Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Nikolai Dotzek (1966–2010)

The atmospheric science community lost a dear friend and colleague this past weekend. Nikolai Dotzek was a research scientist at DLR's Institut für Physik der Atmosphäre, but he was also the Director of the European Severe Storms Laboratory, founder of the European Severe Weather Database, and organizer of the 5th European Conference on Severe Storms, as well as numerous other activities.

During a visit to Munich several years ago, Nikolai and his family opened their home to me for dinner. It was very kind of him, but it was something that he did for many of us severe-weather scientists who passed through town. He was a generous man.

I was amazed at how many things Nikolai did. He had boundless energy and enthusiasm, was a positive and endearing person, and was one of the most friendly scientists I knew. His demeanor made you want to join his vision for a European-wide research and forecasting effort for severe storms. It was a big vision, but I believed that he could do it. Nikolai dreamed big.

I will miss my friend very much.