Hi there! 👋 My name is Geert, which is Dutch for Gerard.
I am a software engineer with a curiosity for science gone out of hand. I have degrees in both Computer Science (MSc) and Physics (PhD) and benefit from 10+ years experience in building open source scientific software and analyzing data. My experience includes diverse projects at three universities 👨🎓, two space agencies 🚀, and one meteorological institute 🌤. My journey allowed me to work in five countries and three languages so far.
In recent years, I was part of the team that rescued NASA's award-winning Kepler Space Telescope. I was privileged to experience first hand how a small team of skilled engineers can achieve miracles when given the freedom to take risks, prototype rapidly, and collaborate in a positive culture. It enabled us to rescue the spacecraft and extend the mission by four years, leading to the discovery of 300+ new planets across the galaxy.
- 2017-now: Program Director / Scientist, NASA Kepler Mission / Bay Area Environmental Research (USA)
- 2012-2015: Teacher / Scientist, University of Hertfordshire (UK)
- 2008-2012: PhD Student, Armagh Observatory (Northern Ireland)
- 2007-2008: Software Engineer, European Space Agency (The Netherlands)
- 2006-2007: Assistant Climate Scientist, Royal Meteorological Institute (Belgium)
- 2008-2012: PhD Physics, Queen's University Belfast (UK)
- 2002-2006: MSc Computer Science, University of Antwerp (Belgium)
- software engineering using Python, Java, C/C++;
- data processing and visualization using database systems;
- statistical inference and machine learning;
- presenting scientific results to an audience of experts or non-experts.
Things I have created
- numerous scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals;
- a detailed atlas of our own Galaxy containing 219 million stars;
- websites for the IPHAS and VPHAS astronomy surveys;
- meteoroid flux profiles for the International Meteor Organization;
- the Venus ground-based image archive for the European Space Agency;
- NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day on 25 April 2011;
- visualisations which made it onto the BBC news website.
- a website which allowed the public to name the largest unnamed world in our Solar System.
- My interviews with BBC News, Nature, Sky At Night.
- Asteroid 22275 is named after me.