to have tremendous focus. And if you can perform that one series of moves so beautifully and well, it feels so good for your body and mind. The movement becomes part of who you are. I’ve seen young, aggressive kids who always used to go out and fight become much calmer. They’re now better able to control their aggression. I’ve had parents tell me their kids can concentrate better and do better at school. I’ve even seen autistic kids become more open thanks to pencak silat, more able to make contact with others. Of course none of this can be scientifically proven, but I’m glad I can make a contribution in this way.” << 35 February 2018 / UMagazine

Text Graziella Runchina Photography Harry Heuts

Caroline van Heugten (1965) is professor of Clinical Neuropsychology at Maastricht University (FHML and FPN). She is also the director and a senior researcher at the Limburg Expertise Centre for Brain Injury. She specialises in research on the neuropsychological consequences of brain injury and factors influencing the success of treatment. The Expertise Centre is an initiative of the MUMC (FHML and MUMC+) in collaboration with regional patient organisations, the five Limburg hospitals (Sittard, Heerlen, Roermond, Weert and Venlo) and other brain injury care providers.

“There’s no shortage of care available in the Netherlands for people with acquired brain injury, but in practice it doesn’t always reach the right patient at the right time”, says Professor Caroline van Heugten. “Especially patients who are affected less in a directly visible way and more at the level of cognitive, emotional and social functioning.” Van Heugten is one of the founders of the Limburg Expertise Centre for Brain Injury.


/ Care for people with acquired brain injury can and should be better / One in four Dutch people are confronted with brain injury in their immediate surroundings, caused by accidents, strokes, operations or disease. Yet many patients do not receive the care they need – or even get the wrong type of care or unnecessary care – because knowledge is not shared or the quality of care is inadequate. This situation prompted Caroline van Heugten and Rudolf Ponds to establish the Limburg Expertise Centre for Brain Injury, which celebrated its first anniversary on 1 December 2017. “We want to set an example for the rest of the Netherlands”, says Van Heugten.

Invisible consequences

“Acute medical care for patients with brain injury has improved dramatically in recent years. This means more people now survive traffic accidents and strokes. But because it’s impossible for a brain injury to have no repercussions at all, more and more people are having to live with lasting consequences. And learning how to do so is by no means obvious,” Van Heugten explains. After a mildly traumatic brain injury caused by a fall or an accident, an estimated 15% to 47% of people have not resumed all their daily activities after three months, and around 30% are still not back at work after a year. “The main obstacles to a successful return to society are the ‘invisible consequences’, such as memory and concentration problems, fatigue and depression. Patients with these symptoms need different types of care and support, but the collaboration between professionals is not always optimal and it’s not always clear what care is on offer. Even here in Limburg.”

Innovative care facilities

The Expertise Centre aims to improve the current fragmentation of care for patients with brain injury. In collaboration with all care providers in the province, its 36 UMagazine / February 2018

researchers are evaluating the existing range of care and developing innovative care facilities and products. Last year saw the launch of various initiatives, including an outpatient clinic for brain injuries at the Maastricht University Medical Centre+, where patients and families received psychosocial care for the less visible consequences of brain injury. “The clinic has since treated its first 50 patients. Most had suffered a stroke or had a fall or an accident, but their main symptoms were not physical complaints or motor problems. Patients are referred from hospital departments, including neurology and rehabilitation, but also from general practitioners and the outpatient clinic for CVA [cerebrovascular accidents]. Our goal is for every Limburg hospital to have a clinic like this.’’ Another initiative involves the development, in every region surrounding the Limburg hospitals, of a facility where the care required for patients with brain injury can be identified, where appropriate information is given and where referrals are underpinned by a sound knowledge of the available care in the region. “This means having a clear picture of referral flows so that as few patients as possible fall through the cracks.” The Expertise Centre has also developed a tool GPs can use to recognise the lasting consequences of brain injury more quickly and easily.

Research and education

Beyond care innovation, the centre is involved with research and education, and further aims to disseminate the existing knowledge among people with brain injury, their families and the general public. An important spearhead to this end is research on sleep and fatigue after brain injury. During the annual International Brain Awareness Week, researchers also held information sessions at high schools around Maastricht. The centre’s ambassador is Professor Erik Scherder, a neuropsychologist known for his appearances on the talk show De Wereld Draait Door.

