Prof. Laust Börsting Pedersen: 1945 - 26 June, 2017

Laust Pedersen and Mark Berdichevsky
Laust Pedersen and Mark Berdichevsky, 2006. (photo courtesy of Nick Palshin)

From: Thomas Kalscheuer
Subject: Laust Börsting Pedersen (1945 - 2017)

Dear colleagues, It is with great sadness that we have to inform you of Professor Laust Börsting Pedersen's untimely death. He passed away on Monday 26th of June suffering from cancer.

Laust was a valued member of the international EM community and made tremendous contributions not only to the development of EM methods but also of potential field methods.

Laust will be missed and always remembered. Our thoughts are with his family.

On behalf of his many colleagues and friends at Uppsala University and the Geological Survey of Sweden as well as IAGA Div VI,

Thomas Kalscheuer, Chris Juhlin, Mehrdad Bastani, Gerhard Schwarz, Thorkild Rasmussen, Toivo Korja, Maxim Smirnov & Nick Palshin

N.B. We will provide information about his funeral when we know the time and place.

Thomas Kalscheuer
Uppsala University
28 June, 2017.

Comments/reminiscences from Laust's colleagues and friends

Andreas Hördt

I will remember Laust as one of those you could ask difficult theoretical questions in several different fields. He would listen and come up with a good answer. He was always ready for a deep discussion and usually had strong opinions. I will definitely miss him.

Alan Jones, Ottawa, Canada

I first met Laust in October 1977 on my way up to Scandinavia for a film changing tour of the Gough-Reitzel IMS array run by Muenster University. Frieder Kueppers and I passed through Aarhus and spent a half day there. Laust and I chatted, and we disagreed amicably about something... a hallmark of what was to become a lasting friendship. Laust was never one to stand down if he thought he was right, which he was most of the time!
A few years later in Summer 1981 I left Muenster and went to Uppsala for four months to introduce MT to the Geological Survey of Canada. Laust had just arrived into Uppsala at that same time to take up his Chair at the University. We became good friends from that time onwards.
In 1992 I was privileged to be on an External Review Committee that assessed Geophysics in Sweden. It was easy to state that the work at Uppsala was the leading work in Sweden in Solid Earth Geophysics entirely because of Laust.
In 2009 Laust returned the favour and was on the External Review Committee that reviewed the work of the School of Cosmic Physics at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. Tough, careful and precise, but fair and kind. Laust subsequently joined the Governing Board of the School for the period 2010-2015, so I interacted with him every few months in that capacity. He even was a house guest of mine for a few days prior to a Board meeting in 2012.
Laust examined two of my PhD students, and again, he was careful and precise, but fair and kind.
To my mind, Laust was one of the last of the great Renaissance geophysicists. He was adept at almost all forms of Geophysics, and with little effort became master of all of them. From instrumentation design to survey design to data processing and analyses to algorithms for inversion, his papers have introduced new and novel ideas.
My one regret is that we never formally collaborated on a project. We shared ideas, and kept talking of collaborating, but we never did.
I will sorely miss my friend and colleague.

Sven-Erik Hjelt, Oulu, Finland

The sad news about the depth of Laust Börsting Pedersen brings forward many memories. My first contacts with Laust were during mid-70s, when we shared interest in interpretation of magnetometric data. In 1976 I had a chance to visit Laust and his young colleagues Kurt Sörensen and Hans-Kurt Johannesen at the Aarhus Unversity. They were enthusiastic about generalized inverse theory through lectures of Ulrich Schmucker and Peter Weidelt. We intitiated with Laust a small joint project on SVD analysis of the 2D magnetic thick plate model. The results improved profile inversion of magnetic prospecting data.
During the same visit interest on MT also emerged through David Rankin, who was as a visting scienctist in Aarhus. Gradually collaboration with Laust moved more broadly into EM geophysics, especially after he entered his position in Uppsala. His contacts helped in arranging modern MT instrumentation for our small EM Induction Group in Oulu. Similar equipments were of great help during numerous MT projects, which Toivo Korja and his students carried out all around Scandinavia jointly with Laust and his students.
Laust had a solid theoretical backgroun in both mathematics and physics. He was a keen participant in discussions at scientific meetings. His comments were often critical but always polite and useful. I humbly salute the memory of a great Scandinavian gephysicist.