: Obituary

Joachim H. Nagel (1948 – 2017)

February 1948 –  July 2017

In Memoriam
Prof. Dr. ret. nat. Joachim H. Nagel
IFMBE President 2003 – 2006
IUPESM President 2006 – 2009

I met Prof. Nagel more than 20 years ago at one of the Mediterranean Conferences in Biomedical Engineering, when Joachim was already an established researcher and well known scientist, and I was entering the arena of BME research. Shortly after that event, Joachim invited me to start collaborating within the frame of the Int’l Federation for Medical and Biological Engineering. One of the first projects we realized was the IFMBE’s Mediterranean Conference which was held in Pula, in Croatia in 2001. At that time, Joachim was already the President-Elect of the IFMBE and I was enjoying listening to his ideas and plans for the future development of the Federation, involving the young generation of researchers into BME and increasing the visibility of the profession. We were usually sitting on a terrace of a small restaurant on the shore in the bay, after the presentations at the Conference and all meetings were finished, looking at the yachts at the anchorage in the marina, letting the breeze bring us refreshment and new, fresh ideas. We continued to collaborate on numerous different IFMBE and later IUPESM projects, until and after Joachim’s retirement, until a few months ago when Joachim withdraw into private life due to health reasons. During all those years, Prof. Nagel has been the leading person or has been actively involved in different initiatives, which resulted in increasing of visibility and importance of biomedical engineers and medical physicists in medicine and health as well as in large number of benefits for IUPESM and IFMBE affiliated societies and individuals.

Joachim Nagel received his Diploma in Physics from the University of the Saarland, Germany, in 1974 and his D.Sc. in Medical Engineering Physics from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany, in 1979. Following appointments in industry and as a faculty member at the Department of Biomedical Engineering of the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, he joined the University of Miami, Florida, USA, in 1986, where he served as a Professor of Biomedical Engineering (1986-96), Professor of Radiology (1990-96), and Professor of Psychophysiology (1988-96), Director of the Medical Imaging & Instrumentation Lab (1986-1996), and Director of Biomedical Engineering at the Behavioral Medicine Research Center (1986-1996). In 1996, he accepted the position as Professor of Biomedical Engineering and at the same time the Director of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Stuttgart with appointments as Adjunct Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Radiology at the University of Miami. He was the leader of several International Associations: he served as the President of the International Union for Physical and Engineering Sciences in Medicine (IUPESM) and the President of the International Federation for Medical and Biological Engineering (IFMBE). He was a member of the Scientific Council of the International Centre for Biocybernetics of the Polish Academy of Science, a Fellow of the Institute of Physics (IOP), a Fellow of the International Academy of Medical and Biological Engineering (IAMBE), a Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), Founding Fellow der European Alliance for Medical and Biological Engineering and Sciences (EAMBES) and an Academician Member of the UNESCO/UATI World Academy of Biomedical Technologies. He has served on the IEEE/EMBS Administrative Committee as a European and as a US representative, and he was a member of the IEEE Engineering Research & Development Committee (Technology Policy Council). He was an honorary member of the Czech Society for Biomedical Engineering and Medical Informatics of the Czech Medical Association of J. E. Purkyně.

In 2012, Prof. Nagel was honored Honorary Life Membership of International Federation for Medical and Biological Engineering (IFMBE). Also in 2012, he was awarded the IUPESM Award of Merit for his “Outstanding Achievements in Physical & Engineering Sciences in Medicine”.

Joachim Nagel was an editor of the IOPP Book Series in Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering and the IFMBE Book Series in Biomedical Engineering, he has served as an Editor for the BMES journal Annals of Biomedical Engineering (1989-94), the IOPP journal Physiological Measurement (1994-98), and he was a member of numerous Editorial and Review Boards. He served as a consultant to NIH, NHLBI, the Scientists’ Institute for Public Information, the American Cancer Society – ACS/NASA Subcommittee, and numerous companies. He has been funded by NIH and the DFG, and he has taken part in EU-funded projects.

His main research interests were in the fields of cardiovascular monitoring, instrumentation and physiology, medical image acquisition and image processing, physiological signals, MEMS, and biological effects as well as therapeutic applications of ultrasound. He has published more than 200 scientific papers, books, book chapters, patents, and conference papers.

Joachim Nagel was the coordinator of the European project BIOMEDEA (Biomedical Engineering Preparing for the European Higher Education Area). The objective of the project was to develop and establish consensus on European guidelines for the harmonization of high quality MBES programs, their accreditation and for certification and continuing education of professionals working within the health care systems.

