Piet, 40 years our colleague at r+k

Piet Steffens nu

Piet Steffens at present

Petrus Johannes Steffens has quite a career behind him. Born in the first year of WOII, after the basic school, he entered the lower technical school, where he left in 1956 being a carpenter. From 1957 until 1970 he worked as an engineering draughtsman at various engineering offices, but in the meantime he finished the secondary technical school in architecture in 1963. He studied in the evening hours, because of his regular work at daytime. But that was not enough for him. In the evening hours he studied further at the Higher Technical Institute and got his design engineering certificate in 1966. Still not enough he got his Bachelor degree in civil engineering at the School of Poly-technics in Amsterdam in 1970, followed by a course on Concrete Design Engineer; a qualification he got in 1971. In 1970 he switched from engineering draughtsman at the engineering office he was already working for to system programmer. As a result he can tell you for instance a lot about the key system of the Bijlmer prison he did interesting work on. He followed as well a number of courses on computer programming and even followed a course at the Technical University Delft on finite element methods, which became the basis for his later work on the various versions of PLE. In 1976 he joined the engineering consultancy bureau r+k Consulting Engineers. He started In the function of concrete design engineer followed by systems engineer and finally head of the computer department. Meanwhile he took various courses on ICT subjects.

Piet Steffens toen

Piet at the new Harris computer in 1978

Although he assisted and developed a number of smaller programs (e.g. DAWA, HOSPE, WABAPL) he became the fulcrum in the team that developed the Ple series, BELIPO, PLE-micro-CAD and finally Ple4Win. For almost 40 years. And he is still working on the program. Be it now for only one and a half day a week, but you may hear him often for more days a week. Hear him in his conversation to his friend and enemy, the computer. Living already for ages at Delft with his wife Ada, he did his daily cycling between Delft and Rijswijk all these years, braving weather and winds, summer and winter. But what he did in fact, was thinking about the programming problems he encounĀ­tered during the day. So he could tell his computer the next day how to behave like a good companion. The same applies if he comes to you to discuss a (computing) problem. Most of the time you have not the slightest idea he is talking about, but at the end he thanks you for being so helpful. By talking to you he orders his thoughts. Indeed Piet still is our loyal pillar of strength and stability. Far beyond the age most people want to enjoy their pension.