Image Credit: ESO
Unexpected Passing of Alexander Kann

Unexpected Passing of Alexander Kann

We are very shocked to hear the news of the unexpected passing of ENGRAVE member David Alexander Kann (Alex). Many of us were talking with him about gamma-ray burst follow-up the night before his death, so we cannot quite comprehend that he is no longer with us. He was an exceptional scientist with an encyclopedic knowledge of GRBs and much besides. Whenever there was some tricky recollection of “can you remember which burst it was that…”, the invariable response was “ask Alex!”. He shared that knowledge freely and easily, and it is a testament to his immense value to the field, just how many of us were in close contact for advice and collaboration in the hours before his death.

There will be time later to honour and acknowledge his myriad scientific achievements. Still, his name will always be remembered hand-in-hand with the progress we have seen in GRBs in the past 20 years. ENGRAVE is a young collaboration, but we were looking forward to his contributions to our operations in O4 and will sorely miss his insight.

Of course, he couldn’t occupy such a central position in the community without being the person people wanted to talk and work with. His enthusiasm was catching. He was part of what made working in the field such an exciting opportunity. Many will regard him as not just a collaborator but a true friend. At this difficult time, we send our condolences to all his family and friends.

Rest easily, Alex, we will miss you.

The ENGRAVE executive committee on behalf of the whole collaboration.