Deltares mourns passing of former managing director Maarten Smits

Published: 17 May 2022

We are saddened by the news that Maarten Smits has passed away. Maarten Smits was the Managing Director of Deltares from 2012 to 2019. He helped lay down a stable foundation for Deltares and its strong position nationally and internationally as a knowledge institute.

We remember Maarten as a conceptual thinker with an intense interest in the field. We knew that Maarten was seriously ill. His health forced him – with a heavy heart – to resign as the Managing Director of Deltares in 2019. Maarten continued to work in an advisory capacity for Deltares. In the end, that role also became too demanding and he left Deltares in late July 2021.

Some time ago, Maarten heard that a cure was no longer possible. Despite all the setbacks, he continued to be upbeat and optimistic: ‘They say that you can’t add days to your life, but you can add life to your days.’ He sometimes compared his health with going down a winding mountain road on a bike: ‘I can’t see what lies beyond the next hairpin but I know the view gets less and less each time.’

Our thoughts and support go to his loved ones.