It is with profound sorrow that I inform you of the passing of our highly respected and beloved colleague, Antonio Lucianetti, after a short and insidious illness. He left this world calmly on November 19, 2020, in Bergamo at the age of 55.
Antonio was an excellent laser Scientist and undoubtedly a key member of the HiLASE team since the very beginning in September 2011. He served as the leader of Research Program 2 aiming to design and develop a 100 J / 10 Hz laser system scalable to 1 kJ level. At first, this goal seemed to be more like science fiction, but thanks to Antonio’s determination, tremendous joint effort and endurance of Antonio’s team and our partners at the Central Laser Facility (UK), our common dream became a reality in 2016, and the world’s most powerful laser was born. Antonio had an undeniable instinct to identify research directions important for the scientific independence of HiLASE. For example, Antonio convinced me to invest in the development of our own advanced numerical modelling and material characterization methods and adaptive optics, which now presents a great advantage. Antonio was an outstanding mentor and super kind advisor to his students, believing that “one important mission of HiLASE is the training of young researchers because they will be the scientists of tomorrow”. Before joining HiLASE, Antonio also worked at Max Born Institute (Germany), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory & University of Florida (USA), and CNRS (France). Antonio was truly an experienced international expert and his passing is a huge loss not only for HiLASE, but for the entire scientific community as well.
As a Person, Antonio was the essence of kindness, duty, and genuine humanity. He was open-hearted and always ready to help others. Antonio was able to calmly listen to different opinions and arguments with endless patience. Therefore, he was a very successful mediator and his group was a kind of oasis of peace.
Antonio was not only my closest scientific colleague but also a true Friend. We worked together 9 years and traveled the world together. It was my big pleasure to introduce him the Far Eastern culture and cuisine in Korea and Japan. In return, Antonio was my guru guide in sunny California. Next time when I will walk on Columbus Avenue in SF, Antonio will be immediately on my mind again… We shared the same values and opinions on many topics and I will miss so much our common lunches, Italian espressos, long walks, wine hours, enriching discussions, and of course, the lovely way Antonio pronounced my name with his unmistakable Italian accent (“Tómaš”).
Antonio left us so prematurely and it is still hard to believe. I feel a big hole in my heart and just slowly start to realize that there is no other way than to accept it. After all, death is the destiny of everyone (Ecclesiastes 7:2). Gone too soon, but never forgotten!
In my eyes, Antonio was a beautiful example of a Family man. My deepest thoughts and sympathies are with his wife Paola and lovely daughters Margherita and Martina at this difficult time.
You are welcome to leave your condolences via email, firstname.lastname@example.org
In deep sadness,
Head of HiLASE