Professor Simon Middelhoek was born in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, in 1931. After working for IBM in the US and Switzerland he moved to Delft University of Technology in 1969 as a young professor. He soon began having an influence with his push for more research and more publications, and building his group into an internationally renowned research group on sensors. In 1981 he co-founded the first Transducers, as part of the MRS conference, in Boston and organised the first full transducers conference in Delft in 1983.

At that time, he realised the need for sensor researchers to publish papers in a dedicated journal and so founded Sensors and Actuators in 1982, which grew into a major international journal. In 1987 he realised the need for a European platform for sensors so co-founded Eurosensors. He also founded the DIMES institute in Delft and acquired major government funding to build a new modern cleanroom. He was an IEEE life fellow, was awarded an honorary doctorate by ETH Zurich and was a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Science. Closer to home, he was a teacher and a mentor to countless young scientists. His inspiration can still be felt by researchers and managers around the globe. Simon retired in 1996 but remained active as an advisor and mentor for another 5 years. He sadly passed away on 8th January 2020. He will be greatly missed by his family, friends and colleagues, but all those who he mentored also saw him as family, as he did them.

Paddy French, Lina Sarro and Han Huijsing