Nieuws - 12 september 2012

Hundredth PhD for Verstegen

Today Professor Martin Verstegen delivered his hundredth PhD. He is only the fifth professor in the Netherlands to achieve that milestone.

The hundredth doctoral student was Willem Smink, who received his PhD for a study of the metabolism of fatty acids in chickens and pigs. Verstegen is emeritus professor of Animal Nutrition. The first PhD to be supervised by Verstegen was awarded in 1982. After that there was a steady stream of doctoral students with a frequency of four to seven PhDs a year. Production levels peaked in 1996 with eight PhDs.
Verstegen himself is specialized in the metabolism of pigs. Under his supervision, PhD students have carried out research on such aspects of animal nutrition as food intake, digestion, energy metabolism, proteins, sugars, minerals and growth models. His pupils also studied the physiological adaptation of animals to tropical conditions.
Verstegen day
Thirty nine of the hundred PhD students were from abroad, from countries such as Vietnam, South Korea, Burkina Faso, New Zealand, Indonesia and Canada as well as countries in Europe. Many of the PhD students meet up every year on Verstegen day. They found jobs in industry, at universities and at research institutes all around the world.
There have only been four other professors since the foundation of the first Dutch university, Leiden University in 1575, to have supervised one hundred or more PhD students. Verstegen was awarded the university's Silver Medal by rector magnificus Martin Kropff for reaching this milestone.