News - 23-Jan-2023

In Memoriam: dr. Jeff Meisner

Jeff Meisner, postdoc in the Optics Group of the Department of Imaging Science, has passed away on January 1st.  Jeff became severely ill one year ago.  The medical doctors considered his condition at the time life-threatening and decided to amputate one of his feet. Around Christmas last year, the disease returned and he was taken to the hospital in Leiden where he died on his 70th birthday.

Jeff was born in Chicago. He came to Leiden 22 years ago after being hired by prof. Walter Jaffe of the Sterrewacht (astronomy). In 2009 there was a joint project of the group of prof. Jaffe and the Optics Group of TU Delft in which Jeff was postdoc. Since then he came frequently to Delft, although most of his projects where still in Leiden.  

One of the projects in Delft where he achieved outstanding results was a collaboration with major European metrology institutes.  During the two years before he became ill, he was hired by TU Delft to develop new optical experiments for the Applied Physics Master. The experiments are very original and plans are made to finish Jeff’s work and to start using these experiments in our education.

At his funeral, a speaker from the University of Leiden called Jeff a brilliant scientist, which indeed he was. Jeff had a very broad knowledge. He called himself experimentalist but he also knew a lot about theory.

Since 2009 Jeff almost always attended the bi-weekly group meetings of the Optics Group to listen to talks by group members and external guests.  The suggestions and remarks he made and the issues he brought up had much added value and were in particular very helpful for the students. When attending talks, he always listened very attentively, asking questions persistently until some controversial issue was resolved. Scientific discussions with him could be intense, but he never personally attacked people; his aim was to find out what was right and what was not.  He had no respect for reputations and would never accept a claim by a speaker merely because of his or her reputation. Jeff’s  own presentations were no-nonsense and to the point. Nevertheless, listeners quickly grasped the high quality of his work.

Jeff had not only passion for science but he also had compassion for people. He was a pacifist and firmly believed in the equality of people. He had no interest in material goods and disliked authorities. He joined demonstrations regularly, for example a demonstration against government plans to reduce support for handicapped children,  although Jeff had no children of his own.

Jeff held strong principles, both morally and regarding scientific work. He also was a very good educator, who could explain difficult issues well. His strong principles came however with a lack of flexibility and an unwillingness to make compromises. He did not want to work on projects where for some reason a suboptimal solution was preferred over the scientifically optimum solution. He therefore did not fit well in the current university organization and he never held a permanent position. 

The last year was very difficult for Jeff. But he did not give up and did not become bitter after his foot had been amputated. After he had obtained a prothesis he started to come to Delft again.  On 16 December 2022, Jeff attended the Christmas dinner in the Optics Group, as he always did.  Although none of us noticed it, he was already not well at the time. 

I speak on behalf of all group members, staff, technicians and students, when I say  that we all liked Jeff and respected him,  that it was a pleasure to have him in the group and that we all have profited from his knowledge and help. We will miss him.

His website:

Latest news items.

  • News - 13/06/2024

    The discovery of an old Microscope

    In the back of a cupboard of our group, (Optics Cluster at the Imaging Physics department of Applied Sciences), a box full of interesting objects had been hiding for almost thirty years. ...

  • News - 13/06/2024

    Interview Joseph Braat, former Professor

    Our Post-doc Yifeng Shao has invited our former Professor, Joseph Braat, for an interview published on Advanced Photonics to look back at his career, the development of optical storage and ...

  • News - 09/03/2023

    First course and agenda for Lifelong Optics Learning

    The first lesson of the basic course on Optics for the Lifelong Optics Learning has been given yesterday. The agenda for the other lessons can be found here. ...

  • News - 23/01/2023

    In Memoriam: dr. Jeff Meisner

    Jeff Meisner, postdoc in the Optics Group of the Department of Imaging Science, has passed away on January 1st.  Jeff became severely ill one year ago.  The medical doctors considered his condition at the ...

  • News - 13/01/2023

    A glance at our Carla Camp

    If you could not join our Carla Camp last year, and whish to know more about it, you can take a glance at the video we made that encapsulate the moment in ...

