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Submitter: Jan Noordam
Description: Last week we said goodbye to Parbhu Patel. He has found a job closer to home, one which does not require him to commute between England and Dwingeloo every week. Without this little inconvenience, he would never have dreamed of leaving ASTRON, and its SKA project.

First and foremost, Parbhu made lasting contributions to the SKADS/EMBRACE project, a European demonstrator for the use of aperture arrays in the Square Km Array. He thereby helped to keep the flame burning for the eventual triumph of this most promising, but technologically difficult concept.

In addition he filled a mosaic of other roles. For instance, he served as untiring (albeit not entirely uncomplaining) midwife in the arduous delivery of the mountain of documents that large international multi-lateral projects seem to require nowadays. Of all the things he undertook he dismally failed at only one: Despite the ritual offering of many sacrifical apples to his teacher, the Dutch language will remain as closed to him as Linear B.

But perhaps Parbhu will be most fondly remembered for his charm. As a traditional Dutch saying goes, he is able to charm the clogs off anyone. This is why the EMBRACE team presented him with a pair of these traditional Dutch wooden shoes. In his farewell speech, he gave us a last demonstration of this wonderful quality. Whereas the other speakers read from notes, and appeared to be settling old scores with each other, Parbhu spoke fluently from the heart, smothering us all in warmth.

The picture shows Parbhu, decked out in clogs (not visible) and badges of rank. He is flanked by two people to whom he has become very close over the last 4 years. Together they set the standard for the remarkable uniformity of shape in the EMBRACE project. They calculate that the three of them have spent more time with each other than with their wives. All this will now change, to the delight of the various ladies.

Goodbye, Parbhu, and thank you for giving us your best years.
Copyright: ASTRON
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