Professor emeritus Per Kolsaker remembered

Professor Per Kolsaker went through a "slow quench" over the last weeks in June 2010 and regretfully left us on June 30th at an age of 78 years.

Per as we oldtimers remember him

Professor Per Kolsaker went through a "slow quench" over the last weeks of June 2010 and regretfully left us on June 30th at an age of 78 years.

Per Kolsaker was a true hero of practical NMR at the Department of Chemistry at the University of Oslo. He secured funds for several of the NMR Center´s nmr spectrometers over many decades. Kolsaker personally spent weeks and months getting the instruments fully operational. An enormous number of people have benefited from Per´s investment in time for what was good for all and not only himself at the section of Organic Chemistry. His efforts were probably not appreciated enough by all of his colleagues. The last instrument purchased with Kolsaker´s help was the Varian Gemini 200 nmr instrument which was bought and installed in 1989. The Gemini 200 truly revolutionized the NMR possibilities in organic chemistry and other science environments when it was installed. Per was the driving force in obtaining funds from the no longer existing Research Council - NTNF (Norges Teknisk Naturvitenskaplig Forskningsråd). He was also instrumental in setting up the agreement with the School of Pharmacy concerning sharing of expenses and user time. In the first years after the installation this instrument was the only one open for free access. People lined up 2 days (exactly 48 hours) in advance when it was allowed to book time. NMR time slots even at 03.00 AM in the night were highly appreciated. The Gemini 200 was taken off field due to electronic instability and the need to free up space for a newer 400 MHz spectrometer to be installed in the coming autumn. Per has personally been shimming the small Varian egg shaped magnet for all the years after retiring and it was joked  about the coincidence that the very reliable Varian magnet was taken off field only a few months before Per himself "demagnetized."

The stories about Per are many: Per worked with highly reactive substances and when people heard a loud detonation from his synthesis laboratory followed by loud swearing everyone knew that no real harm had occurred. In the few cases when silence followed the explosion everyone rushed to his laboratory. But he survived "this time" also. Per has been working in his synthesis laboratory till May 2010.

After retiring at the age of 70 he many times joined the practical laboratory course in basic organic chemistry when we were lacking people. Not many retired professors do that! Per has published more than 60 scientific papers, he has been the head of the Department for a period and has for many years been a member of the ruling board of the Department. Lots of master students and PhD students have been guided friendly and professionally by Per through their studies.

We will miss him!

By Frode Rise
Published Mar. 11, 2011 3:50 PM - Last modified Sep. 18, 2017 3:13 PM