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Former Masaryk University rector Eduard Schmidt dies at 85

The second post-1989 rector of Masaryk University and dean emeritus of the Faculty of Science died Wednesday at 85.

Former MU rector Eduard Schmidt.

Eduard Schmidt was born on 11 December 1935 in Uherské Hradiště. In 1958 he graduated at the Faculty of Science, majoring in physics, and earned his doctor of natural sciences degree in experimental physics in 1966. His career in education, academia and science is closely linked to Masaryk University. He first started at the Department of Experimental Physics at the university which at that time was named for Jan Evangelista Purkyně. For decades he specialised in solid-state physics: both as a scientist and an educator.

After 1990 he became involved in the management of the university. He was dean of the Faculty of Science for two years and, since 1992, he was rector of Masaryk University, followed by the position of vice-rector for research and development for six years. He was also member of science boards of various institutions, as well as member of the Board of Trustees of the Brno University of Technology and member of the Czech government’s council for science and research.

As an excellent scientist he influenced generations of young people, both in his own field and outside of it. He was an active member of many cultural and social organisations; and his efforts in academia and elsewhere represented the ideal of upbringing and education by example. In 2012 he was among the recipients of Cena města Brno (Brno City Award).

“I am deeply saddened by the news of his passing. The university has lost a great personality, excellent scientist and expert and an amazing educator who played a key role in the development of the university. All of his successors build on his heritage, and he will always remain a big inspiration to me,” serving Masaryk University rector Martin Bareš said.