Dr Adriaan Zomers CEng FIET, April 1938-January 2017

7 December 2017
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Dr Adriaan (Ad) Zomers CEng FIET

Obituary provided by Eur-Ing Maarten B In 't Veld CEng FIET

It is with sadness that we announce the death of Adriaan (Ad) Zomers. Enjoying life in abundance with plenty of future plans, a dynamic, authentic and high-spirited IET Fellow has passed away.


Dr Adriaan Zomers was born in Huizum, Friesland in The Netherlands. He graduated from the Polytechnic of Applied Sciences, Department of Electrical Engineering in 1959 and graduated in Psychology and Didactics from the Education Institute, Leiden in 1961.


Ad presented his research licentiate’s thesis: ‘The influence of various phenomena on the behaviour of stator winding insulation’ at the IEE, London and at the Delft University of Technology in 1969. This led to his registration as a Chartered Engineer by the Engineering Council and election as a Corporate Member of the IEE. In 1983 he became an IEE Fellow and received his doctorate from Twente University in 2001.


In his early career, Ad joined compulsory military service with the Dutch Royal Air Force from 1959 to 1961 as an Air Force Officer. From 1961 to 1971 he worked as a Generator Design and Construction Engineer with Slikkerveer. He constructed equipment under license of the German Kraftwerk Union and Brown Boveri, and designed and constructed custom-built liquid cooled magnets for several European research laboratories.


Ad then became a Chief Engineer and a member of the Energy Board Friesland (PEB) from 1971 to 1993. From 1987 until 2009, he held the position of Special Advisor to the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs / International Development Cooperation. His activities included joint implementation projects, energy efficiency programmes, PV demonstration programmes and Global Environment Facility projects. In 1993 Ad established PowerPartner, an international independent engineering office working in the field of energy supply technology and energy management, particularly for developing countries. He headed up this firm until his death.


Under the flag of the Dutch utility NUON/Alliander, Ad continued working on international and national committees of the International Council on Large Electric Systems (CIGRÉ) in Paris. In 1996 Ad was awarded the CIGRÉ Technical Committee Award and was honoured with Distinguished Membership of this international organisation. His various special duties included: Lecturer at Twente University; author and co-author of over 40 publications in the field of electricity supply issues including rural electrification and the power sector innovation in developing countries. He was also a senior board member of the Institution of Electric and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) committees: ‘Technology for rural electrification’ and ‘Sustainable energy systems for developing countries’ and received senior membership of the Institution of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and the Power and Energy Society (PES).


Ad was married to Martha for 56 years, and was a proud father of three children and grandfather of four grandchildren.