Imperial College London

Tribute to Professor Henricus (Hans) J. Michels


Professor Henricus (Hans) J. Michels

Professor Henricus (Hans) J. Michels

We are deeply sad to share the news that Professor Henricus (Hans) J. Michels passed away peacefully in his sleep last week.

Professor Michels will be greatly missed by the entire Department of Chemical Engineering.

He celebrated his 50 year anniversary at Imperial College London in 2017, in the same year as he was awarded the Institution of Chemical Engineering (IChemE) Franklin Medal for his “significant contributions to safety and loss prevention over five decades of research at the heart of industrial applications”.

Hans joined Imperial in 1963 as a PhD student in the Department of Chemical Engineering, taking the position of Lecturer in 1967 and going on to become a Senior Lecturer in 1985, and Professor of Safety Engineering in 1999.

He will be remembered for his kindness and his dedication to his family, the department and his students. He was always full of energy and enthusiasm for his work and generating ideas for ways to improve the department.

Professor Nilay Shah, Head of Chemical Engineering at Imperial, said: “He was a great presence in the Department and a world leader in the field of safety and detonations. He was also a champion for new ideas in education and in improvements in the Department's infrastructure and operations. He will be greatly missed.”

Professor Dame Julia Higgins, President of the Institute of Physics and Emeritus Professor of Chemical Engineering at Imperial, said: “When I arrived in the department in 1976, Hans was one of my neighbours on level 5 ACE.  He has been a constant colleague and someone I have loved to meet and chat with ever since.  He was indeed someone totally committed to the department and particularly our students.  He will be sadly missed.”

We would like to share our condolences with Professor Michels’ family and extend a final thanks to him for many years of service to the Department. 



Sara West

Sara West
Department of Chemical Engineering

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