Dirk Siersma (1943) studied mathematics and meteorology at the University of Amsterdam. After a teaching position at a secondary school he returned to this university , where he received a PhD in 1974. His supervisor was Nicolaas H. Kuiper. He became associate professor in Utrecht in 1976 and full professor in 1980.
Siersma’s active research interest is singularity theory and applications. His principal work includes classification of singularities, geometry and topology of non-isolated singularities, behaviour of singularities at infinity and more recently the study of the conflict set of the distance function. He was one of the founding members of the Dutch Singularity School. He has approximately 30 refereed research papers and supervised 11 PhD students.
Siersma has many East-European contacts: he has been coordinator of three consecutive INTAS programs with the former Soviet union and two NWO-programs with Russia. Moreover he has been main organizor of the Singularity Semester at the Newton Institute in Cambridge (Fall 2000) and (co)organizor of many international scientific meetings in his field, e.g. in the framework of the European Singularity Network. Recently he was invited guest at IHES (2 months), Banach Center (1 month) and the University of Lille (1 month).
Siersma was the first scientific director of the Mathematical Research Institute (MRI) in The Netherlands and the initiator of its scheme of international Master Classes.