In 1992 Martin Kersten started working at the Informatics Institute and became professor in 1993. Martin Kersten was a good teacher of database theory, an excellent researcher, and a leading example in the valorisation of research. His work will live on in the minds and products of many for a long time to come.
Martin joined the national research institute Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) on August 1, 1985. After retirement, he continued to work full time as director of the spin-off company MonetDB Solutions. As emeritus professor of computer science, he was affiliated with the University of Amsterdam. In 2021 he received a royal decoration for his exceptional achievements: he was awarded Knight of the Order of the Netherlands Lion.
Martin explored new topics and entirely new areas in data-intensive computer science and led a big group of researchers from 1985 to 2011. In addition, he managed to translate his research results into practice through projects with companies, founding spin-offs and building MonetDB, a software system whose architecture is now widely used in many scientific fields, the business industry and government organizations.
He was one of the most prominent senior researchers, from the very first year CWI instituted a management team in 1996, for a considerable number of years.
Over these years, Martin has acquired several major projects for his research group and the institute, including WTCW/MIA, MultimediaN, and SciLens.
As of January 1, 2011, the Director of CWI appointed him as a Fellow.
We will remember Martin as a driven researcher, full of visionary ideas and boundless energy, who dared to row against the current. Building a foundation for a strong team was incredibly important to him. He gave young staff the space to develop and offered them the protection they sometimes needed to do so.
For an extensive in memoriam see CWI website.