NUTRIM says farewell to Dr. Paul Schoffelen after more than 40 years

Paul has been working for more than 40 years as researcher, research technician and as educator for the NUTRIM departments of Human Biology and Nutrition and Movement Sciences.

Paul worked on the development of indirect calorimetry for measuring human energy consumption. Starting with the construction of whole-room calorimeters, followed by the development of commercial- and research-small calorimeters for metabolic rate at rest to elite sports.

He helped develop commercial equipment such as Oxycon and Deltatrac and worked on a calorimeter branded "Omnical" over the past decades. With an engineering education focused on signal analysis using analogue and digital circuits, and applied measurement and control signal analysis. The resulting scientific research provided the opportunity to also develop and build the large-scale scientific infrastructure Metabolic Research Unit Maastricht (MRUM) in the years 2007-2011.

During his farewell reception on 28 November, Paul received "the MUMC+ golden heart" from FHML Dean Annemie Schols with much appreciation for his work. In several speeches, Paul was lauded and thanked for his boundless energy, commitment and ingenuity.

In the 1980s, Paul spearheaded the (continued) development of the now world-renowned Omnical Indirect Calorimetry Units. In doing so, as a senior technician, Paul gave an enormous boost to the academic career of many individual academics and to the distinctive positioning of the impact of Maastricht metabolic research. Including obesity, diabetes and COPD as well as in the unravelling of metabolic disturbances in cancer cachexia with the personal crowning achievement of his own academic doctorate in 2017 on the methodology he developed at Maastricht University.

"Without Paul no MRUM".

This led to the development of high-level technical research facilities and the creation of the MRUM. What Paul developed is used nowadays all over the world by leading research centres with Paul as the main ambassador. Paul will enjoy his retirement but will certainly remain involved with NUTRIM and MRUM for questions, help and solutions.

About MRUM

The Metabolic Research Unit Maastricht (MRUM) is a unique research facility built to bring the field of human energy and substrate metabolism to the next level. In The Metabolic Research Unit Maastricht (MRUM), twenty metabolic rooms were realised, conforming to the latest quality standards regarding safety, climate and research infrastructure. A combination of the latest technologies available allows control of- and stability for all subject environment parameters as well as for research equipment parameters. Where needed, highly sensitive equipment is located in a separately controlled technology section.

One of the unique features of the MRUM are the five climate controlled respiration chambers (room calorimeters). These rooms are like small hotel rooms (14 m3), equipped with a bed, sink, toilet, computer, TV and DVD player. A respiration allows studying human energy expenditure and substrate oxidation under strictly standardized conditions over a period of 12h up to 7 days.


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