I was born on 21 March 1952 (the first day of Spring) in Linschoten, a small village in the center of the Netherlands.

I was 4 years old when my father was appointed as a mayor of Wolfaartsdijk, a tiny village in the Southern province of Zeeland with just 2000 people. He was, at 32, the youngest mayor of the Netherlands at that time.

It was a wonderful youth, with my two younger sisters, with lots of space and nature in the quiet village environment. This province had experienced the breaking of the dikes and the disastrous flood in 1953, and I remember how few trees there were. In 1962 Wolfaartsdijk was integrated into the larger city of nearby Goes and my father had to look for a new job opportunity as a mayor. Being 10, we moved to the city of Souburg in the same province. I was 14, when Souburg was integrated into the much larger nearby city of Vlissingen, and we moved again.

My father became mayor of the city of Woerden, and I shifted school again. All in all I lived in 7 houses before I left home, 18 years old, to study Applied Physics at Delft University of Technology.

Highschool at
Middelburg and Gouda


My highschool time was in Middelburg and Gouda, both at a classical Gymnasium. The school in Middelburg was in the historic center, in the 'Latin School Street', and has been there for ages. A small school, with in total 120 pupils in 6 classes, which was a delight. In Gouda at the Coornhert Gymnasium it was the same. 


Latin, Greek and Physics

In those days this meant 5 hours of Latin and 5 hours of Greek every week, next to all other classes. Apart from physics, my favorite, I loved classical languages. It was a continuous puzzle solving, and I was an excellent pupil. It gave me, together with the many biblical stories I heard on the two (liberal) Christian primary schools (and the readings by my mother from the Children's Bible at lunch which I remember as fascinating), a great cultural luggage. And a much better appreciation of all the scientific words I would encounter later.

About my family name: In 1817 Ds. Hendrik Romeny married to Maria ter Haar. As Maria did not like her family name to disappear, they named their second sun with the given names: 'Barend ter Haar' and family name: 'Romeny'. These given names were interpreted by mistake as a family name. So from this single person Barend ter Haar Romeny the line of ter Haar Romeny descends, currently 125 persons.

Delft University
of Technology

Applied Physics at TU Delft

I acquired the degree 'MSc in Applied Physics' in the group Biological Physics (prof. Gert van den Brink) in 1978, at the Department of Applied Physics at Delft University of Technology.

More eye movements

In Rotterdam University, about 15 km from Delft, the eye movement research of prof. Collewijn was famous. He invented the scleral coil eye movement detection system, in which a coil in a contact lens moves in a high frequency magnetic field. I was fortunate to visit his lab several times, and participate in the experiments.

Also at Nijmegen University was a large biophysics group. I participated once in the experiments on stabilized retinal eye movement of Henk Gerrits, where a contact lens with flexible fiberoptics was suck to my cornea. Figure (this is not me) from [Gerrits1974]. A lasting experience.

UC Berkeley
School of Optometry

We lived right here in beautiful Utrecht, with its canals and cathedral.

In 1986 I met my wife Hetty and we lived in this house untill 2007, when we moved from Utrecht to the city of her roots: 's-Hertogenbosch.

Continue with biography: 1979-1992