It was on a Monday morning that we received the sad news that on Saturday January 28, Jacob Wisse passed away.
Jacob was the initiator and first chairman of the Dutch Wind Engineering Society (Stuurgroep Windtechnologie), founded in 1988. He has achieved a lot for the development of wind engineering in the Netherlands as well as internationally.
Jacob graduated in Applied Physics at the Technical University in Delft, and started his career at the Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute. He was member of the second Netherlands-Belgium expedition to Antarctica in 1965, where he studied the ozone in the atmosphere.
Since 1979 Jacob was appointed as professor at the Technical University in Eindhoven at the department of architecture and built environment, first parttime and since 1989 in a full time position. His research focused on the interaction of the outdoor climate with the design of buildings. His special interest was in the influence of wind on the built environment, wind engineering.
During his career, Jacob encouraged the promotion and application of wind engineering, especially towards the design practice. The founding of the association was a first step. During his chairmanship the association organized yearly symposia, frequently jointly with other association, working groups have been established and a course on wind loads has been developed. The result of the working groups finally led to the development of a national standard on wind comfort around building (NEN 8100) and a guideline on how to apply wind tunnel testing for wind loads (CUR 103).
Jacob hosted the third European and African Conference on Wind Engineering in Eindhoven in 2001. In 2011 he was honoree chairman of the organization of the 13th International Conference on Wind Engineering in Amsterdam. This event marks his last activities in the wind engineering community.
Jacob contributed on the scientific development and debates on wind comfort studies around buildings and on the effects of wind and rain on the building envelope, through the application of CFD techniques and full scale measurements. In 2007 he co-authored a paper on wind engineering in Africa, a continent with specific issues which has hardly been connected to our scientific community.
We remember Jacob as a very pleasant person to work with. He was always interested in the personal life of the people he was with, whether you were a young student, a coworker or an institute director. For Jacob a dinner with a good glass of whine was as important at the scientific discussion. We not only lost a scientist, a mentor and inspirator but above all a very dear friend.