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Tafco Networking

Profesor Mario Sorolla Ayza

Tuesday, 22 October 2013 13:56

TAFCO Metawireless S.L. is deeply saddened to announce the passing of our partner, co-founder and much-loved colleague and friend Prof. Mario Sorolla Ayza on November 1st, 2012.

TAFCO Metawireless S.L. is deeply saddened to announce the passing of our partner, co-founder and much-loved colleague and friend Prof. Mario Sorolla Ayza on November 1st, 2012 after a cancer-related surgery. He was 54. We will miss his unique and far-ranging intellect, the clarity of his thought and exceptional human qualities. His legacy is outstanding: During his lifetime he published more than 150 papers, 2 books, 1 book chapter and nearly 300 conference communications (more than 20 invited). He also held 10 patents and participated in more than 50 research projects. Widely considered to be a maverick in academia and highly regarded for his scientific success, he is perhaps best remembered and respected for his visionary leadership and high ethical standards.

Born in Vinaròs, a small fishing village in the Spanish Mediterranean coast, on October 19th, 1958, Mario earned the Telecommunication Engineer degree from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, in Barcelona, Spain, in 1984, and the Ph.D. degree from the Polytechnic University of Madrid in Madrid, Spain, in 1991. Although during those years he devoted most of his time in an academic environment closely linked to the Euratom-Ciemat Spanish Nuclear Fusion Experiment and the Institut für Plasmaforschung (Institute of Plasma Research), at the Stuttgart University in Stuttgart, Germany, he had already then some sporadic experiences in industry designing antennas and radiofrequency electronic devices for space and ground applications. He designed monolithic microwave Integrated Circuits for Satellite Communications related with the European Space Agency (ESA).

His academic career took off in 1991 when he was appointed Director of the Communications Engineering Department at Enginyeria La Salle, Universitat Ramón Llull in Barcelona, where he was simultaneously, professor of Electromagnetic Fields and Waves, Microwaves, and Photonics. A final boost was materialized in 1993 when he joined the Universidad Pública de Navarra, (Public University of Navarre, UPNA), Navarre, Spain, where he reached the highest possible academic rank of Full Professor in 2002 and was Head of the Electrical and Electronic Engineering Department (2002-2005), Leader of the Communications, Signal and Microwaves Research Group (2007-2012) and Principal Investigator of the Millimeter and Terahertz Waves Laboratory since its creation.

His research interest encompassed fundamental and applied research in the field of microwaves, millimeter-waves and terahertz frequencies and covering ground-breaking topics of electromagnetic research such as photonic/electromagnetic bandgaps, metamaterials and structures based on the extraordinary transmission phenomenon. This led to the exceptional scientific career mentioned above, which was recognized with the Research Career Award granted by UPNA in 2009.

Mario never turned his back on industry because he strongly advocated technology transfer and commercialization. Evidence of this is found in his 10 patents. However, it did not stop there. Driven by his believes, he initiated in 2007 together with our partners Francisco Falcone Lanas and Jose Antonio Marcotegui Iturmendi plans to start a spin-off company: TAFCO Metawireless S.L.. Eventually, his dream became real in 2008 and TAFCO Metawireless S.L. has grown steadily since then. Mario played a leading role with respect to the vision and strategy of TAFCO Metawireless S.L., positioning the company in the aerospace and energy industry where we give highly specialized service to multinational companies. His double success in academia and business was recognized by his peers from the Asociación Navarra de Ingenieros de Telecomunicación (Navarre Association of Telecommunication Engineers) with the Engineer of the Year 2010 Award.

Although Mario's accomplishments are of great value to UPNA and TAFCO Metawireless S.L. it is his drive and motivation for greatness and his endless generosity that mark his indelible and everlasting legacy. No matter the complexity or magnitude of the project, he always delivered high quality results while adding his personal and unforgettable touch of kindness.

Mario is survived by his wife, Puri and his children Carolina and Viviana.