Research School for Fluid Mechanics | TUD TUE UT RUG WUR UU


JMBC – a concise history

In about 1989 the initiative was taken to organize the academic fluid-dynamics community in the Netherlands in a larger setting. Discussions were taking place at that time with FOM (Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter), the national funding agency for physics, in order to give the fluid dynamics community a clear position within FOM. Eventually, this resulted in the founding of the FOM ‘Werkgemeenschap’ Stroming & Warmte. Key-players in these discussions were Prof Charles Hoogendoorn (TUD), Prof. Frans Nieuwstadt (TUD), Prof. Leen van Wijngaarden (UT), and Prof. Gerrit Vossers (TU/e).

In 1990, many of the fluid dynamics groups in Delft became organized in the ‘TUD-samenwerkingsverband stromingsleer’. Initiators of this collaboration network were Prof. Charles Hoogendoorn, Prof. Frans Nieuwstadt, and Prof. Jurjen Battjes.

One year later, in 1991, this local collaboration network was extended to the national scale by also including fluid dynamics groups in Eindhoven and Twente: this marked the founding of the JM Burgerscentrum (JMBC), the national research school for fluid dynamics. While most of the participating groups were based at TUD, TU/e and UT, also one fluid dynamics group in Groningen became a member of the new research school.

In 1992, the JMBC received the formal recognition by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences (KNAW). In that foundation year, the JMBC was formed by a total of 25 participating groups, with a total of 38 PhD students. Prof. Charles Hoogendoorn served as its first scientific director. A few years later he was succeeded by Prof. Gijs Ooms, who served as JMBC director until 2014.

In the course of the years the JMBC gradually increased in size. At the 25th anniversary (in 2017), the JMBC housed a total of 48 academic groups, with a total of about 350 PhD students and 60 postdocs.

The presently participating groups cover many aspects of the wide field of fluid dynamics: turbulence, multiphase flows, combustion, waves, granular flows, flows of non-Newtonian fluids, flows in porous media, flows with buoyancy forces (rotation, density effects), biological fluid mechanics, environmental fluid mechanics, flows in the built environment. The participating groups have built up great expertise in the different methodological approaches: experimental, theoretical, and numerical.

In a number of ‘contact groups’ within the JMBC, expertise and experience is exchanged, which often leads to closer collaboration between the participating groups. Although the JM Burgerscentrum is an academic research school, many contacts with industrial research groups exist, and a large number of joint research projects are carried out with industrial partners.

The research school is named after Prof. Jan M, Burgers (1895-1981), who was professor of Aerodynamics and Hydrodynamics in Delft from 1918 until 1955. In 1955 he moved to the University of Maryland (USA), where he became a research professor at the Institute for Fluid Dynamics and Applied Mathematics. He remained active as professor emeritus until he died in 1981. Inspired by the intellectual heritage of Prof. Jan M. Burgers, the ‘Burgers Program Maryland’ was established, with the primary goal to enhance the quality and international visibility of the research and educational programmes in fluid dynamics at the University of Maryland, in partnership with the JMBC in The Netherlands.

A highly readable (auto)biography of JM Burgers has been composed and edited by Prof Jan Sengers (Burgers Program Maryland, USA) and Prof Gijs Ooms (former scientific director JMBC).

Some historical data

Scientific directors

  • Prof Charles Hoogendoorn, 1992 – 1997
  • Prof Gijs Ooms, 1997 – 2014
  • Prof GertJan van Heijst, 2014 – 2021
  • Prof Ruud Henkes – 2021 – present

Management assistants

  •  Mrs Marja Oppenoorth – Moonen, 1992 – 1997
  •  Mrs Dineke Hendriks, 1997 – 1998
  •  Mrs Ilse Hoekstein-Philips, 1998 – present

Chairmen of the JMBC Board

  • Prof Rob Kouffeld, 1992 – 1999
  • Prof Henk Tijdeman, 1999 – 2007
  • Prof Gabriel Lodewijks, 2007 – 2015
  • Prof Hans van Duijn, 2015 – present

Chairmen of Industrial Advisory Board

  • Dr Frits Dijksman (Philips)
  • Dr Rene Duursma (Tata Steel)
  • Ir Peter Veenstra (Shell)
  • Prof. dr. ir. Herman Wijshoff (Canon/TU/e) – present chair

Formal recognitions KNAW

  • 1992 – 1997
  • 1997 – 2002
  • 2002 – 2007
  • 2007 – 2013
  • 2013 – 2018

A Century of Fluid Mechanics in The Netherlands

This book was published in order to commemorate the fact that last year it was exactly 100 years since Jan Burgers was appointed as the first professor in fluid mechanics in The Netherlands, The author, Fons Alkemade provides a very readable overview of various fluid-dynamical activities in The Netherlands during the last 100 years, both at the universities and in industrial laboratories.
The book is published by Springer, and is available in printed form (hardcover) and in e-book form. For more information, see
All tenured staff members of JMBC groups have received a copy of the book. For others registered as JMBC members (PhD students, postdocs, and others) we offer the possibility to order one or more copies at a reduced rate (€ 25, including shipping costs within The Netherlands) via this link Non-JMBC members can order the book directly at Springer at

Comments are closed.