Arjan van Hessen has a background in both geophysics, and in Italian culture and language. He studied both topics at the University of Utrecht, where he also obtained a PhD in phonetics (1992). Since 1996 he is affiliated to HMI as a researcher in speech and language technology. Because the combination of academic research and business development is so appealing, he also joined Telecats, market leader in the Netherlands in speech enabled man-machine communication via the telephone, where he is head of imagination. Since 2009 he has been working for the Dutch Language and Speech Infrastructure program CLARIN-NL as member of the executive board. Since 2005 he is chair of Dutch-Indonesian Oral History foundation ‘Levende Herinneringen’.
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