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.


Goodbye dear Nacho. I am really shocked by this very bad news. You have been as quite a nice person.
Goodbye Professor....You will always be remembered .....Being founder of PUMPS Summer School...Through this school participants will always miss you.....
I am shocked by the bad news. I will remember him with his smile and helpful attitude. Rest in peace. Goodbye dear Nacho.
I am very sorry for this news about Nacho passing away. As mentioned to Mateo when sharing the news, Barcelona is missing a good man, a very good and loyal man. My condolences to his brothers Albert and Alex, his familiy, and the entire BSC and UPC community. In fact this reaches out to IUMA in the Canaray Islands. Life continues. I am sure Nacho will help us become good scientists, and better persons.
Nacho was one of a kind. Many little time was necessary to notice. Muchas gracias, Nacho.
It is difficult to sum up an over 15 years of friendship in a few words. But I will give it a try. Nacho was an older brother whom I always wished to have. We could sit and talk for hours. He was always the one I could call and pray together with on phone when I was upset. He had this incredible calmness to him that was contagious to the people around him. He would listen to my complaints and gave me invaluable advice. He was always able to bring me closer to God. Nacho was the favorite uncle of our children, Amanda, Bryan and Carissa. We looked forward to his visits every summer and every winter. Not only he always remembered to bring their favorite treats from Spain, he would pick them up from school and eat after-school snack with them. Nacho was a also great mentor to our children. He was such an knowledgeable man and the kids loved listening to his stories. Nacho was also friends on Facebook with all three kids and many times he knew more about what was happening in their lives than we did. He called us his family in Champaign-Urbana, IL. Nacho left a big hole in our lives with his departure. But it gives us great comfort to know that he is with the Lord and enjoying a life that he was always pursuing. Nacho will always live in our hearts with all the beautiful memories that he left behind for us.
Nacho is one of the most intelligent person who I have worked with. He always masters the latest technologies much faster than anyone else. Whenever we travel to an unfamiliar place, he always comes totally prepared with all the knowledge about the place. I have always been amazed at how fast he can learn. Nacho is also one of the most humble person I have worked with. He always assumes that his work is not up to standard. He always presents his ideas with great hesitation. However, as soon as one takes time to understand his ideas, one would quickly begin to appreciate how good the ideas are. It took me 15 years to convince him about the value of his ideas. His recent publications at top conferences validates what I know all along. Most importantly, Nacho is the kindest person I have worked with. He cares about everyone deeply. He connects with everyone with genuine friendship. He has always been honest with me about what I need to work on but with the greatest level of gentleness. He brings great humanity to every collaboration project, with me or with others. He always takes on much work than everyone else in our collaboration. Nacho, my friend, my collaborator, my brother, I cannot believe that you are no longer with us. I will always treasure the friendship and intellect that you brought to my life in the past 15 years. May you rest in God's house in great peace.