He appointed Jan Nigenhuys a Knight of the Dutch Order of the Lion
Leadership in the field of mechatronics and optics
Jan Nijenhuis has been working at TNO for more than 34 years in the field of optical mechatronics, a field for developing ultra-precise mechanisms for optical devices. This is necessary in lithographic systems, telescopes and satellites, for example. Nijenhuis specializes in developing instruments for space travel and astronomy. He is internationally respected and recognized as an expert and leader in this field, due in part to his many years of contributions to international symposia and his work at the Netherlands Society for Precision Engineering.
A very large telescope
Nijenhuis recently designed the mechanical support for the primary mirror of the world’s largest telescope, the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT). ELT has been called “the world’s largest eye to the sky.” The telescope will be the size of a football field and will be able to look further into the universe from the year 2027 than any telescope ever made. A basic 39-meter-high mirror consists of no fewer than 798 individual segments of 1.4-meter length, each of which must maintain the correct shape and position within 20 millionths of a millimeter. Successful prototype development by TNO led to an order worth millions for the Dutch VDL for serial production.
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