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Warwick Farewell - Dr Jan Rakels

It was with sadness that the School of Engineering received news of the death of Dr Jan Rakels. Jan died in University Hospital on Monday 11th February 2008, following a prolonged period of illness. The School offers his sister our deepest sympathy.

On the recommendation of Ir. P.A.F.M.Goemans of Eindhoven University, Professor Rene Rhodes invited Jan to join his maglev research group as a Visiting Fellow for six months in 1976. This was followed, in 1977, by his appointment as a Research Officer funded initially by the Wolfson Foundation and later by the Science Research Council. A series of short-term contracts followed which drew on Jan's broad engineering knowledge and skills and saw him working with Professor David Whitehouse's Micro-engineering Centre. In January 1986 Jan was appointed as a lecturer within the, then, Department of Engineering. From 2002 Jan held the position of Director of Undergraduate Studies within the School of Engineering and many students have benefited from his advice over the five years he was active in this role.

Jan was a well-liked colleague and teacher renowned for his sometimes wicked sense of humour. He had a passion for engineering models and trains and was a collector of Leica cameras.

Tony Price

The funeral will be held on Friday 22nd February 2008, at 3pm at Canley Crematorium. Please contact Tony Price, Associate Dean of Engineering on