In Memoriam – Nacho Navarro, 1958-2016

Nacho Navarro

with the contribution of many people/friends/colleagues who cared about Nacho

Nacho was born and raised in Barcelona. He studied at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya – Barcelona Tech and in 1985 joined the university as a lecturer before becoming associate professor and later leading the group on accelerators for HPC at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center. He was extremely active, organizing many popular events at UPC and BSC, managing the BSC/UPC NVIDIA CUDA Center of Excellence and participating in a large number of projects. From 2001 onwards, he was also Visiting Research Professor at the Coordinated Science Laboratory at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Although he would never acknowledge it thanks to his humble nature, Nacho was a truly remarkable person: highly intelligent, patient and incredibly kind, he always made time to listen and was ready to help. His profound humanity was evident in everything he did, shining a spotlight on others while putting himself last. He had friends all over the world about whom he cared deeply, and he touched a great number of people’s lives. We will miss Nacho enormously.

Memorial event paying tribute to Nacho Navarro

This video summarizes the most touching moments.


Nacho was an amazing person. I lived three months with him at his house in Illinois where he taught me a lot of things about the american culture. He opened up his house to me and made me feel part of his Illini family. I can't even believe this has actually happened. Please find attached a nice picture of Wen-Mei, Nacho and I, just before eating a spanish paella that we cook together. Rest in peace.
Querido Nacho. Barcelona and UPC/BSC will never be the same without your attentive, dedicated, caring and giving presence. Au revoir mon cher ami!
It is so wrong and completely unfair that you are no longer here, dear friend --still unbelievable and unacceptable to have happened!
Nacho was a special type of person. He immediately came through as a the helping type. He was always willing to stop whatever he was doing and listen, and to go out of his way to help. There was no ill intention in anything he ever did. He touched many people, and I am sure that, like me, all of them will smile when they remember Nacho. Now he is with God, so let us continue the work down here while he watches from up above.
What a shocking news. Nacho was a good friend, great researcher and a very warm hearted and caring person always ready to help in any situation! We will miss you!
Nacho has always been a nice, very human guy with a friendly smile and always with a positive attitude towards everyone. Great qualities that for sure have inspired the many people who have met him. I will miss him!
Nacho teached me Operating Systems back in 1985/86. I remember him, as it were today, comparing a Monitor with an Iglu, speaking English in the middle of the class, and smiling always! Because of his enthusiasm I started collaborating in the Onion project that same summer. Once in the Computer Architecture Department, Nacho was my course coordinator for many years. During the lasts years we saw each other scarcely, but still shared technology news, gym and some party. I am sure that in Heaven he will continue to be very active. Who knows if he is organising a workshop to invite us when our time comes. We will always remember you.
I'll always remember Nacho as an easy-going supportive person, kind and friendly, someone you really miss whenever running into the places and venues where you used to meet him.
Sometimes we pass our way in the hallway not paying attention to whom we might meet. Thinking about current and pressing deadlines, we hurry to our daily tasks. And yet, soon we will realize that we were privileged to have crossed the path of someone remarkable; someone we took for granted. Humble and discreet, patient, always available to listen, fast to help, he constantly put himself last and placed others center-stage. More than a friend, he was an extraordinary man whose genuine quest appeared to be our wellbeing. His behavior revealed what we all could improve, our own humanity. I will never forget you, Nacho. Thank you for our long discussions punctuated with laughter and good coffee. Thank you for your countless and timely actions to bring about peace, hope, and love. Thank you for being such an ambassador of faith. I will never let go – thank you. I can still hear your voice; I can still see you. Marie-Pierre
Nacho, great speaker, listener and reporter. We will miss you.