New therapy

In mid-2017 the Expertise Centre received a €260,000 grant to work on a new therapy for people whose brain injury has left them depressed or anxious. “Medication has only a minor, short-term effect on these sorts of emotional consequences, and can also have undesirable side effects,” Van Heugten explains. “Cognitive behavioural therapy often has better results for emotional problems among the general population, but next to no effect on people who’ve survived a brain injury. We expect this has to do with the approach chosen in such therapies. So we’re going to study a new form of psychological treatment focusing on acceptance: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, or ACT. The idea is that we give the person tools to learn how to deal with the often lasting consequences of brain injury. That way they can lead their new life without constantly fighting against what they’ve lost.” << 37 February 2018 / UMagazine

Text Jos Cortenraad Photography Loraine Bodewes

A career as a professional tennis player wasn’t meant to be. But when it comes to international industry, Pieter Klinkers has reached the top. The UM alum and Limburg native has been CEO of Maxion Wheels, the world’s largest producer of car wheels, since 2015. “Management is mainly about getting people to work together, to get the best out of everyone.”

/ Work hard, play hard / Visit us at www.maastrichtuniversity.nl/alumni

It’s hardly a household name. Especially in the Netherlands, given that the nearest factory is in Königswinter, close to Bonn. Yet practically everyone comes into contact with Maxion Wheels every day. “Every year we make around 60 million wheels for all sorts of cars and trucks”, Klinkers explains. “In hundreds of versions, in steel and aluminium. And every year there are innovations to make the wheels lighter, stronger, safer. Next year we’re teaming up with Michelin to introduce a flexible wheel with an integrated tyre; useful for bad roads in places like Africa and Asia. Wheels with built-in sensors are yesterday’s news. Nobody ever really thinks about it when they get in their car, but the wheel is an essential part, and always will be. Nothing boring about that.”

Behind the scenes

There’s nothing boring about the company, either. Maxion Wheels has 11,000 employees, 22 factories across all continents, and a turnover that last year topped two billion euros. “We don’t sell our wheels directly to consumers”, Klinkers continues in his large, tasteful house on the outskirts of Maastricht, where he lives with his wife Simonne and their two sons Mik and Kris, aged 3 and 5. “We exclusively supply OEMs [original equipment manufacturers], the car makers themselves. They also use our wheels to give their cars more character and style. They’re their wheels, even if we made them. It’s no problem – that’s our role. It’s also why we spend relatively little money on marketing. Sometimes that works against us, for example when it comes to recruitment. It takes more effort to convince

talented people that Maxion really is an interesting international company, with state-of-the-art technical development centres.”


Klinkers, now 47, seems to have reached all his goals already. After high school in Sittard he studied economics at Maastricht University, followed by the broad-based master’s programme in International Business. At just 33 he was managing a Michelin business unit in Paris; now he travels the world to keep the multinational on track and his 1,100 white-collar workers sharp. “It’s true, I wanted to go out into the wide world and have an international career. And that’s what happened. My guess is that I’ll clock up around 700,000 kilometres this year, more than other frequent flyers like DJ Tiësto or even a pilot. Strangely enough, though, when I joined Maxion Wheels in 2005 I was actually choosing for more rest. My wife and I settled in Maastricht because we wanted a permanent home. This is my base, my jumping-off point to the headquarters in Germany and the rest of the world. I’m away from home a lot, of course, so a stable home base is essential. The kids are growing up in one place and my wife is a partner in a law firm here. And why Maastricht? Because it’s such a nice city, centrally located; an oasis of peace for someone who’s on the road all the time. And familiar, since I studied here. This is home.”


Back in 2005, Klinkers had no idea he would end up as CEO of Maxion. “I wasn’t thinking about that. Lots of things came together to make that happen. The fact that I’m Dutch helps when you’ve got 50 different nationalities; you’re above the parties and cultures. And sometimes you get that little bit of luck you need. In my younger days I was a decent tennis player: 15-time regional champion in the generation of Richard Krajicek and Sjeng Schalken. Ultimately I decided to study, but the sport gave me discipline. At university I was still playing 10 to 15 hours a week, and yet I never missed an exam. Sure, I’ve partied, and I enjoy a nice glass of wine. But you also have to perform.”


