Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Searching for Tirta Harapan

I don’t know why I’ve had this searching mania for old friends and acquaintances in the past couple months. And just last week I was thinking about Prof. Dirk de Hoop – the person responsible to make me return to Indonesia from Japan. I googled using several searching key words such as his name, his creation – Tirta Harapan logger/water level logger/barometric pressure logger, his alma mater) to no avail. And tonight… boom! When I googled using Hope and Hydrology… I found him! (He still lives in that house.)

Hope Hydrology
is a research and development company, established in the Netherlands, active in development and production of pressure loggers, digital water level recorders, environmental data loggers and software for hydrological and environmental data processing.

Our instruments are typically used in measuring open channel flow, water level, ground water level, flumes, tide gauges, wave height, rainfall, snowfall, evaporation and sediment/suspended load. Our products are designed to provide high accuracy's and high reliability even in harsh environments.

A Synopsis of Technical Issues for Monitoring Sediment in Highway and Urban Runoff (U.S. Dept. of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Open-File Report 00-497) mentions about this digital logger.

He loves Indonesia so much that he named his invention – Tirta Harapan. Tirta = water, and Harapan = hope. And he loved me so much that he named all the testing outputs for sediment logger after my middle name… sebagai guru dan murid gitu loh *smile* Yes, he’s the role model of how a university professor should be.

  • I learnt a lot from him, from simple curing treatment to driving in mountainous area (I remember that trip to Papandayan). Science and engineering were covered in our conversation most of the times.
  • He made me utilized all my capabilities to develop application for Tirta Harapan digital logger (in collaboration with DPMA, ITB, PU/Public Works, R&D Department of Forestry Ministry) and market it in Indonesia and beyond.
  • He told me to go to museums that hold geological maps made by the Dutch in the past if I need anything about Indonesia’s geological information. (And he's damn right!)
  • He always challenged me, even when I was so tired to talk and think, always got on my nerve. But, he's also the one who'd be there with all those suggestions when I needed them.
  • It seemed it’s his number one assignment to annoy me when we’re doing testing or installation in the field.
  • I couldn’t make him stop smoking those cigars or chewing those garlic during meals.
  • He’s the one who explained to me in details the process to produce beer and he’s so sure that beer is better than water.
  • His favorite food is Indonesian fried rice (nasi goreng)…. And beer should come with everything, be it nasi goreng or peanuts.
  • He knows I’m a feminist and that’s why he always says ‘don’t let women think – because when it happens the world will be in trouble’. I used to be the only woman on field trips and he would always provoke me to make some gender comments.
  • He said Soekarno was half Dutch and Soeharto had access to the wealth left by the Dutch colonial... and some off the record facts about Indonesia that can be traced and found in the Netherlands.
  • I still keep a Christmas card he sent on that particular year. There are Mother Mary and Joseph on the card... and the things that I believe would provoke the people of faith are the third person and what Mother Mary says. Want to guess? (The clue: think as scientist, or think as people of reason rather than people of faith.)
  • He has two sons, and one is managing his digital logger business now.

I’m so glad that I finally found him.

Who’s next? *smile*

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