Obituary - Prof. Ton Burggraaf

It is with great sadness that we share the news that Prof. Anthonie Jan Burggraaf passed away on Saturday, February 11.

Ton Burggraaf was a member of the World Academy of Ceramics and honorary member of the Dutch Ceramic Society. He obtained the Leo Stuijts award in 1991 at the second conference of the European Ceramic Society (Augsburg). 

The work of Ton Burggraaf covered many aspects of ceramic materials. After obtaining his MSc at the Technical University of Delft (1958), he worked on glass and glass ceramics at Philips Research Laboratory. In 1965 he defended his PhD thesis at the Technical University of Eindhoven: “The mechanical strength of alkali-aluminosilicate glasses after ion exchange”. In 1969 he was appointed as professor in Inorganic Materials Science at the University of Twente. He published more than 300 scientific papers, several book chapters and supervised 19 PhD projects in the areas of ferroelectrics, oxygen-ion and mixed conductors, ceramics with special mechanical properties and ceramic membranes. He was one of the “founding fathers” of ceramic membrane technology and because of his pioneering work, ceramic membranes are now regarded as interesting materials in separation processes.

The scientific “drive” of Ton Burggraaf can best be summarized by what he said during his Stuijts lecture: “My colleague and friend Leo Stuijts convinced me of the importance of microstructures and consequently of the importance of technological factors. It has influenced my career in a profound way” (JECS, 1992, 245-250). After his retirement in 1994, Ton remained interested in new developments in ceramic research. Just recently, on February 3rd, he attended the open day of the Membrane Science and Technology cluster of the University of Twente, where he was eager to hear the latest results.

Ton Burggraaf will stay in our memory as a good friend, a passionate scientist and a social person with an open, international, mind.