Klinkers is focused on developing a horizontal business culture at Maxion. “Cooperation is very important. I want to stand shoulder to shoulder with the people; I know our factories inside out. I may be the boss, but our workers know that I also just love the manufacturing industry. The foundations were laid at UM – in Problem-Based Learning, you have to come up with solutions together. I’m still reaping the benefits today.” What’s next for Klinkers? “There’s still a lot I want to achieve at Maxion, many more opportunities to be seized. But work isn’t everything. It’s about balance. My family is important too, and health. Last year Tjeu Blommaert passed away; he was one of my professors at UM, as well as a mentor and friend. We shared the motto ‘work hard, play hard’. I’m still aiming for that.” <<

Pieter Klinkers (1973) was raised in Susteren, went to high school in Sittard and graduated in International Management at Maastricht University in 1994. He has been CEO of Maxion Wheels since 2015. 38 UMagazine / February 2018

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Keeping homegrown talent in the region Various initiatives were launched in 2017 by regional partners in cooperation with UM in an effort to keep young talent in the region.

Venlo Region extends scholarship programme for UM students

New Brain Battle Fund to tackle acute brain injury University Fund 2017 supports 60 academic projects In the last year not only the named funds supported work by UM academics; the University Fund itself awarded grants worth a total of €150,000 to some 60 projects. Add to this the many donations from companies, foundations, alumni and private citizens from Maastricht and the Limburg region, and the Limburg University Fund/SWOL provided financial support for research and education at Maastricht University in 2017 to the tune of over €1.2 million. The largest number of successful applications came from the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences and the Faculty of Law. The grants went to highly diverse initiatives: special study trips and exchanges, conferences and symposia where international academics shared their research with colleagues from UM, internships for researchers at partner universities, research projects and the University Library’s academic heritage collections. In addition, ten student initiatives aiming to strengthen the Maastricht student community were selected for funding. With the help of third-party donors, the fund also awarded study grants of varying amounts. <<

Most patients treated in the intensive care unit for serious brain damage nonetheless leave the hospital severely handicapped. Scientists at the Maastricht University Medical Centre are researching new treatments aimed at matching brain function and blood flow through the brain to the needs of individual patients. By 2020 this new treatment method, which is tailored to the individual, is expected to improve the day-to-day functioning of many patients. “The brain’s functioning determines the final outcomes for our patients after they’re discharged from hospital. Relatives report us back repeatedly”, says Marcel Aries, a neurologist and intensive care specialist at the MUMC+. “It’s incomprehensible and unacceptable that acute brain damage has received so little attention and financial support.” At present little can be done to improve the recovery of damaged parts of the brain; in fact, no new treatments have been developed for some 25 years. And yet the number of people with severe brain damage due to cardiovascular diseases and traffic accidents is set to increase.

The Venlo Region invested another €15,000 in a scholarship programme to support talented local students. The Venlo Region, a platform of eight municipalities, has now funded eight scholarships to encourage young talent to study and – hopefully – remain in the region. “Instead of drawing people and businesses to us, it makes far more sense to allow those who grew up in this area to develop their talents here”, says Kees van Rooij, former mayor of Horst aan de Maas and the driving force behind the initiative. “That said, should they decide to leave after completing their studies we hope they will see themselves as ambassadors for the region and promote it.”

is only the beginning”, Van Rooij says. Brightbox in Villa Flora and Scelta Mushrooms are examples of initiatives where regional collaboration in research and education contributes to overall development. “We hope to have set a good example that others will follow.”

