For his extensive contributions to science, CWI Fellow and former director Jos Baeten has been awarded a Royal decoration. Baeten was appointed Officer in the order of Oranje-Nassau. The awarding took place during the 75th anniversary event of CWI (Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI), the national research institute for mathematics and computer science in the Netherlands.

The decoration was presented by John Jorritsma, the mayor of Eindhoven, which is Baeten’s city of residence. In his speech, Jorritsma praised Baeten’s many achievements and efforts in science. Jorritsma referred to Baeten’s background as a bakers’s son, concluding that the laureate is “the living proof that the Netherlands is a country where people can achieve their goals”.

The awarding took place during CWI’s 75th anniversary event, where Baeten presented parts of his farewell speech. Originally, this speech was part of a special conference to celebrate his retirement in October 2020. Due to tightening of coronavirus measures, this event was cancelled. The full version of Jos Baeten’s retirement speech can be viewed on CWI’s YouTube channel.

Baeten served as a director of CWI (2011-2020) and was appointed professor of Theoretical Computer Science at the University of Amsterdam in 2014. Prior to that, he served as a professor of Computer Science and dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science at the Eindhoven University of Technology.

He contributed to the establishment of a joint master’s in Embedded Systems of the universities of Eindhoven, Delft and Twente, as well as the establishment of a joint master’s in Information Security Technology of TU Eindhoven together with the universities of Twente and Nijmegen. As a professor, Baeten supervised 31 dissertations and 17 doctoral and master’s theses. Baeten is a past chair and current member of IFIP’s Technical Committee 1 (TC1) Foundations of Computer Science.

As director of CWI, Baeten pursued an active valorisation policy to create public-private knowledge exchange. Under his leadership, CWI researchers started several innovative spin-off companies. Baeten also worked to strengthen ties with foreign research institutes and collaborations. He recognised the importance of close ties between universities and business, and started various initiatives to this end.

After his retirement in 2020, Baeten was appointed a CWI Fellow. He was succeeded by CWI’s current director, Ton de Kok.