Xavier Solans Huguet (1949 – 2007)
Xavier Solans died suddenly on September 3, 2007 at his home in Sant Cugat (Barcelona). He was 58 years old, full professor in crystallography, and since 2000 he had been Director of the Dept. of Crystallography and Mineralogy at the U. of Barcelona (UB). Xavier finished his studies in Physics at the UB in 1970 and completed his PhD in 1977 with the thesis “Descomposición del factor global de temperatura en el factor de cada átomo, y aplicación del cálculo de la energía de cohesión en la determinación de estructuras cristalinas” under the supervision of Manuel Font-Altaba. After a short period teaching crystallography at the U. of Oviedo, he returned to the UB and was appointed professor in 1984. His principal interest was using direct methods for the systematic crystal structure determination of inorganic and coordination compounds resulting in the publication of approximately 660 SCI journal articles.
He was a very good teacher much appreciated by his students. Many young scientists encouraged and supervised by Xavier received their Ph.D. and are presently working in different laboratories of Spain. He was always amicable and enthusiastic, a quality enjoyed by attendees at the European Crystallographic meetings. He was the Spanish representative when the European Crystallographic Association was founded and occupied this position until recently. As chairman of the Spanish “Grupo Especializado de Cristalografia” he also contributed decisively to the advance and diffusion of crystallography in Spain. He was one of the founding members of the “Club de Cristal·lògrafs Catalans”. He was involved in the creation and subsequent development of the X-ray Diffraction Laboratory at the General Services of the UB. Thanks to his broad expertise in different aspects of crystallography, he solved many important structural problems in collaboration with scientists in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. He was recently (2006) elected as a permanent member of the Spanish “Real Academia de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y Naturales”. His premature death truncates a brilliant career and his vitality and enthusiasm will be missed by the Spanish crystallographic community. He will remain in our memory forever.