Beyond the scientist: Mats Koeneman


Where and when were you born?

I was born in this very same hospital somewhat less then 30 years ago after which I grew up in the town called Malden.

Where do you live and with whom?

At this moment I live in Rotterdam with two fellow graduates in Technical Medicine, whom I know from studying in Enschede and working at the Intensive Care Unit in the Erasmus Medical Centre. I work a lot in the train traveling back and forth but I’ll be moving to Nijmegen soon because winter is coming!

Who was your role model when you were a kid?

If I had to choose I think it would be Inspector Gadget or one of the Tracys from Thunderbirds. I remember watching that shows as a kid and already being fascinated with technology.

Why aren’t you doing the same thing now as your role model (or do you?)

I am not solving crime, but technological innovations are really my core business nowadays. Farfetched you could even draw parallels in the field of medicine and the human rescue missions of the Thunderbirds.

What is the thing in your (work or other) history that you are most proud of?

Most recently I finished the Four Days Marches which was a nice achievement and great experience. In general I am most happy with my choice of becoming a Technical Physician. Even though Technical Medicine was quite new, somewhat uncertain and in Enschede of all places, I’m glad I choose that over Medicine or Biomedical Technology.

What is it that you would like to achieve in work in the next 5 to 10 years?

In the next 10 years I want to make full use of existing and newfound technologies in a way the patient and even healthy people will benefit most. The challenge in this is to take it beyond being a gadget and integrate it in everyday health care, home care and life. But first continuous and mobile monitoring on the clinical wards!

For what can we wake you up?

Don’t. I sleep too little as it is!

What is your hobby and how good are you at it?

Sailing in which we sail from the Netherlands to maybe France or Denmark, playing squash for maximum competition and running when the first two are insufficient for healthy living.

What is your biggest irritation?

The selfish people however in minority which make it seem the whole world is turning egocentric.

Who would you like to invite for dinner, if you had the chance?

If it could be someone from the past it would be Niccolò Machiavelli, a most fascinating person from a most beautiful country in a most interesting time. If the person should be alive maybe Bansky.


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