Biography of Francis Massen




Physics Lab, meteoLCD and Computarium

Lycée Classique de Diekirch (LCD) (retired 1st October 2009)

Married to Colette Heirendt, who is a teacher of computing and mathematics at the Lycée Technique Hôtelier, Diekirch , Luxembourg

Four children ( 1 son, 3 daughters)

Hobbies: computing, restoration of vintage computers and calculators, caving (now ex-caver), hiking, music (piano, ex-saxophone, ex-classical recorder).

Born 1943 in Petange , Luxembourg together with an undistinguishable twin brother (Robert Massen, emeritus professor of the University of Applied Sciences, Konstanz, Germany)

1950 - 1957: Primary school in Obercorn , Luxembourg .

1957 - 1964: Secondary school at the Lycée Classique de Diekirch, Luxembourg (LCD)

Languages: Latin, German, French, English, Luxembourgish (fluent speaking/reading/writing all of these except only left-over read/write skills in Latin)

Specialized mathematical section during the last 4 years of secondary school.

Final examen ( similar to the baccalauréat) in 1964


University studies in physics and mathematics:

1964-1965: First year university studies at the Cours Supérieurs in Luxembourg , mathematical-physical section

1965 - 1966: Second year university studies at the University of Nancy, France

1966- 1968 Third and fourth year university studies at the University of Liège , Belgium

Final exam in Luxembourg (mention Bien).

1968: Start of candidate teaching at the Lycée Classique de Diekirch (LCD)

1968-1969: Thesis on fluidic elements (built bottle filling machine without moving parts), candidate teaching and studies, final exam to be admitted as "professeur de physique et de mathématiques"

Full-time teaching job in physics, mathematics and later computing at the Lycée Classique de Diekirch until retirement

Title: professeur-docteur en sciences physiques et mathématiques

Retired since the 1st October 2009. Continues to manage meteoLCD, the meteorological station and the Computarium of the LCD

Computing and teaching work, most recent first:

Preparation work for a museum of historic calculators and computers (

Manager, developer, operator and  maintainer of meteoLCD, the meteorological station of the LCD

Manager of the Physics Department of the LCD

CIO and head of the computing department and computing infrastructure of the LCD (students: 2050, teaching staff: 260, buildings: 3) since 1978

Post-university level teaching for candidates (computers in physics teaching) for several years in the 1990's at what is now the University of Luxembourg

Developed the computer infrastucture of the LCD from 1976 on. 

Member of all official commissions of Luxembourg preparing and defining computing equipment for Luxembourg's secondary schools (work still on progress)

Started teaching programming in 1974 (Basic and Pascal)

Built with colleague Jean Mootz the second and third microcomputers of Luxembourg (SWTPc, 1976)

Teaching job in physics, mathematics (1968), computing (1974) at the Lycée Classique de Diekirch (LCD)

Research and related work, most recent first:

Project "Blow my Bulb" ( to compare CFL's and traditional incandescent lamps.

Project LUXPAK of the H.A.L.E. project of the University of Nevada (Reno) and Nevada Space Grant..

Informal consulting for the Centre de Recherche Public Gabriel Lippmann on CO2 measurement problems. 

Research on differences in total ozone column measurements done with Brewer and Microtops instruments (ongoing work)

Research on short-time CO2 variations at Diekirch (ongoing work)

Research work on radon variations under the basin of the SEO pumped storage station (ongoing work with Prof. Antoine Kies, Laboratory of Physical Radiations, University of Luxembourg )

Design and development (with colleague Marcel Kramer) of an in-house information system based on large-screen TV's and nano-computers (Linux based)

Development and maintenance of many LCD intranet servers, most Linux based.

Regular measurements of total ozone column.

Design and development of meteoLCD, a meteorological station specializing in solar radiation and atmospheric gases (WOUDC station 412), operational 24h/24h since 1994. Wrote all relevant programming (mostly Perl scripts)

Development and design of the new physics department (2 lecture rooms, 3 rooms for practical work, 2 works-shops)

Development and design of the computer network infrastructure of the LCD (optical GB backbone, Cisco switches and routers)

Key note speaker at DADiSP meeting of European dealers in London (1994)

Co-organizer of the CIK, Colloque International de Karstology, Luxembourg (1992)

1990 – 1995: Project leader of "Phymoes", a five year project of the "CRP Centre Universitaire" (now Centre de Recherche Public Gabriel Lippmann CRPGL ) to study the climate and geology of Luxembourg 's largest maze cave.

pre 1990: several articles on computing related matters ( e.g. at Micro6800 Journal and many articles in news papers and compendia)

Publications and Presentations, most recent first:

Paper Accurate estimation of CO2 background level from near ground measurements at non-mixed environments", peer reviewed, "best paper award" at the Klima2009 online conference of the University of Applied Sciences, Hamburg, Germany (Prof. Walter Leal)

Presentation (in French) on "Climate Change and Malaria" at the 2nd International Congress on tropical diseases organized by the NGO "Iwerliewen fir bedreete Volleker" 06-07 Apr. 2009

Poster session for the Henvi 8 international conference in Luxembourg (2008)

Presentation at the Journées de Spéléologie Scientifique, Han sur Lesse , Belgium on handling extreme large data series with DADiSP (2007)

Presentation at the Journées de Spéléologie Scientifique, Han sur Lesse , Belgium on computing the volume of a blowing cave ( Trou du Vent , France ), 2002

Presentations at the Journées de Spéléologie Scientifique, Han sur Lesse , Belgium on radon concentrations under the basin of the SEO pumped storage station. 2000, 2004

Kies, A, Massen, F., Tosheva, Z.: Influence of variable stress on underground radon concentrations. Geofysica Internacional (2002), Vol. 41, Num. 3, pp. 325-329

Massen F., Dusar M., Loy W., Vandenberghe N: Cave Volume computed on the behaviour of a blowing well (Tournai basin, W. Belgium ). Terra Nova 10, 131-135, 1998. Blackwell Science Ltd.

