During the 19th edition of the Precision Fair, the Rien Koster Award was presented under the auspices of DSPE (Dutch Society for Precision Engineering). The award went to Hans van de Rijdt for his merits as a developer of multidisciplinary and straightforward concepts for high-tech systems that score well on manufacturability and cost.

The Rien Koster Award is given to a mechatronics engineer/designer who has made a significant contribution to the field of mechatronics and precision engineering. The panel of judges, now chaired by Ton Peijnenburg, deputy general manager and manager Systems Engineering at VDL ETG, uses four criteria in the assessment: oeuvre, creativity, relevance (social and commercial) and professional appearance. The award was presented for the eighth time on Wednesday, 13 November. On behalf of the panel of judges, Rien Koster, after whom the award is named, presented the award to ing. Hans van de Rijdt, of Van de Rijdt Innovatie, based in Gemert (NL).

From patient table to asparagus harvester

After his mechanical engineering studies at the HTS Eindhoven, Van de Rijdt joined Philips CFT, where he worked on many different topics, including the transport system of a placement machine for electronic components and a patient table for radiotherapy. In 1997 he started his own company, Van de Rijdt Innovatie, and since then he has worked for a variety of clients. For example, he developed the concept for a pathology scanner by Philips Healthcare, Sioux CCM and Frencken. He designed the architecture for various NXP production systems and elaborated the concept for a new ASML wafer stage. He also made important contributions to the concept of an asparagus harvester by Cerescon.

Multidisciplinary system thinking

According to the panel of judges, Van de Rijdt’s concepts bear witness to multidisciplinary system thinking. “He makes careful use of mechanics, electrical engineering, metrology and control technology to arrive at an optimum design. At the same time, he considers the manufacturability and the cost price, and he often manages to achieve significant cost-price reductions with his design approach. Moreover, he usually comes with multiple options, so that clients have something to choose from, and his designs are often remarkably simple. He creates no-nonsense solutions that make everyone comment, ‘That’s right, this is how you should do it’.”

Professional and modest

On the criterion of ‘relevance’, Hans van de Rijdt’s input leads to usable, marketable products, the production of which generates a lot of high-quality employment, the panel judged. “Finally, he combines a professional appearance with a modest attitude. Van de Rijdt Innovatie is hired by numerous companies, in many cases for just one day a week. Yet he is often the guiding factor in a design team of five to 20 people. In addition, he remains relatively modest as a person. He also offers his time to the High Tech Institute as a training coach for manufacturability. All in all, the jury has every reason to award the Rien Koster Award 2019 to Hans van de Rijdt for the intelligent and intensive way in which he has been practising his profession for 30 years.”

The importance of designing

With its Rien Koster Award, DSPE wants to highlight the importance of designing to the precision industry. Globally, the Netherlands plays a leading role in this industry, which can broadly be dubbed the ‘high-tech systems’ sector. As a group leader at Philips CFT (Centrum voor Fabricagetechnologie [Centre for Manufacturing Technology]) and a professor at the University of Twente, the award’s namesake Rien Koster has made a major contribution to the Netherlands’ position in this sector. Koster is also the author of the renowned book “Constructieprincipes voor het nauwkeurig bewegen en positioneren” (Design Principles for Precision Movement and Positioning). The Rien Koster Award comprises a sum of money, donated by VDL ETG, and a trophy made by students of the Leidse instrumentmakers School (LiS).

Note for the press (not for publication)

For further information please feel free to contact:

  • Rien Koster Award: Ton Peijnenburg, +31 (0)6 – 3174 1023, ton.peijnenburg@vdletg.com
  • DSPE: Hans Krikhaar, President of DSPE, +31 (0)6 – 5137 8798, hans.krikhaar@dspe.nl