By training, I am an electrical engineer with a Ph.D. (1988) in System Identification from the KU Leuven in Belgium. After a two-year post-doc at Stanford, I became a full professor (1991) at KU Leuven, with research activities in data-driven mathematical engineering (numerical linear algebra and algebraic geometry, system identification and control, data science and machine learning), with main applications in the process industry and health (bioinformatics, clinical decision support systems). I co-founded eight spinoff companies in these areas. Three times I was the main science and technology advisor to Belgian ministers.
Having participated in many assessment initiatives worldwide, I can safely state that I admire the DNRF: its high standards of research assessment and support, its impactful Centers of Excellence, the Niels Bohr Professorships, and the foundation’s visionary leadership and its independence. All of these characteristics testify to the reputation and impact of the DNRF, which I like to cite everywhere I go as a fantastic role model for research funding.