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About us Practical matters How to find us prof. dr. E.O. (Bert) de Brock

prof. dr. E.O. (Bert) de Brock

Professor Business Information Modelling
Profile picture of prof. dr. E.O. (Bert) de Brock

Courses recently taught 

  • Mathematics for E&BE
  • Problem Analysis & Software Design (for Computer Science)

Past experience:

From teaching via course development to curriculum development

With regard to my educational experience, I subsequently describe my background in

· teaching and developing lectures and (post academic) courses,

· supervising individual MSc students, and

· contributing to curriculum development and educational routes,

  which includes designing the curriculum, writing course material, and giving (pilot) courses.


1.Teaching and developing courses

In the early eighties I developed and teached a course Database Systems at the EUT ( Eindhoven University of Technology), specifically designed for students in mathematics and computing science. For that purpose I wrote a special syllabus (cf. [7] and [8]). An extended version appeared as a book; cf. [18]. An additionally extended version appeared in English in the well-known Prentice Hall International Series in Computer Science; cf. [30]. This version also contains rules for the translation of the theory into SQL.

At the EUT I was also involved in developing and giving lectures on file organization and databases for various groups of EUT students (of almost all faculties) as well as courses for students from outside the EUT. Examples of such external courses are the national post academic course Databases, a course on Set Theory and Query Languages at the Ministry of Agriculture and at the software houses Multihouse and Cap Gemini, database courses at Hoogovens (steel manufacturer), the Eindhoven School for Higher Vocational Education, Philips Apeldoorn, and Rijkswaterstaat, the Dutch governmental department responsible for the development and maintenance of roads and waterworks.

Furthermore, I was also one of the responsible persons for the module Databases within CSO (Course on Software Development), a large post academic course within Philips.


Also after I left the EUT, I still gave many post academic courses (open and in-house), e.g., a post academic course ‘From Database Theory to SQL Practice’, a course ‘Structured Programming’ at Baan Development, a course ‘Developing with SQL’ in behalf of James Martin & Co at one of their clients, various courses at the Dutch Tax Department (see below), the modules ‘Database Technology’ and ‘Datawarehouses and Datamining’ of the course ‘Introduction Trends in IT’ of the company ID Research, the module ‘Data and Information Architectures’ of the course ‘Architecture Management’ of the Delft TopTech institute, and the post academic course ‘Trends in Databases and Business Intelligence’. The course participants were usually people working in practice, with very different backgrounds. As a teacher I usually received good to very good judgments of the participants.

We also developed a new post academic course on ‘Enterprise Information Integration’.

Moreover, I often was one of the speakers on seminars on Business Intelligence.


In the course of time I have given lectures on various topics to students from various studies:

· Introduction to Programming (for almost all faculties of the EUT)

· Abstract Datatypes (for the part-time study for Higher Vocational Education in Computer Science in Eindhoven)

· File Organization (for Mathematics, Computing Science, and Management Science at the EUT)

· Databases (for Mathematics, Computing Science, and Management Science at the EUT,

      for Economics and Econometrics at the Tilburg University, and

      for Computing Science, Management Science, and Technology Management (TM) at the UoG)

· System Development Theory (for Computing Science and TM at the UoG)

· Practical Applications of IT (for TM at the UoG)

· Introduction to Information Technology (for TM at the UoG)

· Discrete Mathematics (for TM at the UoG)

· E-venturing (for Management Science and TM at the UoG)

· Principles of IT (for Technical Management Science (TMS) at the UoG)

· Business Intelligence (for TMS at the UoG)

· Information Handling & System Design (for TMS at the UoG)

· System Analysis & Design (for Computing Science at the UoG)


For students from the studies Computing Science and Technology Management at the UoG I developed (and delivered) a module called System Development Practice; see also [43] and [46]. The students were divided into project teams and had to develop (and install) a small information system, including the delivery of technical and user documentation, for some real external customer who actually needs such a system. The students started from “scratch”, i.e., a (usually vague) problem description of about one page, written by that customer. The module not only concentrated on basic technical skills such as systems analysis & design skills and database design & implementation skills, but also on non-technical skills, such as teamwork, project management, and communica-tion skills. Each of the last few years I had more than 30 students divided into about 10 teams (in parallel), each working on a different project. My educational role was that of an instructor whereas my professional role could be considered as that of an account manager (so with several projects running in parallel).


Besides, I have been a “process supervisor of the learning process” in our ‘Integrated Management Education’, a form of problem directed education for our Management Science students at the UoG. As future conductors, we followed various training courses during the preparation of this special form of education.

Together with some colleagues of the UoG, I developed and delivered a new course on E-venturing (i.e., venturing in the new economy) , a new course ‘Principles of IT’ (that gives a combined technical and functional overview of the complete ICT area), and a new course on Business Intelligence for our students at the UoG. The E-venturing course has been imported (and transformed) by my colleagues of the Hanze University Groningen.


In the time at Remmen & De Brock I also developed some courses and accompanying lectures notes (in some cases with others), such as ‘Datamodeling’, ‘Method Independent Information Analysis’, and ‘Participation in Building Information Systems’. (These lecture notes are not separately mentioned in my publication list.) I also took care of various open and in-house courses, for instance post academic database courses in behalf of the Wageningen Agricultural University.

Furthermore, I was the course leader of the post academic course ‘Performance Aspects of Information Systems’ which was offered by our company Remmen & De Brock. In 1992/1993 I filled in part of the lectures ‘Medical Databases’ and ‘Design and Implementation of Medical Information Systems’ within the new study of Medical Information Science at the medical faculty of the University of Amsterdam (UvA). I also coordinated the contents of the latter course. (As an affiliate of Remmen & De Brock I worked together with people from the UvA.)


2.Supervising MSc students

At the Faculty of Mathematics and Computing Science of the EUT and the Faculty of Management and Organization of the UoG, I was a supervisor of many graduate students in the last phase of their study, working on their Master’s thesis.

Research topics of my MSc students of the UoG were among others: Web servers based on an object oriented DBMS (back in 1995, later resulting in [39]), a marketing IS for a multinational, organizing the information exchange between hospital departments, editorial automation and electronic publishing, (developing criteria for) evaluation of datamining products, management of I&A-expertise at Dutch municipalities, ERP, business modeling, various topics in the area of MISs, a marketing strategy for a satellite interactive terminal (concerning an MSc in International Business), federated information systems, E-business maturity models, the use of privacy enhancing technologies, a tool to generate e-business options, purchase intelligence, and a business intelligence maturity model.

In order to give an impression of the research topics of my former EUT students, I will mention some: Complete axiomatizations of dependencies in databases, optimization of queries in a logical language, the logical design of a lexical database, logic programming, parsers for natural language fragments (considered as retrieval languages), the design of an expert system for tribology, formalization of INFOMOD and a comparison with the relational model, investigation of various DBMS’s (especially for their possibilities to define integrity constraints and to influence performance), natural language interfaces for databases, design and implementation of a parameterized query optimizer, and formal specifications of transactions in a case handling environment.


While working at Philips and later at Remmen & De Brock I was sometimes the “company supervisor” of some students, of the Eindhoven University of Technology (formal specifications of transactions), of the Twente University (language constructions for transactions), and of the Eindhoven School for Higher Vocational Education (marketing research for career planning systems).

3.Curriculum development

In recent years, I have become more and more intensively involved in the development of IT curricula. For instance, at Remmen & De Brock I was the project leader of two projects for the development of the educational routes ‘Application Control’ and ‘Application Management’ (each consisting of about 40 course days) which we developed for the educational department of one of the largest governmental services in The Netherlands. Moreover, I was one of the developers and I also taught a large part of the course days at least once.

Furthermore, I was involved in designing a curriculum for a Higher Management Course at that governmental service, intended for all their local and deputy managers. The local elaboration of the central information strategy was an important guideline here.


At the UoG, I was very closely involved in structuring and further developing the IT graduation option within the Technology Management (TM) curriculum of our faculty. Among others, I was a member of the TM curriculum committee. Furthermore, I was the coordinator for the contents and execution of all computing science courses and some mathematics courses we “outsourced to” the faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.


Later, the faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences and our faculty developed a new curriculum (Technical Management Science) that focuses on designing technology in a business context. I was responsible for the content and management of the development of the ICT-variant of that new curriculum.


Since 1997 our TM/IT students could replace their fourth year of study in Groningen by a supplementary program of two years at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium. In close cooperation with prof. Vanthienen of the Catholic University of Leuven, I prepared the contents of the underlying curriculum proposal.


Furthermore, I was an (informal) advisor for the (renewed) contents of the full-time MBA and Executive MBA of the Hanze University, of the IS development part of the study Medical Information Science at the medical faculty of the University of Amsterdam, and for the Study Higher Computer Science of the Eindhoven School for Higher Vocational Education, where I was a member of the so-called Committee of Professionals in the Field (until September 1997).

Finally, I was a personal member of the Advisory Board of the faculty of Documentary Information Science of the TilburgSchool for Higher Vocational Education.

Last modified:25 June 2022 3.40 p.m.