Tribute by Stefaan Ides, originally posted on the IAHR website.
I was very saddened and touched by the news that Jacky had passed away. He truly was a great engineer who was able to understand how nature works thanks to his extensive experience with rivers and estuaries all over the world. It is a great loss for the scientific community that he was not given the time to write down all of his knowledge.<:p>
I was fortunate to meet Jacky at the university a long time ago, where he was teaching courses on river hydraulics and morphology. His lectures were anything but “traditional university courses” – instead of starting from the theory, he tried to teach us hydraulics starting from real world case studies. Moreover he judged that his duty as a university professor didn’t stop at the scientific fundamentals. He also involved politics as well as ethics in his lectures, because he knew from his own experience how important those aspects are for a professional engineer. I will never forget his inexhaustible enthusiasm while teaching…
In my professional career I had the luck to be able to collaborate with Jacky several times, especially on the Scheldt estuary. Looking for a way to improve the morphology of the Scheldt estuary, he was not afraid to criticise the traditional disposal strategy, and proposed a entirely new, innovative strategy based on his experience of this estuarine system. It took him many years to convince the scientific and governmental community of his ideas, let alone the tons of criticism and opposition he encountered during this process. Nowadays Jacky’s disposal strategy is successfully being implemented. Again I was astonished by the tireless energy he displayed during this long process…
Since I met Jacky at the university, he had become a mentor to me. But above all he became a genuine friend, whom I will miss sincerely. I wish to express my deepest condolences to Jacky’s life companion, Monique, as well as to his children and family.
Research Engineer, Infrastructure Department, Antwerp Port Authority
Feel free to leave a message in memory of Jacky on the IAHR memorial page.