Prof. Nagel’s contributions to biomedical engineering and medical physics are numerous and it is very difficult to mention them all.

IUPESM Health Technology and Training Task Group
Together with Prof. Barry Allen, Prof. Joachim Nagel established the IOMP/IFMBE Task Group for Health Technology and Training in Developing Countries later called “Health Technology and Training Task Group”. They started to develop policies and a program in accordance with WHO approaches, involving WHO and the governments and health care systems of the countries
with which IFMBE and IOMP are cooperating. Such a program is a milestone in developing healthcare around the world, especially in developing countries.

Collaboration with WHO
Prof. Nagel has considerably increased the cooperation of IUPESM and IFMBE with WHO. As the president of the IFMBE he has participated in WHO General Assemblies in Geneva during his term of office and continued to represent the IFMBE at general assemblies also after 2006.
It is Prof. Nagel’s achievement that IFMBE is included into the WHO’s World Alliance for Patient Safety.

Other NGO activities
Prof. Nagel re-established IFMBE’s status of an NGO at United Nations and included IFMBE into the initiative “Information Society of the UN”. Prof. Nagel also initiated the cooperation of IFMBE with international standardization organizations (ISO, IEC and ITU). IFMBE has meanwhile been accepted as member of the World Standards Cooperation.

Publications
Prof. Nagel recognized the value of IFMBE publications, mainly its Journal MBEC and its potentials. Therefore, he was leading negotiations with the most significant publishers in the field of biomedical engineering and together with other members of the Journal Committee decided to sign a contract with a new publisher, Springer. He achieved three major successes for the IFMBE:

    1. Dramatical increase of distribution and circulation as well as of the Journal’s volume which brought to a significant increase in visibility of biomedical engineering and IFMBE.
    2. Excellent services for IFMBE members (each of 120.000 individuals from the IFMBE affiliated societies) who can free of charge access electronic copies of Federation’s Journal MBEC and another three BME journals published by Springer. In addition, IFMBE conference proceedings from the IFMBE proceedings series and the IFMBE newsletter can be accessed under the same conditions. Up to my knowledge, this is a unique service in biomedical engineering community.
    3. In addition to the above-mentioned achievements, the income from the Journal has significantly increased, enabling the Federation to start new projects, programs and initiatives.

 

Education
Prof. Nagel was working actively in biomedical engineering and medical physics education not only as a university professor and Head of the BME department, but he also initiated a series of workshops on biomedical engineering and founded a European project BIOMEDEA in 2004. The BIOMEDEA project gathered BME societies and BME university programs. This initiative resulted in a number of documents (criteria, guidelines and protocols) for harmonization and accreditation of biomedical engineering and science programs. The project has also dealt with training, certification and continuing education of biomedical and clinical engineers working with the healthcare system.
During the realization of this project it became evident that this project is interesting not only for Europe but also for the BME community worldwide, so that at the III BIOMEDEA meeting,
representatives from all over the world were present. The success of the BIOMEDEA project encouraged Prof. Nagel to continue it with that activity with a strong support of the IFMBE which incorporated many of the BIOMEDEA policy statements into policy IFMBE policies.

Conferences
Prof. Nagel has found it his professional obligation to attend and to communicate with IFMBE members at all possible levels and in all regions. Such an open and friendly approach resulted in the increase of applications for IFMBE co-sponsorship and endorsement of worldwide BME conferences. Prof. Nagel continued this policy also as IUPESM president.

Positions held in IUPESM
IUPESM President, 2006-2009
Member of Congress Coordinating Committee
Nominating Committee
ICSU Liaison Committee
Member of the Administrative Council of IUPESM

Positions held in IFMBE
Member of the Administrative Council since 1997
President-Elect and Vice-President, 2000-2003
President, 2003-2006
Immediate Past President, 2006-2009
Chairman of the Federation Journal Committee, 2004 -2007
Chairman of the Publications and Publicity Committee, 2000 -2007
Chairman of the Awards Committee, 2000-2003
Co-Chairman of the Awards Committee, 2003-2006
Member of the Education and Accreditation Committee
Member of the WHO Committee
Member of the EAMBES Executive Board, 2003-2004
Editor of the IOPP/IFMBE/IOMP book series since 2002-2006
Editor of Springer biomedical engineering book series
Co-Founder and Coordinator IFMBE Proceedings Series 2001-2006
Co-editor of IFMBE Proceedings Series

Prof. Nagel has also held a number of positions in many other learned societies and organizations. Prof. Nagel is a distinguished scientist who contributed to biomedical engineering and science and published a large number of scientific publications.

