In Memoriam | Michel Westenberg

Our beloved colleague Michel Westenberg died on Friday the 16th of April. Michel was handling his life-threatening disease with a positive mind and spirit, but after more than a year, he passed away.

photo Angeline Swinkels

We know and remember Michel as a loyal and friendly colleague, always ready to help out, very professional and with a great sense of humor. His untimely death at such a young age is a great loss, for the visualization cluster, our department, and much wider. The loss will be felt most by his wife and his mother, and further family. Our thoughts are with them in this most difficult time.

Michel was highly appreciated in the visualization research community. He was awarded his PhD degree in 2001 from the University of Groningen under supervision of Jos Roerdink. He has continued to work there as a researcher, and he was also a Humboldt Research Fellow at the University of Stuttgart.

In June 2008 he joined the visualization group of the department of Mathematics & Computer Science at the Eindhoven University of Technology. First as assistant professor and since February 2017 as associate professor. His research was focused on visual analytics for biomedical research. With his students he has attacked a variety of challenges in highly innovative and useful ways, including the visualization of biological networks, support of image analysis for pathology, and analysis of sleeping patterns, in collaboration with among others CWI, Wageningen University, and Philips.

Michel was very active in the international BioVis community. He was also an enthusiastic teacher, his lectures were appreciated much and he has guided and stimulated many MSc and PhD students.

Michel has contributed very much to the organization and management of the department. He was member of the board of Computer Science, adjunct-director of the Computer Science graduate program, adjunct-director of the BSc Computer Science program, and, until his disease made it impossible, program director of the joint bachelor Data Science.

He was a fantastic and beloved colleague, always willing to take on new tasks. He took responsibility, he knew how to connect people, and found solutions in complex situations. In all this, he was very considerate, friendly, humorous, and emphatic. Everybody loved him. We will miss him very much.

A condolence register where you can leave and share messages can be found here.

Jack van Wijk & Johan Lukkien

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