Eindhoven, NL | November 2023
Prize for emerging talent, knowledge provider and source of information
During the 22nd edition of the Precision Fair, held in Den Bosch (NL), the Ir. A. Davidson Award 2023 was presented to Max van Lith, mechatronics engineer at Nobleo Technology in Eindhoven (NL). He received the prize for his role as a lead mechanical engineer who sets out the guidelines for mechanical and system designs in a systematic and analytical manner. “Max is truly an emerging talent, a knowledge provider and source of information for his colleagues. Even with limited information and requirements, Max always manages to get possible design directions down on paper.”
The DSPE board presented the Ir. A. Davidson Award to Max van Lith on the afternoon of Wednesday, 15 November. The purpose of the prize is to encourage young talent by recognising the efforts of a precision engineer who has been working for several years at a company or institute, and has a proven performance record that has been acknowledged both internally and externally. The candidates must also demonstrate an enthusiasm for their field that results in a positive effect on their colleagues. The biennial prize, established in 2005 and now presented for the ninth time, is named after an authority in the field of precision mechanics who worked at Philips in the 1950s and 1960s. The prize comes with a certificate, a trophy and a sum of money sponsored by DSPE. The trophy is created by the Leidse instrumentmakers School and is designed in the form of Davidson’s handbook series on precision mechanics that he used as a foundation when forming the constructors’ community at Philips.
Award-winning graduation work
This year, the jury received fifteen nominations for the Ir. A. Davidson Award. The choice ultimately fell on Max van Lith, who studied Mechanical Engineering at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). At VDL ETG, he did his graduation work, which was rewarded with a nomination for the Wim van der Hoek Award in 2017. His work involved the design of a Z mechanism for wafer handling that had to function 24/7 in a vacuum environment. Contamination and wear, therefore, had to be prevented as much as possible. He solved this in his design by opting for elastic spring elements and contactless voice-coil actuation. All this, of course, statically determined, as he described in DSPE’s magazine Mikroniek.
Proper lead mechanical engineer
Max van Lith subsequently developed into a proper lead mechanical engineer at his employer Nobleo Technology in Eindhoven. According to the jury, “He sets out the guidelines for mechanical and system designs in a systematic and analytical manner. He has had a hand in various designs for the semiconductor industry, among others, from complex linear guides with elastic elements to optomechatronic designs. This is to the great satisfaction of customers, who consider his efforts and involvement remarkable. Even with limited information and requirements, Max always manages to get possible design directions down on paper.”
Furthermore, Max van Lith is committed to taking professional competencies to a higher level within Nobleo Technology. The jury further explained its decision by saying, “For example, he is available as a source of information for the design of glued constructions, he is known as a knowledge provider in the field of porous air bearings, and he provides training in carrying out tolerance analyses. Guiding TU/e graduates is also one of his activities, where he contributes to the publication of their work, such as in Mikroniek. Max also shares his knowledge and enthusiasm outside his own organisation. For example, he presents his acquired skills in designing with magnetism in a guest lecture at TU/e in the Mechatronic Design course, part of the Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering.”
“Real up-and-coming talent”
“The above findings have convinced us that Max van Lith is a deserving winner of the Ir. A. Davidson Award 2023,” says jury chairman Willem Tielemans. “Max is a real up-and-coming talent. With this award, we want to motivate him to continue developing in the field and spread his enthusiasm even more.”