​Tomás de Miguel 

Madrid, ES,​ ​Cambridge, UK, Amsterdam, NL | 27 July 2017​

GÉANT and Spanish NREN RedIRIS are saddened to announce the loss of RedIRIS Director Tomás de Miguel, who sadly passed away on 23 July in Madrid. Tomás was a highly respected, influential and well-liked figure in European research and education networking, and our condolences go out to his family, friends and colleagues. 

A Doctor in Telecommunications Engineering and Professor at the Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros de Telecomunicaciones (ETSIT) at the Technical University of Madrid (UPM), he had extensive experience in teaching and research. He was responsible for ICT services at ETSIT and was Assistant Director of Infrastructures and Human Resources. His contribution was key to the deployment of a high-speed network and new services provided via the Internet. In his research, a highlight was his decisive contribution to the formal specification of protocols and technologies for the next generation Internet, such as IPv6.

During his 12 years of leadership of RedIRIS his legacy is one of an invaluable contribution. The procurement of 14,000km of optic fibre, an infrastructure known as RedIRIS-Nova, is an example of this: a project which will have an impact for over 20 years, has brought about significant savings and makes it possible to provide high-speed communication services which enable remote cooperation among Spanish teachers and researchers and with their colleagues around the world.

Tomás’ unceasing efforts have been recognised both inside and outside the organisation. In 2007 he was awarded the Spanish Medal for Military Merit for his contribution to the development of the National Emergencies Network (RENEM). In 2013, King Felipe VI presided over the ceremony to celebrate the 25th anniversary of RedIRIS. In 2014, the CRUE-TIC (ICT Sector of the Conference of Spanish University Deans) recognised Tomás de Miguel and RedIRIS with is first annual award for the trajectory of an institution.

Tom Fryer of GÉANT, who is based in Spain and works closely with RedIRIS, said, “Tomás’s legacy can of course be seen in the numerous successes which RedIRIS has achieved under his leadership. However Tomás was also a strong defender of European cooperation through GÉANT, and when TNC was hosted by RedIRIS in Malaga in 2009, he took full advantage of this and met with many of his friends and colleagues from across the GÉANT community. I had the pleasure of meeting Tomás on a number of occasions and was always struck by his manner and the way in which he expressed himself, his interest and deep knowledge of our research and education networking world, and his subtle sense of humour; in short all the qualities of a real gentleman. On behalf of all my colleagues at GÉANT, I would like to express our deepest condolences to Tomás’s family and everyone at RedIRIS.” ​

Throughout his career then, it is clear Tomás achieved so much. Without a doubt, however, the greatest of these was on a personal level. It is difficult for a person to receive such respect and affection as he did within this sector, particularly from those who worked most closely with him.  

In the words of Alberto Pérez, Deputy Director of RedIRIS, “His commitment has been absolute over the years. To those of us who had the honour and pleasure of working with him, he was a wonderfully good person, of a manner and level which it is very difficult to find. For this reason, he leaves us a beautiful memory to treasure. May he rest in peace.” ​

To find out more about the virtual book of condolences contact RedIRIS.