In memory of Christopher Lowe
Chistopher Lowe passed away this summer, after a short but severe illness.
A native of the English north-west, he studied Chemistry and Physics at the University of Manchester, receiving a First Class honours degree and then a PhD in Theoretical Chemistry, awarded the Hibbert Prize for best thesis. After his studies, he worked for two years as a software engineer, and also patented and built a new rig for shear testing of bridge bearings. Returning to science, he joined Daan Frenkel at the FOM institute for Atomic and Molecular Physics (AMOLF) as a KNAW fellow, before settling down in 2000 at the University of Amsterdam where he was an Associate Professor in the Computational Chemistry group at the van ‘t Hoff institute for Molecular Sciences until 2019.
In life, as a scientist, and as a teacher, Christopher stood out with his unique scientific style, view and approach. He was driven by a strong dedication to understanding and elucidating the fundamentals. In his research he showed this by unraveling important aspects of polymeric systems. He was valued as a critical thinker, and was always open for in-depth discussions with students and colleagues. His legacy will also live on whenever the Lowe-Andersen thermostat is mentioned, as well as in the “sperm number”, a fundamental constant determining the motility of micro-organisms. In his teaching he was a source of inspiration for his students, and a supportive mentor for younger colleagues. He will be remembered also as a much appreciated closing-day MolSim-school lecturer, and a cornerstone of the Write it Right course and workshops that reached thousands of PhDs and postdocs around Europe. He is survived by his wife Michelle, his children Rosalind and Jack, and his grandson Ruben.