Arjan van Hessen has been a researcher of speech and language technology since 1986 when he started his PhD in Phonetics. After his PhD he got a postdoc position at the Universities of Dusseldorf and Ulm for three years. He then moved to Lernout and Hauspie, a software company in Brussels where he worked on speech recognition. Once back in the Netherlands, he decided to work partially in industry (ComSys, 1999-2002 and Telecats, since 2002) and partially at the Human Media Interaction group at the University of Twente.
His main interest is speech recognition and the use of HLT in the industrial, the cultural heritage and the academic world, as can be seen in the OH-project BalkanVoices. Since 2009 he has been member of the executive board of CLARIN-NL, a 6-year NWO infrastructure programme targeted to increase the use of HLT in the humanities. Since 2012 he has worked for CLARIN-ERIC, a European Research Infrastructure Consortium started to make digital language resources available to scholars and researchers of all disciplines, in particular the humanities and social sciences.
- Member of the board of NOTaS, an organisation of Dutch HLT-SME's and HLT-Universities, targeted to boost the use of HLT in the Netherlands (and abroad);
- Member of the board of 'Stichting Levende Herinneringen', an oral history project focussed on the preservation of the recorded memories of people who lived in 'Dutch Indonesia';
- Member of the board of CLARIAH, the proposed successor of CLARIN.