… and so does the Jan de Limpens Foundation

The Jan de Limpens Foundation is a charitable organisation focused on the municipality of Onderbanken and parts of

the neighbouring municipalities of Schinnen, Brunssum and Sittard. The foundation aims to reduce barriers to higher education for local young people who wish to stay, work and live in the region after graduating. To this end, the foundation offers six grants for students of the innovative Maastricht University master’s programmes Biobased Materials, Systems Biology, Data Science for Decision Making, and Business Intelligence & Smart Services; programmes that have strong links with UM’s South Limburg campuses. <<

The scholarships were awarded as part of the Quality for Life project to promote UM’s study programmes in health, nutrition and logistics. Internships and applied research showed that students, regional businesses and the Venlo campus considered intensive collaboration to be of great benefit. “And this

The logos of partners of the University Fund Limburg/SWOL are shown below. These respected companies and funds are important supporters of research and education. The University Fund Limburg is grateful to its partners for their commitment to Maastricht University

Maastricht scientists are carrying out pioneering research into adjusting blood flow in the brain in such a way that brain cells can recover. This personalised approach requires financial resources over and above the standard research funds. Financial support for this international research is extremely welcome and can be directed to the Brain Battle Fund (Hersenstrijd Fonds), which is administered by Limburg University Fund. << More information: hersenstrijd@cppopt.org

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FASoS researchers Sally Wyatt and Anna Harris win international book prize Anna Harris (FASoS), Susan Kelly (University of Exeter) and Sally Wyatt (FASoS) won the 2017 Sociology of Health and Illness book prize for their book CyberGenetics: Health genetics and new media (Routledge 2016).

The award is given each year by the Medical Sociology group of the British Sociological Association for the book that makes ‘the most significant contribution to the sub-discipline of medical sociology/sociology of health and illness’. CyberGenetics critically examines the market of direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic testing from a social science perspective, asking: “What happens when genetics goes online?” Drawing upon empirical examples of DTC genetic testing websites and in-depth interviews in the United Kingdom with people using healthcare services, the authors describe the new social arrangements which emerge when a traditionally clinical practice (genetic testing) is taken into new spaces (the internet). CyberGenetics is the first scholarly monograph on the topic, and the first book which brings together the social study of genetics and the social study of digital technologies. <<

Importance of cross-border impact assessments reaffirmed The Institute for Transnational and Euregional Cross-border Cooperation and Mobility (ITEM) is committed to mapping the impact of legislation and policies on border regions. The institute published its annual Cross-border Impact Assessment 2017 last November. Led by Martin Unfried of the ITEM Expertise Centre, 17 researchers and students from various disciplines worked on the assessment over the past year. Based on input from various Euregional partners (border information points, regional authorities, Euregions and trade unions), they examined six dossiers and two preliminary research topics. Dossiers such as German tolls and the Belgian law for passenger identification affect not only border workers, but also citizens who regularly cross the border in their free time.

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ITEM’s Cross-border Impact Assessment was recently recognised as an example of good practice. In an official Communication of the European Commission entitled ‘Boosting growth and cohesion in EU border regions’, they highlighted the assessment as a practical example that helps to improve the EU legislative process. Further, certain measures in the 2017 Coalition agreement on border regions require investigation in terms of their effects and at the same time reveal the importance of cross-border cooperation. The theme of the VAT increase in the Coalition agreement was therefore pre-selected for treatment in the Crossborder Impact Assessment 2018, which will start at the beginning of next year. <<


News New UM building to serve as living lab for sustainable real estate Maastricht University is the first academic institute in Europe to register for the WELL Building Standard. The structure, design and use of the buildings at the Tapijn barracks – the site of UM’s current largescale expansion – will focus on measures aiming to improve health and wellbeing. This will benefit both students and staff. The WELL Building Standard contributes to the health and wellbeing of building users, combining building and design best practices with evidence-based health and wellness interventions. Attention is paid to design, the use of light, air quality, and how well the building stimulates activity and movement among students and staff. UM registered the Tapijn barracks in the hope that it would be the first building to obtain certification. The university will use the knowledge it acquires during this process for future real estate activities. “The standard dovetails nicely with our sustainability objectives”, says university vice president Nick Bos. “UM is active in the fields of health and wellbeing and is interested in the role played by other fields, such as education and research. In this respect, Tapijn can serve as a living lab for our own primary process.” <<

Education and research at Maastricht University is organised primarily on the basis of faculties, schools and institutes.

