We are immensely sadden by the passing of Dr. Kwok-Yung (Fred) Lo, 69, renowned Chinese American astronomer, who died on December 16, 2016, in Charlottesville, Virginia. On behalf of National Astronomical Observatories of CAS, I would like to express our deepest condolences.
Dr. Lo was born in Hong Kong in 1947. He received his bachelor's and doctorate degrees in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1969 and 1974, respectively. He joined the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in 1974 as a research fellow in radio astronomy. In 1976, Lo went to the University of California at Berkeley as a Miller Fellow. Two years later, he returned to Caltech where he held various research and teaching positions until 1986. He then accepted the position of professor of astronomy at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and served as the chairman of its astronomy department from 1995 to 1997. He joined the Academia Sinica in Taipei as director of its newly formed Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics from 1997 to 2002. Dr. Lo led the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) as its Director from 2002 to 2012.
Dr. Lo was not only an accomplished radio astronomer with wide ranging research interests, but also a distinguish administrator and leader. During his tenure as Director of NRAO, NRAO and its international partners completed the construction of and began science operations with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), the largest and most powerful telescope of its kind. He also led NRAO during the rebirth and rebranding of the iconic Very Large Array (VLA) telescope in New Mexico as the much more capable Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array. This period also saw extraordinary strides and discoveries with the Green Bank Telescope and the Very Long Baseline Array(VLBA).
Over the decades, Dr. Lo showed his great concern for the cross-straits development in astronomy. He played a very active role in the promotion of Sino-US development in astronomy, and helped,through his advice and suggestions,to integrate Chinese astronomy with the world astronomical community. Dr. Lo initiated Sino-US Workshop on Astronomy as the head of a US elite astronomers delegation to China, served as head of an international peer review panel for the FAST and 110-meter aperture radio telescope projects,was an overseas adviser for the China TMT project, and also served as a member of the international Science Advisory Committee at for the Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics at Peking University. In 2014, he participated in the international peer review panel for the 13th Five-Year Development Plan of NAOC, SHAO, and PMO.
Dr. Lo was learned, refined, wise, modest and gentle. He attached great enthusiasm and gave impetus to the development of Chinese astronomy. He was our respected partner and friend. His passing away is a great loss to the world astronomical community, including that of China.