Conference the 21th April1994 at the Centre Universitaire in Luxembourg on the Phymoes project

Massen F., editor: The Moestroff Cave, a study on the geology and climate of Luxembourg's largest maze cave (editor and author of many chapters). 1997, ISBN 2-919900-00-5

Presentation at the 2nd International Colloquium on Gas Geochemistry, University of Franche-Comté, Besançon, France, 1993: A. Kies and F. Massen: Radon and underground climate in the Moestroff Cave. Published in: C. Dubois (editor): Gas Geochemistry, Science Reviews, 1995, ISBN 0-905927-79-6, 1995, p.63-70 

Presentation at the Colloque International de Karstologie, Luxembourg, 1992. F. Massen et al: The Moestroff Cave. Published in: R.Maquil, F. Massen (editors): Comptes Rendus du Colloque International de Karstologie à Luxembourg, Service Géologique du Luxembourg, 1994, p.17-27

A subset of papers and articles published at, most recent first:

Pattern of CO2 and other atmospheric gases during a cold weather inversion (Jan. 2009)

Trends and Patterns in Atmospheric Optical Depth at Diekirch , Luxembourg (1997-2007), 2008

Seasonal and Diurnal CO2 Patterns at Diekirch, LU 2003 - 2005 (Massen, Kies, Harpes), 2007 A Perl script to allow interactive use of the SMARTS solar radiation program of Christian Gueymard

Ozone and UVR trends from 1998 to 2005 at Diekirch (L) (Massen, Kies, Harpes, de Backer), 2006

A comparison of the total ozone measurements done with Microtops II sun photometers, Brewer, Sciamachy and Toms spectrophotometers (2006)

Mean and extreme daily air temperature trends (Diekirch, Luxemburg): 1998 to 2003

Influence of intentionally mis-pointing on Microtops II readings, 2003

Zero-Offset and Deviant Temperature Stabilization of a Solar Light Co. UVA Biometer, 2003

Ambiance Chaude (Massen F. Bonert Ch. ), 2002

Effective UVB irradiance and total ozone column 1997 to 2002, 2002

The new wind chill formula, 2001

Meteorological Impact of the 11th August 99 Solar Eclipse, 1999

A preliminary analysis of the Safesun personal UV sensor and a comparison with the Saitek and UV mod. 3D sensors (Massen F., Harpes N.), 1998

A comparison of three portable UV sensors, 1998

The UVI poster, 1997

Calibrating the DELTA_T  UVB, 1997

Total ozone measurements, 1997
Die Radonkonzentration im Drainagestollen des Oberbeckens der SEO, Vianden
(Massen F., Kies A.), 1997

A subset of contributions to the AGW and related problems debate, most recent first:

(several at; the Luxemburger Wort is Luxembourg 's biggest news paper)

L'ampoule salvatrice (APESS, récré 2010, in French): pdf

Le climatisme (APESS, récré 2009, in French): pdf

La Grande Illusion: courant vert ou courant bleu. Luxemburger Wort , 2007 (in French): pdf

Auto pfui! Luxemburger Wort, 2007 (in German) : pdf

Zehn Fragen und Antworten des Klimaskeptikers. Marienkalender, 2008 (in German): pdf

Cosmic-Solar? Conference given for the PROENERGIE association (March 2008) and the Rotary Club (Nov.2008): ppt

Kosmisch-Solar. Luxemburger Wort, 2007 (in German): pdf

Gloom and Doom,  Luxemburger Wort, 2007 (in German): pdf

Smog 60 - nutzlos? Luxemburger Wort, 2006 (in German): html

Sea ice extent: how to get your favorite trend. meteoLCD, 2006: html

Kyoto : Schein oder Sein?. Luxemburger Wort, 2006 (in German): pdf

Kioto Kater-Stimmung. Luxemburger Wort, 2006 (in German): pdf

Kyoto folie 2. Luxemburger Wort, 2004 (in French): pdf

Etes-vous Kyoto-crédule?. Luxemburger Wort, 2004 (in French): pdf

Global Warming? Conference given in Diekirch, 2002: html

Papers and articles on Compact Fluorescent Lamps at the website ("Blow my Bulb")

CF lamps und UV radiation (Massen F., Nov.2009)

Power Factor and Harmonics: a study of incandescent and CF lamps (Massen F., Mootz J., Baumann C.,  Sep.2009)

Papers and articles at the website, dedicated to vintage computers and calculating machines

Das Kalman Filter wird 50. Eine bahnbrechende Entwicklung. (Baumann C., Massen F., Luxemburger Wort, Mar.2010)

Television and Radio

QUANTUM, 28 March 2008: Scientific emission by Claude Hallé broadcasted on radio station "100komma7" : interview with F. Massen on vintage calculators, computers and the planned Computarium. (mp3, 29 MB, in Luxembourgish)

IMPULS, 12nd Dec. 2007: Debate on RTL-TV with green MOP C. Gira (in Luxembourgish)
see:, then select Emissiounen >> IMPULS, 12 Dezember 2007 (in Luxembourgish)..

RTL-Radio: Very short comments on climate-energy. Jan. 2008 (in Luxembourgish)

Websites: : The meteorological station of the Lycée Classique Diekirch : The collection/museum of historic calculating and computing machinery : Blow my Bulb. A site dedicated to the incandescent lamp/CFL problem. Life experiment on  switching withstand for CFL/incandescent.



last revision: 27 Mar 2010