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Eddy De Grave (1951-2018) (25/02/18)

Eddy De Grave (Feb 16, 1951 – Jan 24, 2018) obtained in 1973 his licentiate (master) degree in physics at the University of Ghent. From then on he started a scientific career at the former Laboratory of Magnetism as a Research Assistant at the Belgian National Fund for Scientific Research (NFWO/FWO). In 1983 he became a Research Associate, in 1987 a Senior Research Associate and by 1991 he was Research Director. After the FWO research staff became part of the University, he became Senior Lecturer in 2000 and Professor in 2010.
De Grave’s research started with the study of (Fe,Mg,Ti)O4 spinel compounds, using Mössbauer spectroscopy (MS) for the very first time in Ghent. He performed additional high-field MS experiments during a four month stay with Professor S.S. Hafner at the Philipps University in Marburg (Germany). The thorough study of these magnetic oxides led to his PhD degree in 1978. Meanwhile his interest also lay with Fe oxides and particularly with Fe oxihydroxides. In 1980 he stayed with a Fulbright/Hays Grant for a year at the North Caroline State University with Professor L.H. Bowen, where he performed research on Al-substituted hematite and goethite. This work did continue in Ghent and during several subsequent stays in the US. In the meantime De Grave showed an increasing interest in the characterization of minerals with MS. In particular, he did pioneering research on some new uranyl phosphates in collaboration with Professor R. Vochten (University of Antwerp). At a certain point, he was also involved in the characterization of the Fe oxide catalysts for the preparation of carbon nanotubes in cooperation with Ch. Laurent of the Université Paul Sabatier in Toulouse. However, among the different kinds of material investigations, soil-related materials and minerals remained his favorite research topic during his whole career. His tremendous research resulted in about 250 publications of which more than 200 so-called A1 papers, and several chapters in multiple books. He attended more than 40 conferences where he was a welcome guest and gave lectures throughout the world. He also shared his extensive expertise with several PhD students, especially with some from South America (e.g. G.M. da Costa from Brazil). At last but not least, Eddy De Grave obtained a post PhD degree (Aggregation HO) in 1983 and became a Fellow of the American Mineralogical Society in 2006. During his career he was largely responsible for the collection of funds for the equipment of the MS laboratory.
Eddy De Grave retired in October 2015. Continuing as a part-time voluntary researcher, he planned to move the Mössbauer spectrometers to the Geology building in order to carry on with his MS research in collaboration with Professor Van Ranst. Unfortunately, his declining health prevented him from doing so. Eddy De Grave passed away on January 24. With him disappears Mössbauer spectroscopy definitively in Ghent, but as a result of his numerous and valuable papers, his knowledge will remain with us.

Robert E. Vandenberghe

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