  • News - 10/01/2023

    Dr. Aurèle ADAM winner of the Westerdijk Prize

    Aurèle Adam (right), Assistant Professor from the our group and Program Director of the Applied Physics Master, has been awarded the Westerdijk Prize by Timon Idema (left) head of the Prize committee ...

  • News - 10/01/2023

    Happy New Year 2023

    We are glad to welcome a new year full of science and wonders. The TUDelft university has been keen to make a promotial video thanking everyone beyond the scene for 2022. We ...

  • News - 15/12/2022

    Two NWO Perspectief Proposal granted for our group

    NWO has granted two Perspectif program proposals where our group is part of: Leading by light guidance, where the university of Twente is leading and Imaging at the smallest scales where our Department ...

  • News - 05/12/2022

    OSA ‘Photo of the Year’, second place for Sven Weerdenburg

    Our Phd student, Sven Weerdenburg made a photo of our high harmonic generation EUV light source which has made it to the 2nd place of Optica (OSA) 'Photo of the Year' contest. A ...

  • News - 11/11/2022

    Face2Phase 3rd edition November 7-9, 2022 in Delft

    The conference addressed phase information in imaging with topics such as lensless imaging, phase retrieval, adaptive and active optics, ptychography, holography, tomography. We also had the honour to have 14 invited speakers ...

  • News - 04/10/2022

    Wenye Ji invited speaker OPL-2022 conference

    Wenye Ji has been invited to give a talk at the OPL-2022 conference in November this year. ...

  • News - 14/07/2022

    Our colleague Aurèle ADAM is the new director of studies for our master program

    Starting from the 1st of August, our colleague Dr. Aurèle ADAM will be the new director of Studies of our master program Applied Physics. He is replacing Prof. Jos Thijssen from the ...

  • News - 29/04/2022

    CARLA Camp 31 May & 1 June 2022

    Together with the industrial and academic photonics communities, we are creating inclusive pan-European photonics career camps aimed at university students and early-stage researchers (graduates, undergraduates, Master’s students, PhD students and early stage post-docs) ...

  • News - 11/02/2022

    Omar El Gawhary appointed as member of the Council of Experts on National Measurement Standards

    Since February 2022, Omar El Gawhary, from the Optics group of ImPhys, has been appointed as member of the Council of Experts on National Measurement Standards (Raad van deskundigen van de nationale ...

  • News - 09/12/2021

    New superconducting material raises the operating temperature of space detectors

    Superconducting niobium nitride (NbN) hot electron bolometers (HEBs) are so far the most sensitive heterodyne detectors for high-resolution spectroscopy at supra-terahertz frequencies (1 - 6 THz). They take advantage of a local ...

  • News - 26/03/2021

    OASIS: a Far-Infrared Space Mission

    (The same article was published at SRONieuws, March 2021) OASIS is een missieconcept dat een droom waar kan maken voor submm/ver-infrarood sterrenkunde: hoge-resolutie imaging van bijvoorbeeld water op te sporen op asteroïden of ...

  • News - 05/03/2021

    Lifelong Optics Learning, educatie platform voor professionals in optica en fotonica

    For English see belowImage from Dutch Optics Centre websiteHet Dutch Optics Centre (DOC), een samenwerking tussen de Technische Universiteit Delft en TNO, heeft het Lifelong Optics Learning opleidingsplatform opgezet voor professionals in optica ...

  • News - 03/03/2021

    World-record in single-photon detection efficiency has been achieved by TUDelft team in Optica/Imphys (Editor’s Pick in APL Photonics)

    Detecting light at its quantum limit -single photon-level has enabled and greatly benefited quantum information sciences, fluorescence imaging, Lidar (radar with light), and many other applications. Since 2001, superconducting nanowire single photon detectors ...

  • News - 12/01/2021

    EMPIR project funded

    The project proposal POLight (Pushing boundaries of nanometrology by Light), coordinated by Omar El Gawhary, submitted within the European Metrology Programme for Innovation and Research (EMPIR), call on Fundamental Metrology 2020, has ...

  • News - 01/11/2020

    Project GUSTO in the picture at TU Delft

    Jian-Rong Gao and his team are working very hard on project GUSTO. If all goes to plan, GUSTO (a helium balloon the size of a soccer stadium with a NASA telescope) will ...