Anneke Levelt was born in Amsterdam on March 4, 1929 and passed away at Asbury Methodist
Village in Gaithersburg, MD on February 28, 2024. She was the eldest child of Willem Levelt,
who had a Ph.D. in chemistry and Josephine Berger, who had a masters in physics. Having
grown up in a large family with a strong scientific interest, she received her Ph.D. in Physics
from the University of Amsterdam in 1958.
After a year as a postdoc at the University of Wisconsin, she went back to The Netherlands. In
1963 she immigrated to the US to take a position as physicist at the National Bureau of
Standards (NBS), together with her husband. At NBS, now called the National Institute of
Standards and Technology (NIST), she became an internationally recognized scientist in the area
of thermodynamics of the critical behavior of fluids and fluid mixtures. She was also active in
the thermodynamic properties of water and steam for the power-generating industry. A
Russian scientist called her the most thermodynamic woman of the world.
Anneke Levelt Sengers has received numerous awards and recognitions. She was a member of
both the US National Academy of Engineering and the US National Academy of Sciences. She
was a correspondent of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences and of the Royal Holland
Society for Sciences. In 1992 she received an honorary doctorate from the Technical University
Delft as the first female honorary doctor in the 150-year history of this university. In 2003
Anneke received the L’Oréal-UNESCO Prize for women in science in North America. Among her
other honors are NIST and US Department of Commerce Awards, the US Interagency
Committee for Women in Science (WISE), and the Yeram Touloukian Award of the American
Society of Mechanical Engineers.
Anneke has also been a role model for many women scientists. As Co-Chair of a panel of the
Inter-Academy Council she coauthored a report “Women for Science” for the science and
engineering academies of the world. In the final phase of her career, she played a leading role
in the activities of the Working Group of the Inter-American Network of Academies of Sciences
(IANAS) on Women for Science.
Anneke is survived by her husband of 61 years, Jan V. Sengers, by her children Rachel, Arjan,
Maarten, and Phoebe, by daughter-in-law Lynn Ailes Sengers, by son-in-law Thorsten Joachims,
and by five grandchildren Christiaan, Alies, Ana, Netta and Tova. Funeral services will be held in
St. Agnes Church in Shepherdstown, WV on March 11, 2024, followed by internment of the
ashes in Elmwood Cemetery in Shepherdstown. A celebration of her life will be held at a later
date to be announced. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to UMCP Foundation for Jan
& Anneke Endowed Fellowship, to be mailed to Office of External Relations, A. James Clark
School of Engineering, College Park, MD 20742.

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