"I miss him deeply,
but like so many of my friend's and mentors'
his voice has become an integral part of my thinking"

Oliver Sacks, On the Move. A Life

It is with heavy hearts that we honor and say goodbye to our friend and colleague

Hans Cools
1961 - 2021

Hans unexpectedly passed away and we are mourning this terrible sudden loss. Our thoughts are with his wife Katelijne and his family.

Hans was a very kind man, a dedicated teacher, and a brilliant scholar. He was honest and firm in its principles, but also always ready to laugh and play, as well as to savor a good whiskey!

Hans was so intellectually energetic and dynamic, that it is really hard to believe that we will not be talking together anymore, having deep and inspiring discussions with him, or listening to his quirky and funny stories. He was always ready to share with generosity his exceptional and unique knowledge and experience: we all learned so much from him, and for that we are deeply grateful.

He had an unlimited curiosity and many interests, but for us he was above all passionated and extremely dedicated to his work on Semantic Web Technology. Hans showed a huge commitment to advancing and advocating Semantic Web in the field of Digital Humanities, and this website represents his last (sadly unfinished) effort.

Thanks to his endeavor, the awareness and the visibility of this technology has extensively risen and what he left behind is an incredible and amazing work. We will do our best to preserve and continue Hans' legacy, starting with strongly encouraging anyone to go through this website and to learn about Semantic Web without fear but with application: it is complex, but as Hans always said, it is not rocket science!

The NIE-INE team, April 2021

Personal quotes from the NIE-INE team

He was such a kind man and will stay in our memories.

I’ll miss his wit, his kindness, his humour, his assiduousness to share knowledge and to learn.

Hans was a brilliant scholar, a dedicated teacher, and a wonderful friend. He enjoyed teaching the Semantic Web in Zurich. He was shining when he would explain the differences between Owls and N3 and he left behind wonderful and clear presentations on this complex subject, and a lot of students that took interest in the work of his life.

Although we didn't meet a lot due to the current circumstances and the lockdown. For the few times we met, I learned a lot from him. He was such a kind man who cares a lot about people.

I loved his interests in every field and his taste of music. When I talked to him about a new research field, he had already read everything about it.

He was very kind and always wanted to teach every interested person.

A friend full of stories, living and sharing his passion. I'll always be thankful for what I have learned from him, and I'll continue to learn from him and strive to follow his honesty, energy and clarity. Lead by example, not by words, with that inner compass that allows you to take on the work and the responsibilities. Thank you, Hans.

With great commitment and pleasure Hans took care of all my questions. I will miss the conversations with him very much and I’m sure this loss will accompany me for a long time, because I will encounter many situations in future where I would have liked to know Hans' advice and opinion.

Hans had not only a deep knowledge but also the passion to fight for his ideals, as I have rarely encountered. He never gave up even in the difficult phases of the project because he believed in the mission. I am grateful that I was able to learn so much from him, professionally and personally.