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.


About joaquinbarroso

Computational and theoretical chemist in his early forties, in love with life, science, baseball, and literature. Science literacy makes us responsible citizens, it is therefore a scientific duty to talk, write, and engage with the general public; as Feynman said, if you find science boring, your learning from the wrong teacher. "Make like a molecule and react!"

Posted on December 26, 2009, in Random thoughts and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. May Prof. Silaghi-Dumitrescu Ioan rest in peace.

  2. It is true…He was a great man…May he reast in peace…

  3. shocking to know this sad news, and hard to believe it. Professor Ioan Silaghi-Dumitrescu was a very nice person and a impressive scientist. He provide a lot of help when I visited Cluj this fall. I will always
    miss him.

    May he rest in peace

    • We were all very shocked, and I think most of us also have a hard time believing the news. I remember your stay this fall in our lab at Babes-Bolyai, he always excelled in making his foreign visitors feel welcomed. Thanks for your comment.

      Best wishes

  4. Am inteles de la Luminita ca in februarie 2010
    urma sa-mi face-ti o vizita la Chicago.Din pacate nu a
    fost sa fie asa,cineva acolo sus a dorit sa-ti inchei
    misiunea si sa ne parasesti atat de repede .Am copilarit impreuna, am facut facut naveta la liceu
    impreuna, lucruri pe care le-am depanat acum doi ani
    cu mare placere impreuna. Acum te las sa te odihnesti
    in pace. Nu te vom uita niciodata.
    Dormi in pace BOY

  5. I just have heard a couple ours ago the sad and shocking news about my respected Professor, Ioan Silaghi-Dumitrescu. At this point I am speechless, because it really hit me. Also, now I feel guilty that after I went to Germany in 2005 I have not kept a strong relationship with him and with the rest of the people.
    Sadly, the old saying is true: It’s always the good ones that have to die…

    He always had patience for me and had power to say couple of good words despite his issues with his health (which I was not even aware of until now, because he was such a strong person that he newer spoke about it).
    Beside his family, He is certainly a huge loss to all of us, not even mentioning the scientific community.

    May He rest in peace!

    • Dear Janos
      We were all affected by prof. Silaghi’s death. I agree with you, he was more than just a teacher or a mentor, he was a friend. I also agree with you on the scientific community loosing a valuable member.
      It’s been almost five years since I last saw you. I hope you are fine and that everything is working out well with your life in every aspect. Hopefully we can keep in touch now.

      Take care and have fun

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