I have never met any person, scientist or engineer, who has been as much engaged and as much successful in representing interests and achieving aims of a scientific organizations in biomedical engineering as Prof. Nagel. In many years of his work, Joachim earned many friends and admirers, and he also changed many people’s lives for the better. I am honored to have been among them.

 

Ratko Magjarević

Nozomu Hoshimiya (1941 – 2017)

1941 – 25 January 2017

Dear colleagues of Biomedical Engineering,

We are sad to announce that our colleague Professor Nozomu Hosimiya passed away on 25 January 2017.

Nozomu Hoshimiya was born in Japan, 1941. He received the Ph.D. degree in electronic engineering from Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan, in 1969. From 1972 to May 1982, he was an Associate Professor in the Department of Electronic Engineering, School of Engineering, Tohoku University. From June 1982 to April 1988, he was a Professor in the Research Institute of Applied Electricity, Hokkaido University. Starting in May 1988, he was a Professor in Graduate School of Engineering, Tohoku University (Chair of Biomedical Electronics). He was a Vice-President of Tohoku University in 2001–2002. He was the President of Tohoku Gakuin University from 2004 to 2013. He was a chancellor of Tohoku Gakuin (educational institution) in 2007-2015.

His principal fields of interest are the following biomedical engineering fields: functional electrical stimulation (FES) as a neural prosthesis, especially its application to rehabilitation fields; self-organizing neural networks, especially on the recognition and generation of the spatio-temporal patterns; and physiological instrumentation. Dr. Hoshimiya was an Ad-Com Member of the IEEE/EMBS in 1989–1990, and was a founding Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, in 1993–1996. He was also an Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the Japan Society of Medical Electronics and Biological Engineering, 1991–1995. He has been an AIMBE Fellow since 2002. He was a Vice-President of the Japan Society of Medical and Biological Engineering in 1998–1999. He was a Member of the Board of Directors of the International Society of Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) in 1999–2000, and has also been the President of Japan FES Society since 2004–2005. He has been IEEE Fellow and Life Fellow since 1994, 2008, respectively.

We deeply regrets this loss and sends sincere condolences to Prof. Hoshimiya’s family, friends and students.

 

IFMBE Administrative Council

Antonio F. C. Infantosi (1947 – 2016)

1st September 1947 – 16th March 2016

 

Dear colleagues of Biomedical Engineering,

The board of the Brazilian Society of Biomedical Engineering (SBEB) is sad to announce that our colleague Professor Antonio Fernando Catelli Infantosi passed away on 16 March 2016.

Prof. Infantosi is one of the biggest names in Biomedical Engineering in Brazil, he was one of the founders of the Biomedical Engineering Program of COPPE-UFRJ, the SBEB and journal Research on Biomedical Engineering (RBE). He was President of SBEB several times and president of the Latin American Regional Council on Biomedical Engineering (CORAL).

The board of the SBEB deeply regrets this loss and sends sincere condolences to Prof. Infantosi’s family, friends and students.

Prof. Sérgio Santos Mühlen, DSc, CCE
President of the Brazilian Society of Biomedical Engineering – SBEB

Robert Albert Brown (1952 – 2016)

15th January 1952 – 4th February 2016

 

Our friend and our colleague Prof Robert Brown sadly passed away on 4th February 2016 at the age of 64. An extraordinary human being, Robert is survived by his mother Doris Brown, his daughter Elizabeth Pelichet, his son Michael Brown and grandson Finlay Brown. His passing is a huge loss to the UCL community and the tissue engineering community in the UK, Europe and Internationally. He was as well a key figure of the IFMBE Working Group for Cell and Stem Cell Engineering.

