Herbert Bousack, 1953 - 2015
December 15, 2015 (PO41). Dr. Eng. Herbert Bousack was born on June 10, 1953, in Aachen, Germany, and it was there he succumbed to a rather sudden cancer on November 13, 2015. He completed his doctorate in mechanical engineering in 1981. After graduation, he became a member of staff at the Research Center Juelich (FZJ), Germany, and was employed there until his untimely death.
Herbert’s contribution to applied superconductivity was limited to the period 1990 to 1999, but it was significant. He organized and led the SQUID development and applications group, which under his guidance grew fast to become one of the two leading project of the whole FZJ and one of the most successful such activities worldwide. It concentrated on the development of high-Tc (HTS) rf SQUIDs and their application in three areas of biomagnetism, nondestructive evaluation (NDE) of metallic structures and geophysical exploration. In these years, several of the then “world’s first” originated under Herbert's direction, including both the matured HTS rf SQUID in the form it is practiced today and the first application of SQUIDs to airplane structure testing, which was licensed to a renowned airplane engine manufacturer and used in practice. All application projects were conducted in direct collaboration with industry or test organizations. Reorganization of the institute, in which all these activities were located, terminated most of the SQUID activities in or immediately after 1999.
Herbert’s personal technical involvement focused mostly on NDE of steel-reinforced concrete bridges. That specific development program was immensely successful, but eventually not implemented for cost reasons: the data interpretation methodology conceived in this project was so effective that is allowed to eventually replace the mobile SQUID systems by less sensitive and cheaper room-temperature sensors.
As a team leader, Herbert excelled by his extraordinary ability to communicate, motivate and create a team spirit with a special human sensitivity and touch in personal relationships. In private life, he was, among others, a passionate biker and active friend of animals.
Herbert Bousack will be well remembered and deeply missed by his former collaborators and colleagues. Let him rest in peace.
Alex Braginski, H. Joachim Krause, and Yi Zhang