Obituary Peter Olaf Looms

Peter Olaf Looms 5 July 1948 – 3 October 2016

We who knew Peter Olaf Looms were very sad and even chocked when we heard that Peter passed away suddenly as result of a heart attack during a family travel in Salta, Argentina. We will miss Peter’s professional capacity and deep insights, his immense kindness, all-embracing interest in everything and everyone he encountered, his great sense of humor, his distinct Danish-English accent – and so much more.

Peter was born in England and was educated at Cambridge University and between then and until his premature death, he lived in La Paz, Bolivia before he moved to Denmark where he was employed as a Senior Consultant at DR (The Danish Broadcasting Corporation) from 1977 to 2011. In 1999, he was also hired as one of the first external lecturers at the newly established IT University, a position he held until recently. Hence he contributed to the development of the university and to the education of countless students. Concurrently he was a visiting associate professor at Hong Kong University from year 2000. In 2007, he started his company Loom Consulting, where he offered advice on digital media and accessibility. The following year he was hired as an External Associate Professor at The Technical University of Denmark. He also held a chair (professorship) in the other ITU, the international Telecommunication Union, for the assigned two years from 2011-2013.

It is obvious that Peter was very competent, very wise, very hard working, and a very well-liked person in order to juggle all these obligations and demanding positions. I asked those among my colleagues, who knew Peter Looms, how they will remember him and the replies are consistent:

He was a polyglot and the seldom, true citizen of the world who understood that all people are equal regardless of where they come from.

He was extremely kind and super generous with his time and his younger colleagues, always ready to mentor them and share his knowledge and experience. He was always willing to help and share knowledge with us all.

Peter remained attached to ITU when he stopped as an external lecturer and was eager to continue being of service as supervisor for student projects. He was very interested in digital accessibility for all and was always ready to be of assistance to students who were interested in this topic.

Peter’s linguistic skills were fantastic and he could easily swop between Spanish, English and Danish in a hallway conversation with colleagues of different nationalities. His distinct Danish-British accent contributed to his uniqueness.

It is truly a loss that he will no longer meet us in the corridors, always with a friendly smile and an interested comment on activities, news, experiences.

Dear Peter: it was a privilege to know you. You leave a positive and lasting legacy.

Gitte Stald, on behalf of your ITU colleagues, and the DiSCo section.