Robert was awarded his Ph.D. in 1976 by Manchester University where, under the supervision of Dr J.B.Weiss, he successfully defended his research into “A Molecular Dissection of Rheumatoid and Normal Synovial Membranes with Special Reference to their Collagen Contents”. This started his lifelong fascination of all things collagen. He had a brief stint with industry working first as a research assistant and then as Deputy Head of R&D with Blood Products Laboratory (Elstree) between 1977-1983 before joining UCL Institute of Orthopaedics and Musculoskeletal Science, Royal National Orthopaedics Hospital, Stanmore as a Lecturer/Senior Lecturer ( 1984-1992). In 1992 on his promotion to Reader he moved his research base to Bloomsbury as Director of the Tissue Repair Unit which he setup along with the UCL Tissue Engineering Centre (TREC). In 2002 he was appointed as UCL’s first Professor of Tissue Engineering and moved his research base back to Institute of Orthopaedics and Musculoskeletal Science, Royal National Orthopaedics Hospital, Stanmore. He was a founding member of the British Tissue Engineering community and past president of the Tissue and Cell Engineering Society (TCES) UK.

His key research achievements were in understanding the control of growth, especially nano-micro struc-ture, in 3D tissue models. 2 key output innovations underpinned this: orientated fibrillar fibronectin cell scaffolds and the Culture Force Monitor (CFM) model, measuring/applying directional loads to 3D culture. He was a pioneer in developing 3D models and their use in elucidating the effect of mecha-nics. His research innovation (Plastic Compression -rapid, biomimetic fabrication process for collagen tissues) established him as an international leading scientist for biomimetic tissue engineering. His ability to collaborate across disciplines resulted in many successful research alliances with leading scientists in the UK, Europe and Internationally. He successfully supervised over 30 M.D. and Ph.D. students, over 60 M.Sc. projects and numerous post-doc researchers. Throughout his career at UCL Robert was a beloved teacher, a sought after research supervisor, collaborator and friend to many UCL colleagues across Faculties. He was also a very popular and highly regarded scientist in the Tissue Engineering community nationally and internationally.

Robert leaves behind a rich legacy of scientific innovations, motivated students with successful careers and scientifically productive collaborations across the UK, Europe and Internationally. But most importantly he leaves behind a legacy of global friendships brought together by Robert’s passion for science and human beeings. We feel honoured to have spent time with a distinguished scientist, a funny storyteller and remarkable man. Rest in peace our dear Robert.

Gerhard Artmann,
Chair IFMBE Working Group, Cell and Stem Cell Engineering,
February 11th, 2016

 

Keith Copeland (1921 – 2011)

28 August 1921 – 14 September 2011

On September 14, Keith Copeland, one of IFMBE’s most distinguished members, passed away.

Keith Copeland was born on the 28th of August 1921 in Bury St. Edmunds, UK, and received his education at Cullford School in Suffolk. After passing the examination for the civil service, he started his professional life in the Air Ministry in the Works Directorate on the maintenance of aerodromes and was then called up to the Royal Air Force for training as a radio and wireless mechanic.

In 1941 he was summoned to war and was employed at numerous radar stations in England and India, working on special radar equipment that was used for navigating aircraft. After the war he resumed his work at the Air Ministry until he was offered a position in the Biophysics Department of the University College London.

It was the year 1947 when neither hospitals nor research facilities had sufficient equipment, so Keith started working to design and develop instruments for physiological research and many of his devices, such as simulators, ended up in hospital use. Today we would call somebody doing this kind of work a Biomedical Engineer. Over the next years, Keith Copeland became acquainted with others working in the same field, some of whom even had the same background and they started to call their research Medical Electronics. Like everywhere else in the world, there was no professional biomedical engineering society in England at the time, there were only the Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEE), and the British Institution of Radio Engineers that later became part of the IEE. Therefore communication among those working in Medical Electronics was loose even within a country and there was no globally established network. It was a logical next step in the further development of the profession to establish an international framework for communication and collaboration, and in June of 1958, about 50 leading scientists in the new field, Keith Copeland among them, met in Paris to prepare the foundation of “The International Federation for Medical Electronics” and to organize the new Federation’s first conference. The meeting became known as the “First International Conference on Medical Electronics” and the participants represented 9 countries.

In 1971, during the 9th International Conference of the Federation, which had changed its name to International Federation for Medical and Biological Engineering, Keith Copeland, Secretary General of the Biological Engineering Society (BES) of the UK at the time, was asked – quite unexpectedly, as he said himself – to become the Federation’s new Treasurer. Keith agreed and he kept that position for 14 years, which meant beneficial, long time continuity for the Federation and its financial matters. Keith Copeland contributed to the prosperity of the Federation by negotiating the Federation’s journal contracts with the publisher, and, after long negotiations with the British Office of Revenue, he succeeded to obtain tax-exempt status for IFMBE in 1985.