February 2, 2012 (PO7). Slovak scientist, Dr. Milan Polák, passed away on January 31st, 2012, after a severe short illness. His rather sudden departure at 74 came as a sad surprise to his colleagues and co-workers in Slovakia and abroad. He has been well-known to the superconductivity community through his active studies of electromagnetic properties of superconductors, superconducting magnets and devices, in particular on AC losses and related problems.
Milan Polák was born in 1937 in Strekov, finished university studies in 1960, got his Ph.D. in 1967 and the habilitation (D.Sc.) in 1989, both at Slovak Academy of Science (SAS) in Bratislava. From 1967 to 1969 he was in Giessen and Karlsruhe as Alexander von Humboldt Scholar, 1983 – 84 as lecturer at the L´Úniversité National de Gabés in Tunis and 1992–95 as visiting scientist in the Applied Superconductivity Center, Madison. Since 1960 he is with the Institute of Electrical Engineering (IEE), Slovak Academy of Sciences in Bratislava, Slovakia.
Polák made significant contributions to applied superconductivity, e.g., designed and tested NbTi coils for the generation of magnetic fields at industrial frequencies, AC loss measurements of superconductors and superconducting coils, development of low AC loss YBCO superconductors. He successfully managed several national and international research projects and published about 190 publications in international journals.
For 50 years he was active in the Institute Electrical Engineering of SAS and, to the end of his activity, liked the “hands on” experimental work in laboratory, which was a stimulating example also for much younger colleagues. He was also as a member of several scientific boards and, as the director of IEE, was also involved in effective reorganization of the Institute of Electrical Engineering at the time of “political change”.
Milan was a very creative colleague, and up to the end of his live stimulated others to useful activities. His colleagues and collaborators appreciated his experience and knowledge as well as his friendship and sense for humour. For this author it was a special privilege to spend with him the time of his last MT-22 conference (Sept. 2011) and also participate in experiments performed together during his last years.