Endel Lippmaa passed away

It is with sadness that I inform you of the passing of the well-known and highly regarded Estonian scientist Dr. Endel Lippmaa.  Endel was a pioneer of solid-state NMR spectroscopy, and NMR in general, during the 70’s and 80’s. Many may not have known of all of his contributions, as he lived and worked in the small country of Estonia, one of the Baltic countries. Despite repression during the USSR period, he traveled and collaborated with numerous western laboratories, including the IBM Almaden labs in California and visits to Alex Pines’ lab at UC Berkeley. He was a leading figure in the Academy of Sciences in Estonia, and influenced many young people to study and excel in science. In the 1990’s, as independence came back to Estonia, Endel played important roles in government and helped guide the country in what is truly an invigorating and exciting transformation to a beautiful, dynamic country.  I was fortunate to come to know Endel through family ties and met him and his son Jaak in the mid- to late-1980s. They visited us in Maryland numerous times, and since those years, I have enjoyed meeting with him and discussing a broad range of topics from science to research and government. He was an exceptionally bright man with an inquisitive and penetrating intellect. Discussions were a challenge, but always rewarding. In the same manner, he made many thoughtful and thorough contributions to magnetic resonance. It is through such contributions that our field grew and has become so dynamic and multi-disciplinary.  In his final years, when health issues became more difficult, Endel was still working with high energy physics experiments in Switzerland and always digging into “what is going on in science in the US” whenever we met. I will cherish these memories and have deep respect for the impact that he had on  so many people.  Endel spent his last days with family, including son Mikk who is a professor in physics in Tokyo, in the beautiful city of Tallinn, Estonia.  We will miss him.

Andy Byrd