It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of Dr André Messiaen. André passed away at noon on Friday, the 1st of October.
André was a superb physicist and co-founder of the laboratory for Plasma Physics of the Royal Military Academy in Brussels. André was a highly valued member of the laboratory. For many of us he was also a close friend and wonderful colleague.
He kept surprising us by his very inquiring and sharp mind until his last days, his honest attitude, and his fine sense of humour. He will be missed tremendously.
André will be lovingly remembered by his family and friends. And by so many colleagues worldwide who had the pleasure to know him.
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In Memoriam Dr André Messiaen
My wife Sunita, daughter Seema and I are very shocked to learn of the sudden demise of André Messiaen. Through this medium of the LPP/ERM-KMS website, we express our deepest and most sincere condolences on his sudden departure, late though they are. We will miss him very much.
Among others in the laboratory, I also have had a long association with him since I met him in 1970 in a Fusion conference at Madison, Wisconsin. Late Professor Vandenplas and he were very kind to offer fresh PhDs e.g. late Dr David Faulconer and me a job in their Plasma Physics Laboratory at Royal Military School in Brussels. Their vision to help and build an international team with Belgian, Dutch, American, French, Italian and even Indians (including my brother Ram) culminated in the laboratory’s small team to a medium sized internationally recognised team especially in Tokamak plasma heating.
I will always remember him as a great colleague, and a competent scientist (both in theoretical and experimental domains) who had the knowledge and excellent inklings to solve challenging and difficult problems with his hard work. Needless to say, his outstanding scientific skills played a leading role in achieving the laboratory’s team’s recognition at international level.
On a personal level, I will always remember him and his wife Marie-Claire as very compassionate and caring folks. In my early days in the laboratory, he went out of the way and acted as a guarantor for a car loan that I took from a bank. I also remember two visits (each a month long) to MIT, Cambridge with him for the procurement of ERASMUS Tokamak that was successfully installed and operated at ERM/KMS during the 1970s. Regular train commutes with him and others to Julich for work on TEXTOR were made very pleasant with his excellent humour. His recommendations played a key role in my nomination for secondment to the JET staff which is very much appreciated and made me go forward by leaps and bounds.
He was very fortunate that he did not suffer too long in his last days of life. Dr Roger Weynants gave him company during his last days of hospital stay at Leuven evoking pleasant memories of their nearly 50 year’s long associations in the laboratory. We pray Almighty that his soul rests in peace and tranquillity.
Abingdon, Oxfordshire (UK)