Thomas Wagenknecht 1974 - 2012

By Juergen Knobloch (handling editor: Jens Rademacher)


Foto Katrin Güte

On Saturday April 28, 2012 we lost our colleague and friend
Thomas Wagenknecht.


Thomas Wagenknecht earned his PhD in mathematics from the Ilmenau University of Technology (Germany) in 2003. He graduated with the thesis Homoclinic Bifurcations in Reversible Systems. After graduation Thomas held postdoc positions at the Universities of Bristol and Manchester (UK). There he worked with Alan Champneys and Paul Glendinning. During these years he broadened and deepened his view on homoclinic bifurcation theory and started dealing with pseudospectra. In 2007 he became a lecturer in Applied Mathematics at the University of Leeds (UK).

Thomas was about to settle permanently in England. People who must know attested that Thomas already became a true Brit, in particular he developed an increasing passion for British sports. Obviously, he had found the right environment for being a creative mathematician.

His main mathematical achievements are based on the interaction of numerical and analytical approaches. Last he worked on homoclinic snaking scenarios, where he could crucially contribute to the comprehension of these phenomena.

I have known Thomas since 1994 when he began his studies of mathematics in Ilmenau. It was my great pleasure to supervise both his Diploma and his PhD thesis. Till his death we intercommunicated not only scientifically - during this time we also became good friends. Because of his friendly and open-minded nature he was well-liked within the circles of his colleagues and friends - everywhere he went.

Thomas passed away completely unexpectedly, aged only 37. When he died he had promising prospects for his academic career. For all who knew him he was a well-respected colleague, research collaborator, and for many of us he was also a dear friend. We miss him sadly.

Jürgen Knobloch, Ilmenau June 2012


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