I was born and raised in the small town ’t Harde near the city of Elburg, the Netherlands, in 1989. The city is known for its harbour, city walls and history. The town is a wonderful place to life with forests and rural area surrounding it. The region is also known for adventureous forests, moorland and sand drifts. You might understand that my enthusiasm for nature was woken in an early stage of life.

As I was raised in the Netherlands, my mother tongue is Dutch. In my culture, the English language is everywhere around. This allowed me to develop my English proficiency to higher level at a young age. My educational background has started at the primary school De Wegwijzer in the town where I grew up. During that time, I also received my swimming diploma; just in an hour before the exams they permitted me to take the exam. I remember this taught me one of my first important lessons in life: “the one who perserves wins”.

My secundary school was the Greijdanus College in Zwolle, the Netherlands. I received a VWO diploma with a physics and science profile including subjects like informatics, economy, philosophy and religion. As a young kid, I was already intrigued by programming (such as books about Java) and testing (what will happen if I press this button?). During my school period, I always introduced my friends to the most innovative ways of using your computer. In the same time, I found my first website and have been a web developer ever since.

I went to Enschede in 2007, and received my BSc diploma for Technical Informatics in 2011. I continued with a master in Computer Science in the track Methods and Tools for Verification, and received my MSc diploma in 2013. This diploma improved my skills in validation engineering, researching and tool building. During my studies, I had a design project with Strukton and did an internship with BetterBe. After my graduation, I continued for a PhD in Computer Science in an ambitious research group DACS. More on my current work can be found in the section Work – Computer Science on my website.

Beside stating all these achievements, it is not the place where I find my true identity. I think we often get trapped by thinking that you are what you do and that you are what people say about you. For myself, I have found my own true identity in being the beloved child of God with whom He is well pleased in unity with Jesus Christ. I like to share with you how Henri Nouwen thinks about these matters, which has inspired me as well:

“The world says: “Yes, I love you if you are good-looking, intelligent, and wealthy. I love you if you have a good education, a good job, and good connections. I love you if you produce much, sell much, and buy much.” There are endless “ifs” hidden in the world’s love. These “ifs” enslave me, since it is impossible to respond adequately to all of them. The world’s love is and always will be conditional. As long as I keep looking for my true self in the world of conditional love, I will remain “hooked” to the world-trying, failing,and trying again. It is a world that fosters addictions because what it offers cannot satisfy the deepest craving of my heart.” ~ Henri J.M. Nouwen