Prof. Dr. Ioan Silaghi-Dumitrescu (1950-2009)
Yesterday, on December 25th prof. Silaghi passed away. He leaves us all, his students, co-workers, friends and relatives with a deep hole in our hearts. We all witnessed what a hard year he had in terms of health and we are solely comforted by the thought of him not suffering anymore. I hereby send my condolences to his wife, children and grand children hoping they find comfort and peace. I guess I could write about the director of the faculty of chemistry; about my boss; about my co-advisor during my grad student years but instead I want to write about the man and friend who in no little way touched and changed my life.
I met Ioan in 2002 during his last visit to the Chemistry Institute at UNAM in Mexico City when he came along his wife, Prof. Dr. Luminita Silaghi-Dumitrescu, to give an introductory course on molecular modelling. For a long time, he had been close to Dr. Raymundo Cea-Olivares, director of the institute, who at the time was also my advisor in my first year in grad-school; back then I was intending to work in the realm of inorganic chemistry and although I was becoming increasingly interested in theoretical chemistry, Ioan’s lectures were partially responsible for me changing my main research topic. It wasn’t only until 2005 that I had the opportunity to go and work with him for 6 months at Babes-Bolyai in Romania. Although his schedule was usually tight he always found time to talk, however briefly, with his students. He was always present at his students’ birthday parties, ready to sing ‘La Multi Ani’ or to tell us all a new joke. A youthful and warm man, Ioan also found time that summer to help me out with my immigration problems. A couple of years later he fought and won a huge battle against cancer; apparently it came back, this time for good.
After I left he offered me a postdoc position which I kept postponing until last year when I finally took it and although we didn’t see eye-to-eye on some things, I’m glad I took this position and was able to work with him once again. He always believed in me and my work, and for that I will always be most grateful to him. I will miss one of my mentors, a dear friend, a truely warm and loving man. May he rest in peace.
La revedere Ioan, ne vedem dincolo o zi.