Prof. Aldo Craievich

Aldo Craievich was a leader in Brazilian and international science

News | June 28th, 2023
Obituary: Prof. Aldo Craievich

Craievich played a key role in creating and developing the LNLS and building a community of researchers with the proficiency to use the Southern Hemisphere’s first synchrotron.

The CNPEM regrets to inform the passing of the physicist Aldo Craievich, Professor in the Institute of Physics at the University of São Paulo (USP), Full Member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences (ABC), and Full Member of the São Paulo State Academy of Sciences (ACIESP). Professor Craievich was a significant scientific leader in Brazil and abroad, with research on condensed-matter physics and nanomaterials focusing on structural studies and the structural transformations of solids and crystallographic methods. He also played an important role in creating and developing the Brazilian Synchrotron Light National Laboratory (LNLS).

In the 1980s there were very few Brazilian researchers who understood the potential for synchrotron radiation in studying structures and materials, and even fewer who had used a beamline; Craievich was one of them, having conducted research at the LURE synchrotron in France. In the early 1980s, along with Roberto Lobo, Craievich wrote the “Preliminary Proposal for a Feasibility Study to Establish a National Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory” (LNRS). This document, which was approved by CNPq in 1983, led to the Synchrotron Radiation Project (PRS). The LNRS was created the following year, with Aldo Craievich as a member of its board. Between 1987 and 1997, while the LNLS was being constructed, Professor Craievich was one of its leaders, and served as its Assistant Director and Scientific Head. Even afterward, he maintained close ties with the institution and played an important role in its solidification. 

He was essential to the creation of a synchrotron community, even before the first synchrotron light source in the Southern Hemisphere began operations. As the coordinator of various courses to publicize the potential of synchrotron light for the Brazilian scientific community, Craievich helped to establish the Annual Users Meetings. The first meeting took place when the laboratory was still in its embryonic phase, in 1987. Since then these meetings are held annually and are essential to debate results, problems, and viewpoints on perfecting synchrotron light techniques and other facilities at the CNPEM. 

In the words of Diego Lamas, Director of the Laboratory of Applied Crystallography at the UNSAM Escuela de Ciencia y Tecnología and National University of General San Martín, in his obituary of Craievich published in the Journal of Synchrotron Radiation: “Whenever there was something we didn’t understand, Aldo would take a pencil and start reasoning deeply, not letting go of the subject until the issue was resolved. He always encouraged us to comprehend the phenomena we were studying in great detail, believing that any question could be solved with enough effort. By sharing scientific activities with him, we discovered that we had so much more to offer as scientists if we did not settle for superficial answers or quick solutions. […] Aldo was a person of great culture, and when he shared anecdotes of his experiences he always left us with valuable lessons.”



Free event on June 17 with a visit to Sirius and activities for everyone at the CNPEM campus in Campinas, São Paulo

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