On Sunday 9 September, Folkert van der Woude died at the age of 78. He was Rector Magnificus of the University of Groningen from 1994-1998.
Van der Woude was born in 1933 in the Frisian village of Snakkerburen (municipality of Lekkum) and studied chemistry at the University of Groningen. In 1966 he was awarded a PhD by the University for a thesis entitled ‘Mössbauer spectra and magnetic properties of iron compounds’. From 1970-1998 he was professor of Experimental Solid-State Physics at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, where he was also Dean for several years. Becoming Rector Magnificus capped off a career devoted to science.Van der Woude was a great supporter of fundamental research. While Dean, he was involved in the creation of several research institutes. He was also a great proponent of international cooperation – while Rector Magnificus he travelled widely to promote contacts with other universities, particularly in Indonesia. Although he held his valedictory lecture in 1998, he remained active at the University for several years, among other things in an advisory capacity. He was also chair of GEZEN, Stichting ter bevordering van Grootschalige Exploitatie van Zonne-ENergie [CSP – Concentrating Solar Power].
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