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Prof. Dr. Ir. Jan Cornelis

ETRO Professor Emeritus

Biography Research Publications
Short CV

1973: MS degree in Electronics and Electro-mechanics from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB).
1980: PhD degree in Applied Sciences (VUB).

1973-1983: Assistant and postdoctoral researcher, part time professor in department Electronics and researcher in University Hospital.
1983-2016: Fulltime professor (VUB).

1993-2008: Head of the Department of Electronics and Informatics (VUB-ETRO).
2001-2009: Vicerector for R&D at VUB.

2009-2010: Deputy head of cabinet in the Ministry of Science Policy and Innovation.
2009-2012: Academic Coordinator Knowledge Innovation and Technology Transfer at VUB.

2012-2016: Vicerector International Policy at VUB.
2016:Professor emeritus with 10 % research appointment. Pro-Vicerector International Policy.


Academic management experience in “innovation and university knowledge transfer”

  • Co-initiator of “BI3 NV” – incubation fund of VUB, which started in 2002, the Qbic Fund (first interuniversity early seed fund in Flanders-Brussels), He is now board member of the interuniversity Qbic Fund, where he also presides the strategic committee.

  • He has co-initiated ICAB NV - Business and Technology Incubation Centre of VUB. He is now board member of ICAB NV.

  • He was successively board member, deputy of the Flemish Government in the Board of Directors of IMEC. (Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre), and afterwards board member again till now. He was board member at iMinds (an independent research institute funded by the Flemish government), where he was also member of the remuneration committee and member of the strategic reform committee. As member of the strategic reform committee he collaborated to the design of the strategic plan “iMinds 3.0” (2016-2021) and prepared the merger of IMEC and iMinds (due in September 2016).

Academic management experience in “university governance”

  • In 2001-2008 he was Vice rector for R&D at VUB, in 2009 he became deputy head of cabinet in the Ministry of Science Policy and Innovation for 6 month, he then acted as academic coordinator Knowledge Innovation and Technology Transfer at VUB. He received in 2015 the Chinese state friendship award and previously a similar award of the province of Shaanxi for his early involvement in cooperation with Chinese universities including technology transfer.

  • From October 2012 he became Vicerector International Policy at VUB.

  • He has also been member and chairman in various institutional accreditation and review panels (NVAO, ANQA, University of Wien, …) and panel chairman for the distinctive quality feature “entrepreneurship (NVAO). He has been active in the definition of the KPI’s for the Industrial Research Fund of the Flemish universities, the Flemish allocation policy of university research funding, and the financing model of the universities and colleges of higher Education in Flanders.

Professor emeritus

  • From 1 October 2016 he is professor emeritus, with 10 % research appointment at VUB.
  • Academic Attaché of CIDIC - International Circle for Diplomats and Consuls.
  • Member of the Coordination Committee Universities of IMEC.
  • Chairman of the VLIR commission on international policy.
  • Strategic committee member at Qbic2, the VC fund of VITO, VUB, UGent, UA.
  • Senior advisor at the Brussels Diplomatic academy (till October 2016 - Chairperson of the Advisory Board)
  • Member of the academic board of BACES – Brussels Academy for China EU Studies (till October 2016 – Chairman of the governance board)


Jan Cornelis (Mྌ) received his MS degree in Electronics and Electro-mechanics from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) in 1973, and the PhD degree in Applied Sciences in 1980. He started his university career in 1973, and co-created the new Department of Electronics (VUB-ETRO). Biomedical signal processing became his major research interest as a postdoctoral researcher in the Cardiology Department of the academic hospital (UZ Jette). From 1983 onwards, he became fulltime professor, with various teaching duties in design of electronic circuits, digital image processing, medical imaging and security statistics. From 01.03.1995 till 30.09.2004 he was a scientific collaborator in the department "Systèmes Logiques et Numériques" of ULB (Université Libre de Bruxelles). In 1997, he became consultant professor at the North-Western Polytechnic University, Xi’an - China. He was head of the Department of Electronics and Informatics (ETRO) at VUB, till September 2008. He is now coordinator of the research group IRIS (computer vision, image processing). His current research interest is in data analysis, image and video compression and medical imaging. Jan Cornelis is author or co-author of more than 500 international publications in journals and conference proceedings, promoter of 27 PhDs and (co)inventor in 4 patents. Web of Science (all data bases): h-index 18 Web of science (core collection): h-index 17. He has been member of several conference program committees, reviewer at FWO and FNRS and foreign science agencies, as well as reviewer for several international (e.g. IEEE) journals. Within the ETRO department he was coordinating the technology transfer activities till end 2015. He has practical experience with spin off creation: Exia, Softkinetic-Optrima, UD, Aquantis, Ecqologic.

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