R.I.P. Willy Kley (1958-2021)

Once again it is my sad task to pass on news of the death of a colleague from the field of astrophysics. Prof. Dr. Wilhelm (“Willy”) Kley of the Institut für Astronomie & Astrophysik at the Universität Tübingen
in Germany passed away suddenly on 21st December 2021, at the age of 63.

Here is the official announcement (in German) from his institution:

Willy Kley was a computational astrophysicist who worked on accretion processes, especially in the context of the formation of planets and planetary systems. I knew him a little personally, as he was for a time in the Astronomy Unit at Queen Mary & Westfield College (as it was then called) at the same time I was there. He worked with the group led by John Papaloizou, alongside Richard Nelson and others, and I was working on cosmology, so we didn’t work together, but I did get to know him a bit and had a number of interesting discussions. He was a very nice man as well as a first-rate scientist. Looking at his (extensive) publication list it seems that he continued to collaborate with former QMW colleagues after his return to Germany in 2000.

His death was unexpected – I believe he suffered a heart attack – and I’m sure the news will come as a shock to many of his friends and collaborators. To them, and to his family, I send heartfelt condolences.

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