Dimitri Pourbaix

Belgium

1969-2021


Obituary:

Dimitri Pourbaix, who was the newly elected Vice-President of IAU Commission G1 on Binary and Multiple Star Systems, passed away on 14 November 2021 after complications from cardiac surgery last April.

He was born in Charleroi, Belgium on 22 May 1969 and was working as Senior Research associate of the National Fund for Scientific Research (FNRS) at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (Belgium).

Since his Ph.D. in astronomy from the Université de Liège in 1998 he was a specialist in the determination of the orbital parameters of binaries. He was the manager of the 9th catalogue of orbits of spectroscopic binaries for the former IAU Commission 26. With the advent of the Hipparcos Catalogue, he also made a speciality of reprocessing the data to improve our knowledge of some specific types of star (binaries, C stars, Oxygen-rich Mira Variables, substellar companions, …). All these works were the subject of the agrégation thesis he defended in 2007. Beside this, he was also fond of scientific computing and optimisation problems.

Since 2006, he led the Belgian participation in the Gaia data processing consortium and was mostly dedicated to the management of the Coordination Unit devoted to object processing. He will never see the publication of the long-awaited catalogue of binary stars, to which he has contributed so much, due for GAIA DR3 next year.

Alongside his scientific activities, he also enjoyed public outreach, sharing his passion with lectures ('Cours Public d'Astronomie') and observing nights.

Dimitri had a rich personality and was a connoisseur of the good things in life. His colleagues remember how their conversations with him could be energetic and tough while he actually was generous, benevolent and kind. He was a dedicated husband and father of a young son.

Contributed by: Frédéric Arenou

Reference:

https://remembr.com/hommage.dimitri.pourbaix

Past affiliation(s) within the IAU

  • Past President of Commission 30 Radial Velocities (2012-2015)
  • Past Vice-President of Commission G1 Binary and Multiple Star Systems (2021-2021)
  • Past Vice-President of Commission 30 Radial Velocities (2009-2012)
  • Past Chair of Commission 26 WG Catolog of Orbital Elements of Spectroscopic Binary Systems (until 2015)
  • Past Steering Committee Member of Division A Fundamental Astronomy (2012-2015)
  • Past Organizing Committee Member of Commission G1 Binary and Multiple Star Systems (2021-2024)
  • Past Organizing Committee Member of Commission 26 Double & Multiple Stars (2009-2012)
  • Past Organizing Committee Member of Commission 26 Double & Multiple Stars (2006-2009)
  • Past Organizing Committee Member of Commission 30 Radial Velocities (2006-2009)
  • Past Member of Commission 30 Radial Velocities
  • Past Member of Division A Fundamental Astronomy (2015-2021)
  • Past Member of Division B Facilities, Technologies and Data Science (until 2021)
  • Past Member of Division G Stars and Stellar Physics (until 2021)
  • Past Member of Commission A1 Astrometry (2015-2021)
  • Past Member of Commission B2 Data and Documentation (2015-2021)
  • Past Member of Commission G1 Binary and Multiple Star Systems (2015-2021)
  • Past Member of Special Nominating Committee (2015-2018)
  • Past Member of Commission 8 Astrometry (until 2015)
  • Past Member of Commission 26 Double & Multiple Stars (until 2015)
  • Past Member of Division I Fundamental Astronomy (until 2012)
  • Past Member of Division IV Stars (until 2012)
  • Past Member of Division IX Optical & Infrared Techniques (until 2012)

Areas of interest

1 - General: 1.9 - Astronomy outreach
3 - Astronomical instrumentation, methods and techniques: 3.8 - Space instruments
4 - Astronomical data bases: 4.1 - Astronomical databases: miscellaneous
5 - Astrometry and celestial mechanics: 5.1 - Astrometry
8 - Stars: 8.4 - Stars: binaries

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