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences • • • •

Politics and Culture in Europe Science, Technology and Society Arts, Media and Culture Globalisation, Transnationalism and Development

Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences • • • • • • •

School of Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism (NUTRIM) School for Cardiovascular Diseases (CARIM) School for Public Health and Primary Care (CAPHRI) School for Mental Health and Neuroscience (MHeNS) School for Oncology and Developmental Biology (GROW) School of Health Professions Education (SHE) Institute for Education

Faculty of Humanities and Sciences • • • • • • • • •

University College Maastricht (UCM) University College Venlo (UCV) Maastricht Science Programme (MSP) Department of Data Science and Knowledge Engineering (DKE) Department of Biobased Materials (BBM) Aachen-Maastricht Institute for Biobased Materials (AMIBM) International Centre for Integrated assess- ment and Sustainable development (ICIS) Maastricht Graduate School of Governance (MGSoG) Top Institute for Evidence based education Research (TIER)

Faculty of Law • • • • • • • • •

Institute for Globalisation and International Regulation (IGIR) Institute for Transnational Legal Research (METRO) Institute for Corporate Law, Governance and Innovation Policies (ICGI) Maastricht Centre for European Law (MCEL) Maastricht Centre for Human Rights Maastricht Centre for Taxation (MCT) Maastricht European Private Law Institute (MEPLI) Maastricht Graduate School of Law Montesquieu Institute Maastricht

Colophon Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience • • • • • • •

Graduate School of Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience Clinical Psychological Science Cognitive Neuroscience (CN) Experimental Psychopathology (EPP) Neuropsychology & Psychopharmacology Work & Social Psychology Maastricht Brain Imaging Centre (M-BIC)

School of Business and Economics • • • • • • • • • •

Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE) Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA) Network Social Innovation (NSI) Limburg Institute of Financial Economics (LIFE) The Maastricht Academic Centre for Research in Services (MAXX) Accounting, Auditing & Information Management Research Centre (MARC) European Centre for Corporate Engagement (ECCE) United Nations University – Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (UNU-MERIT) Social Innovation for Competitiveness, Organisational Performance and human Excellence (NSCOPE) Marketing-Finance Research Lab

Publisher © Maastricht University Chief Editor Annelotte Huiskes Editorial Board Rianne Letschert (President), Denis Ancion, Teun Dekker, Manon van Engeland, Lisa Brüggen, Jos Kievits, Mirjam Oude Egbrink, Alexander Sack, Hildegard Schneider, Jo Wachelder. Texts Annelotte Huiskes, Femke Kools, Mark van der Linde, Jolien Linssen, Graziella Runchina, Florian Raith, Theo Tamis, Hans van Vinkeveen. Photography Loraine Bodewes, Philip Driessen, Harry Heuts, Rafaël Philippen, Sacha Ruland, Arjen Schmitz, Ted Struwer, Hugo Thomassen, Paul van der Veer, Jonathan Vos Translations and English editing Alison Edwards Graphic concept and design Zuiderlicht Maastricht Print Drukkerij Tuijtel, Hardinxveld-Giessendam

Interfaculty institutes • • • • • • • • •

The Maastricht Forensic Institute (tMFI) MERLN Institute for Technology-Inspired Regenerative Medicine The Maastricht Centre for Citizenship, Migration and Development (MACIMIDE) Maastricht MultiModal Molecular Imaging Institute (M4I) Maastricht Centre for Systems Biology (MaCSBio) Maastricht Centre for Arts and Culture, Conservation and Heritage (MACCH) Centre for European Research in Maastricht (CERIM) Institute for Transnational and Euregional cross border cooperation and Mobility (ITEM) Institute for Data Science (DTS@UM)

Maastricht University magazine is published in February, June and October. It is sent on demand to UM alumni and to external relations. Editorial Office Marketing & Communications Postbus 616, 6200 MD Maastricht T +31 43 388 5238 / +31 43 388 5222 E annelotte.huiskes@maastrichtuniversity.nl ISSN 2210-5212 Online webmagazine.maastrichtuniversity.nl Facebook facebook.com/maastrichtuniversitymagazine

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Blow up Want to know which part of Maastricht is zoomed in on? Visit the Facebook page of the UMagazine. Facebook.com/ maastrichtuniversitymagazine

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UMagazine February 2018  

UMagazine February 2018