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In Memoriam
Prof.em. Raoul WEILER

20.10.1938 – 21.02.2019

Obituary

IN MEMORIAM
Prof.em. Raoul WEILER

(20.10.1938 – 21.02.2019)


Raoul Weiler was a jovial man, always smiling or laughing, positive and friendly, true to his vision on a sustainable world and indefatigable in his action. As a CoR-EU fellow member just wrote to me “…he was so full of life and spark, some people just seem to be everlasting…” His sudden passing away after a serious stroke is a deep shock to all of us.

I had the privilege of meeting him in 2002, some months after he and couple of friends founded The Brussels-EU Chapter. The new association aimed to building bridges between the European Union and the Club of Rome, organising - in 2001 - a hearing in the European Parliament on the topic Towards an EU Strategy for Sustainable Development. A pioneering initiative.

As countless others to whom he reached out in the course of his long action for a better world I was seduced by him and convinced of the need of a European hub for the Club in Brussels. We worked closely together and, even after I took over his presidency, he always stood at my side with full commitment.

His academic background, coupled with an industrial experience in various functions, gave him a deep understanding of the challenges science and technology are facing in a fast-changing world. At an age when many are considering a slower pace of living after retirement he fully engaged in a relentless activity, spreading the core message of the Club of Rome, wherever he was in the world, as a lecturer, speaker or participant in international conferences.

In Brussels he launched the successful cycle of the Aurelio Peccei Lectures, under the auspices of the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium. In the first years the lectures, with small audiences, were followed by an enjoyable get-together for which he catered himself a couple of wine bottles, peanuts and cookies.

Raoul Weiler holds a degree of Bio-Engineer in Chemistry, as well as Doctor in Applied Biological Sciences at the University of Leuven (KUL), Belgium. He spent some years as post-doctoral fellow at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, (Chemistry), the Catholic University of America, Washington DC, (physics) and Université Paris V, Department of Physics, Centre National de Recherche Scientifique (CNRS).

He started his industrial career in a chemical multinational in Germany, Department of Applied Physics and ended in Belgium in Information Technology. His functions varied from researcher and process engineer of chemical production processes to manager of the information and communication department.

From 1995 on he held different teaching positions on the relationship between technology and society, especially on sustainable development and climate change at the Université Catholique de Louvain-la-Neuve (UCL), the University of Antwerp (UIA) and University of Leuven (KUL), within the Faculty of Agriculture and Applied Biological Sciences and within the Centre for Ethics on Agriculture, Life Sciences and Environment (CABME).

He chaired many congresses on technology, was President of the Royal Flemish Engineers Association (KVIV), founder and chairman of the working party on Science, Technology and Society, Technological Institute of KVIV (1988-2001).
In 2013 he was recipient of the Gusi Peace Prize International, Manila, Philippines.

He is the author, co-author and editor of numerous of scientific publications, patents, proceedings of symposia and congresses. Since 1993, seven books appeared on the theme of philosophy of technology, sustainability and global change. His last book, published in 2017 with Kris Demuynck under the title Food Scarcity Unavoidable, chiefly expected population and climate trends will badly clash in Africa.
In our last conversations Raoul and I talked about possible spin off for this report to the European Academy of Sciences, supported by Globethics and our Club of Rome EU-Chapter. We will try to materialize his wish.
Thank you, dear Raoul, for all you gave us, your family, friends and humanity.

Mark Dubrulle
President & Executive Director, The Club of Rome EU-Chapter
Ex officio member of the Club of Rome