On Wednesday 28 June 2017, our colleague Albert Konter passed away. Albert was one of the first employees of M2i, former NIMR.
Previously, he worked at an American company specializing in finite calculation methods. In October 1999 he joined NIMR as “Finite Element Consultant” and from 1 January 2000 as “Manager NIMR College”. In this capacity, Albert taught methods in applying finite elements.
At the beginning of 2008, the metals institute NIMR was renamed M2i (Materials innovation institute). Government subsidies for the activities of M2i were increased, the scope of the research was expanded and more valorization work was needed. The aim was to create short-term innovation projects, especially together with SMEs, to ensure that material knowledge was really applied to industrial processes and products.
Albert became “Manager Knowledge Transfer” and led the team of valorization managers. The team was very successful and Albert composed a book “M2i The Innovation and Valorization Formula”, putting the results clearly in the spotlight.
A new and major change occurred in 2013 when government policy was amended. Grants for Technology Top Institutions, such as M2i, came to an end. The reorganization that was initiated had a major impact on Albert: there was no valorization department anymore, his co-workers had to leave M2i and Albert’s office in Nieuwegein was moved to Delft. His function changed into “Manager Valorization & Implementation”. He started calculating and modelling work again as he did before.
His great strength was to discover simple relationships: from complicated material models, developed by M2i’s PhD students, he took the essence out and put it into fast computational models, that were then applied by companies like Fontijne Grotnes, Philips and Tata Steel. Albert was also active in European projects. He was a recognized specialist, who was regularly asked for advice.
In theory, Albert worked 4 days a week. In practice however, he sometimes worked twice the hours. Albert would reach retirement age next year, but he loved his job and had great plans to postpone his retirement for a few years: he had already ensured the projects needed for that.
We have known Albert as a unique person, a hard and enthusiastic worker with knowledge and humor. For all his efforts, his initiatives, his analytical ability and expertise, M2i owe him great thanks.
We will miss him as a colleague, but especially as an enjoyable person with a listening ear to all. His warm personality will remain in our memory.
On the 4th of July we have shown our respect at Albert’s farewell.
We wish Joske, Isabel, Constantijn and other family and loved ones great strength with this big loss.