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Ilkka Liede (1947–1992)

Published onSep 01, 1993
Ilkka Liede (1947–1992)

Research Professor Ilkka Liede died on the 29th of July, 1992. A great number of colleagues and fellow employees in Finland and abroad share the grief of his family and relatives. The feeling of loss is strong among the personnel of several Finnish and foreign research institutes who had come to know him for his efficiency, friendliness, and analytical intellect.

Ilkka Liede was born on the 19th of June , 1947 in Helsinki, Finland. He passed the matriculation examination in 1967. He studied theoretical physics at the University of Helsinski and received a degree of Master of Science in 1976. He completed his licentiate dissertation in 1978 and produced his doctoral thesis on high-energy physics in 1984.

In the years 1973-1985 Ilkka Liede held various teaching and research posts in both the theoretical and experimental physics departments of the University of Helsinki. During this period he also performed postgraduate studies in elementary particle physics at the Max Planck Institute in Germany. Illka Liede was appointed Senior Researcher in 1985 at the Finnish Meteorological Institute where his main responsibility was the space research programme that had been started a little earlier in the Department of Geophysics. Later on he became head of the division of space physics, which was followed by a nomination as Research Professor for a period of five years starting from the 1st of September, 1991. As a research professor he was in charge of demanding space research projects.

As a scientist he created a career in two entirely different fields of physics; at the University of Helsinki he published about twenty scientific papers on elementary particle physics, whereas at the Finnish Meteorological Institute he concentrated on research in space physics. He was responsible for the contribution of the Finnish Meteorological Institute to various international research projects connected to Mars exploration, such as Phobos and METEGG.

Great enthusiasm, profundity, and a marked sense of responsibility were characteristic of Illka Liede. The profundity is best reflected in his ability to learn both the French and Russian languages in a short time and to use them without difficulty in communications between French and Russian parties in space programmes. He had an extraordinary gift of dealing successfully with situations in which he could get no help from his physicist’s training. At meetings he took a calm and constructive stand and was always willing to help his fellow employee.

To popularize the aims of our Mars projects a video programme was completed in March 1992. We wish to remember Ilkka Liede as he appears on the video: vigorous and enthusiastic about his work. Recently, a poster was published based on the subject material of the video. The poster shows the elements that Illka Liede adopted as goals some seven years ago. The motto of the poster, “The future of mankind is in the universe”, is an apt reminder of Illka Liede’s belief in his work.

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