< Previous page ^ Table of Contents Next page >

Report of the General Board on the establishment of a van Eck Professorship of Engineering

The GENERAL BOARD beg leave to report to the University as follows:

1. The University is recognized as a world leader in communication systems and technology, and various aspects of this interdisciplinary subject are pursued through research carried out in a number of Departments. Many of the innovations seen in the Internet today have been made possible only by the funda-mental research into communications, networks, and optical systems which has taken place over the past several decades. However, this is a rapidly developing area where the installed capacity of high-speed communication systems is increasing at an unprecedented rate. Further technological developments in the high-speed communications field continue to be necessary.

2. The University has recently received, through the Cambridge University Development Office in the USA, a most generous bequest of US$3.5m from the estate of Mr Fred van Eck for the establishment of a Professorship in the field of advanced science and technology with an emphasis on high-speed communications. Mr van Eck, who died on 15 March 2000, was an American citizen with substantial business interests in the United States and in the Netherlands.

3. The Faculty Board of Engineering are grateful for this bequest which offers an ideal opportunity to strengthen both the research and teaching within this continually expanding field. The appointment would complement the on-going work in communications systems and software research within the Department of Engineering and elsewhere within the University. In the light of knowledge of the bequest, the Professorship of Engineering 1966 (Grace 4 of 1 December 1965), which will become vacant on 30 September 2001 on the retirement of Professor J. E. Carroll, was advertised in a field compatible with the terms of the bequest (Reporter, p. 303), and candidates were informed, in the further particulars, of the likelihood of the establishment of the van Eck Professorship. The General Board accordingly agreed to propose the establishment of the van Eck Professorship of Engineering, in place of the Professorship of Engineering (Grace 4 of 1 December 1965), which, subject to the approval of the recommendations of this Report, will be temporarily suspended. The person elected will be the first holder of the new Professorship.

4. The General Board are assured that an appointment at this level will attract a strong field of candidates and that suitable facilities and support can be provided for the Professor, initially in the main building of the Department of Engineering and thereafter in a new building at West Cambridge.

5. The General Board accordingly propose the establishment of a van Eck Professorship of Engineering in the University from 1 October 2001, and that it should be assigned to the Department of Engineering. The Board have agreed to concur in the view of the Faculty Board that an election to the Professorship should be made by an ad hoc Board of Electors.

6. The General Board recommend:

I. That the generous benefaction of US$3.5m from the estate of Mr Fred van Eck be gratefully accepted.

II. That a van Eck Professorship of Engineering be established from 1 October 2001, placed in Schedule B of the Statutes, and assigned to the Department of Engineering, and that the Professorship of Engineering 1966 (Grace 4 of 1 December 1965) be temporarily suspended.

III. That regulations for the van Eck Professorship of Engineering, as set out in the Schedule to this Report, be approved.

7 March 2001 ALEC N. BROERS, Vice-Chancellor KEITH GLOVER PETER LIPTON
  A. J. BADGER MALCOLM GRANT A. C. MINSON
  P. J. BAYLEY J. C. GRAY KATE PRETTY
  N. BULLOCK BRIAN F. G. JOHNSON M. SCHOFIELD

SCHEDULE

Van Eck Professor of Engineering.    2001.    Engineering

1. The sum of US$3.5m received from the will of Mr Fred van Eck for the endowment of a Professorship in the field of advanced science and technology, with an emphasis on high-speed communications, shall form a fund called the van Eck Fund.

2. If and whenever the income of the Fund shall exceed the amount required for the payment of the stipend, national insurance, pension contributions, and associated indirect costs of the Professor payable by the University, the excess of the income over that amount be applied to support the work of the Professor in such manner as may be approved by the General Board on the recommendation of the Head of the Department of Engineering.

3. Any unexpended income of the Fund in a financial year may in any subsequent year be expended in accordance with Regulation 2.


< Previous page ^ Table of Contents Next page >

Cambridge University Reporter, 21 March 2001
Copyright © 2011 The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Cambridge.