In memory of Dr Karl Wilkinson

25 Aug 2017 - 10:00
In memory of Dr Karl Wilkinson : 19-02-1981 to 25-08-2017

Karl came to UCT in 2008 joining Kevin Naidoo’s group as a postdoc.  He was the coding talent initiating a great project that announced UCT’s active participation in the field of Quantum Chemistry software development for next generation High Performance Computers.  Karl was a specialist in writing complex quantum code for graphical processing units.  He did this despite suffering from intense bouts of migraines. Although he was English he immediately fell in love with South Africa, Cape Town and UCT.  Even after a return to the UK and two-year period as Postdoctoral Research fellow in Southampton, where he was a key driver in the development of HPC applications in chemistry in the UK, he wanted to return to UCT.  Given his enormous talents we wanted him to return to UCT. In 2016 the stars aligned and Karl was appointed as a Physical Chemistry Lecturer in the Department.  Unfortunately, his headaches were symptomatic of a brain tumour and on Wednesday he underwent surgery to remove the mass. Sadly, Karl passed away in the early hours of Friday morning.  His family had travelled from the UK to be with his wife, Amilinda Wilkinson, a staff member in the Land and Accountability Research Unit in the Faculty of Law. We celebrate the life Karl lived but today we mourn the life that that still had to be lived.