Recognising his contribution to universities of science and technology, including his “pre-eminent leadership”, Karel was honoured during graduation ceremonies.
On 21 June 2022, the University of Strathclyde awarded former President Karel Luyben with an honorary doctorate for services to higher education, science and innovation.
Professor Duncan Graham (Associate Principal & Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science) provided an introductory speech noting Karel’s ‘outstanding contribution to academia, research, and society’, and his leadership at the national and international level:
“He took on the role of President of CESAER, the main association of universities of science and technology in Europe, and immediately set about building its organisation to make it the pre-eminent overarching association of universities of science and technology; a highly active and influential group, influencing policy in Brussels and support exchanges between its Members.”
“Strathclyde’s close connection with Karel began when we became Member of CESAER under his Presidency, his enthusiastic support for Strathclyde was immediately obvious and his ‘canny’ eye for procedure ensured that Strathclyde could be formally accepted as a member at its annual meeting, with colleague Tim Bedford being elected to its Board only minutes after.”
“When Karel stepped down after four years, he was followed by Principal, Sir Jim McDonald, and stayed as Vice President to continue supporting the organisation, and that collaboration has created a longstanding bond.”
“Karel has championed open science and fair data through Delft University of Technology, and the Task Force Open Science of CESAER. As Chair of the European Open Science Cloud, and since 2020 the President of the European Open Science Cloud Association.”
Conferring the degree of Doctor of Science (‘honoris causa’), Sir Jim stated: “we are very proud to have you associated with Strathclyde, and welcome to the Strathclyde family.”
Karel provided an address to the soon-to-be graduates of the Faculty of Science, during which he thanked the University of Strathclyde – “one of the best universities of science and technology” – for the honour and noted his gratitude to those who have been influential in his engagement with the university, including Sir Jim, Tim Bedford, and Duncan Graham:
“Thank you for your trust in me and thank you for the nice words, I really feel truly honoured by this. I have learned to know the University of Strathclyde through CESAER.” Karel then reflected on the links between Strathclyde and TU Delft, predominantly the joint-venture European Policy Research Center (EPRC) hosted in both Glasgow and Delft.
“It is especially through the personal and professional connections I have had with Sir Jim McDonald and Tim Bedford, where I have grown an enormous admiration for this university… for their courage, endeavour, strength, and achievements.”