Prof. Silvia Lenaerts of University of Antwerp becomes new TU/e rector

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Photo: TU/e website.

Silvia Lenaerts will be the new rector magnificus of Eindhoven University of Technology. She is currently a professor and the vice-rector of Valorization & Development at the University of Antwerp. On May 11, the current TU/e rector, Frank Baaijens, will hand over the chain of office to her.  

Since 2007, Lenaerts (1966) has led the Sustainable Energy, Air and Water Technology Group that she founded in Antwerp. The Belgian professor has also been vice-rector of Valorization & Development since 2016. In this role, she serves as a catalyst and connector for Antwerp’s innovation ecosystem. Lenaerts holds a large number of executive positions in the academic world and beyond, including on the Governing Board of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). She studied and obtained her PhD at KU Leuven and IMEC. She will be the first female rector of TU/e.  

“We are extremely pleased and proud to be able to appoint Ms. Lenaerts as the new rector magnificus,” says Peter Wennink, President of the TU/e Supervisory Board. “The advisory committee was unanimously enthusiastic about her qualities. In her, we have a strong rector, a top scientist with extensive experience in research and education. She offers compelling connecting qualities, strong leadership and excellent complementarity with the two other Executive Board members. Together, we are convinced that they make up the ideal board to shape and guide the major expected developments of the university.”  

“I am very pleased with the arrival of Silvia Lenaerts as the new rector,” says Robert-Jan Smits, President of the TU/e Executive Board. “She has enormous executive experience, both inside and outside of the university world, and possesses considerable decisiveness and drive. These are qualities that will prove invaluable in realizing TU/e’s growth ambitions.”  

“I find it an honor and a pleasure to take on this responsibility at TU/e, a top university with a central role in one of Europe’s strongest high-tech ecosystems,” says Silvia Lenaerts. “I believe in people and the connections between people. I believe in growing together through trust, openness and long-term cooperation in order to build a smart and sustainable society together. I’m very much looking forward to working together with everyone at TU/e.” 

Lenaerts succeeds Frank Baaijens, rector magnificus of TU/e for the past eight years. From May 11, Baaijens will continue his work as a professor within the Department of Biomedical Engineering and the Institute for Complex Molecular Systems. He will also have an advisory role for education and research in the field of medical technology.

This article was first published on 16 January by TU/e. 

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