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In Memoriam – Heino Nitsche

Professor Heino Nitsche died unexpectedly and peacefully in his sleep on July 15. He would have been 65 next Thursday.

Heino was born July 24, 1949, in Munich, Germany. He earned his Ph.D. in 1980 at the Free University of Berlin and came to Berkeley as an LBNL staff scientist that year. He stayed for 13 years and in 1993 returned to the newly reunified Germany to direct a radiochemistry research institute in Dresden. In 1998 he was lured back to Berkeley by an offer to become a full professor in the Department of Chemistry and the founding director of LBNL’s Glenn T. Seaborg Center.
Heino was the leader of the Nuclear Science and Security Constoriums’s Nuclear Chemistry and Radiochemistry focus group, overseeing the cutting edge research in nuclear and radiochemistry of heavy elements, radioisotope science and development, rare isotope harvesting, basic studies of chemical fractionation in fallout formation and nuclear forensics, as well as studies of chemistry of irradiated materials, with a goal to develop and transfer technology useful for nuclear forensics and international safeguards. Heino was a member of the team that confirmed the existence of element 117. The team included several of his former students.
His work was internationally recognized – in May 2014, Heino received the Hevesy Medal Award from the International Committee on Activation Analysis.The Hevesy Medal is given in recognition of excellence through outstanding, sustained career achievements in the fields of pure and applied nuclear and radiochemistry, particularly applications to nuclear analytical chemistry.

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