Toespraak disampaikan oleh mas Bambang Soemarwoto saat Misa Requiem di Delft 21 Nov 2016
It is with great sadness that I stand in front of you today to share my respect and memories of my fellow student, my friend, my colleague, Bimo Prananta. An exemplary fellow student, a best friend and an esteemed colleague Bimo was indeed.
For those of you who do not know me, my name is Bambang Soemarwoto. I have had the great privilege to have known Bimo for a long time, to have intensely shared together with him the exciting experience, from campus life at Bandung Institute of Technology ITB in Indonesia to the professional life at National Aerospace Laboratory NLR in the Netherlands. It spans a period of life of 30 years, from 1986 to this very year of 2016. No one could have ever foreseen that this period was to be brought to an end with Bimo’s two-month fight against his illness, which finally ended Tuesday, November 15th, last week.
Our journeys of learning met somewhere in 1986 as fellow students of the department of Aeronautical Engineering of ITB. It is still difficult to comprehend that our paths must part from each other, once more as fellow students, after Bimo and I followed a short course at San Diego last September. The period in between has generated loads of remembrance full of challenge and joy. In this however sad moment, I would like to share with you some of this remembrance as a celebration of Bimo’s life.I entered university two years prior to Bimo. In 1987 I had the opportunity to conduct my graduation assignment, afstudeeropdracht, in TU Delft. When I had just proudly returned from Delft after finishing the assignment, Bimo asked me, “may I have a copy of your thesis?”. My thesis was about panel method for the aerodynamic analysis of steady flows. Afterwards, Bimo finished his thesis explaining his unsteady flow method in view of aeroelastic analysis. From steady to unsteady, from aerodynamics to aeroelasticity, is an example of continuing scientific advancement that Bimo will contribute in decades to follow.The seeds of our scientific careers were sewed during an era of Indonesia’s great ambition in aeronautics. New things were introduced to the Indonesian society: new factory, new equipment, new infrastructure, new technology, new cooperation with foreign countries, and last but not least, new programs of human resource development. We were in the midst of vibrant change!At ITB, often times it was not easy for the faculty staff to cope with the change. I became a junior lecturer in 1988, at a time when most other junior lecturers were sent to study abroad, while the senior lecturers were occupied with important tasks in the industry, as such that I was also burdened with many different non-academic tasks. In such a challenging time, ITB was blessed to have Bimo’s helpful hands and mind. As a student assistant, Bimo ensured practicals and lab works for students ran smoothly. Bimo took care of wind tunnel operations, data acquisition systems, and the administration of a computing center. Following the announcement of Bimo’s passing last week, many testimonials from former fellow students reminisce of Bimo’s character as a low-profile, smart, and helpful friend.
Like many important things you take for granted, you appreciate friendship the most after it has ended with the passing of your friend. But it has also impacted friendship amongst the Delft friends of Bimo and Lala: Erwan, Lelan, Kondi, Iin, Tri, Enik, Danang, Ira, Eric, Mieke, Aji, Ria, Yudi, Ria, myself, and many others too many to be mentioned here, along with all of the children; it has become a closer and stronger friendship. