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Word from the President


Some months ago, I received an invitation on behalf of the Board of Delegates to occupy the seat of President of the Association. It is therefore my honour to send you my first “Word of the President”. The former chairmen, the Executive Committee and the Board of Delegates have by now created a well-functioning, stable, successful, and ever-growing organisation. I’m trying to do my best to serve the Association and work on some of the remaining challenges that have to be finalized and improved. Through the coming three years of my mandate, I will be relying fully on the exceptional work of the Executive Committee to whom I’m very thankful.

As you may know the idea of the Association was launched at the celebration of the VKI 50th anniversary in 2006 and it was legally fully established in February 2008. Ever since the Association keeps growing, counting now 591 members all over the World. I joined the Association as a member in the year when it was established, and I was very glad for this initiation that time. In 2017 I had the opportunity to join the Board of Delegates as one of the representatives of The Netherlands.

Although I worked for 5 years at the VKI as Senior Research Engineer and later as Assistant Professor, I experienced the exceptional power of being an alumnus of the VKI when striving for various achievements outside the VKI. My passion for aerodynamics and for the VKI ‘family’ is obvious for many of you who know me, and I have described my experiences in some articles published in the VKI-AA newsletters.

Many of us use the term ‘VKI Spirit’ that symbolises a kind of bonding between us, VKI related people. Apparently the ‘VKI Spirit’ induces a ‘VKI effect’ that is a very powerful phenomenon and proves itself every time in our lives. The ‘VKI effect’ is based on the exceptional reputation of the VKI in the World. The VKI attracts hundreds of students from all over the participating countries every year and provides a unique multinational professional and social experience.

Students and researchers complete their studies and are then continuing their career at various places in which the little acronym ‘VKI’ opens doors even if the student/researcher does not realize it. Through these students and researchers, the VKI became known and its name became the symbol of guaranty for the highest level of knowledge, skills, quality and professionalism. Thanks to the community the VKI became known in every sector of the industry in the World, even in domains which are remote to the fields of activities covered by the VKI.

Nowadays when a student completes his/her activities at VKI, he/she leaves not only with experiences but also with a key in his/her pocket, a key that works similarly to a badge with a chip which is authorized to open all doors. This key is the small acronym ‘VKI’ in their CV. The reason why this key works so efficiently is the existence of the alumni community and the pertinent excellence of the Alma Mater, the VKI.

Although the VKI effect has existed before the creation of this formal Alumni Association and will exist even beyond and independently of it, the existence of an official framework can provide some structured organization to this world-wide scattered family. The Association aims to boost the ‘VKI effect’ and strengthen the ‘VKI Spirit’.

I feel truly honoured for the opportunity to contribute to this Association in which I not only fully believe, but also, I am convinced of its potential power. This is a sort of service unit to help and reinforce the community created and ran by the alumni for the alumni. We just have to make it good, make it efficient to support the community.

The Alumni-Association comprises various specialized committees that keep on working on maintaining the organization in its legal framework, organizing and providing research grants for VKI students, organizing study trips and preparing and publishing regular newsletters to keep everyone informed. We are open to new ideas and proposals to improve our common experience of belonging to this community.

I am looking forward to serving you in these three years.