On Wednesday 26 April, four University of Groningen (UG) nominees received a Royal Decoration. Professor J.G. (Jan) Brouwer and Prof. L.W. (Laurence) Gormley have been appointed Officer of the Order of Orange-Nassau. Ms J.J. (Tienke) Koning has been appointed Knight of the Order of Orange-Nassau. Prof. S. (Sytze) Brandenburg has been appointed Knight of the Order of the Netherlands Lion.
Mayor P.E.J. Den Oudsten of the Municipality of Groningen presented the decorations in the Groningen Town Hall.
For three decades, Professor of Accelerator Physics Sytze Brandenburg (Leeuwarden, 1954) has been one of the world’s leading experts in the field of cyclotron particle accelerators and their diverse applications in healthcare, for example in proton therapy in cancer treatment. His impressive scientific knowledge, his drive to innovate and his clearly formulated advice, that takes into account urban planning requirements, have resulted in the foundation of the Groningen Proton Therapy Center (GPTC) that is currently being built for the University Medical Center Groningen.
Before the end of the year, the first cancer patients will be treated by the GPTC, using a newly developed method in which tumours are tackled without surgery or chemotherapy, thus not damaging surrounding tissue and vital organs. Radiation therapy will then substantially increase a patient’s life expectancy. In addition to the GPTC, three more centres for proton therapy are going to be opened in the Netherlands. Proton therapy would not have been possible in the Netherlands if it weren’t for Brandenburg’s efforts, contributions and expertise.
Professor of Legal Methods Jan Brouwer (Oosterbeek, 1951) focuses on international public law, fundamental rights and public order. Not only has he contributed to academic knowledge in this field, he has always felt that it is his responsibility to ensure that this knowledge serves the public interest, and has worked hard to make sure it does. As an expert in public order and safety, he is often asked by the media to comment on certain developments or events. He therefore deliberately joins the public debate on topics such as football vandalism, drugs issues and damage caused by the extraction of natural gas in Groningen.
Brouwer was the initiator of the Groningen Centre for Public Order and Safety, the only one of its kind in the world. Here a large group of researchers study how to maintain public order. The Centre serves as a source of information for academics and legal practitioners whose concern is issues in the field of public order, disasters and serious accidents. At the Centre research is conducted for ministries and municipalities, along with international comparative law research. Legal scholars from the University of Groningen and VU University Amsterdam work together at the Centre.
Laurence Gormley (Macclesfield, UK, 1953) is professor of European Law at the University of Groningen as well as the holder of the Jean Monnet Chair, established by the European Commission. This prestigious chair is one of the highest distinctions that can be conferred on a European academic. In the past 25 years, Gormley has had a huge influence on the development of European Law. During this period he has used his vast knowledge, dedication and enthusiasm to promote European Law in general and at the UG in particular.
Gormley is a renowned legal expert both nationally and internationally. His impressive international network enables him to make important contacts at home and abroad, which he does enthusiastically for his staff, PhD students and students.
As head of the Department of Alumni Relations & Fundraising (A&F) of the University of Groningen (UG) and director of the Ubbo Emmius Fonds (UEF), Tienke Koning (Groningen, 1950) has played a significant and indispensable role in positioning the UG and the UEF in the Netherlands and abroad, working on this with seemingly boundless energy.
Koning implemented the UG’s alumni policy in an impressive manner, developing the most innovative fundraising methods. Alumni circles that support special research projects are a practical example of how she managed to link alumni relations with fundraising. Through her enormous drive and enthusiasm, the UEF has become an important pillar of the UG’s success. Significant funds were raised during her time as director of the UEF.
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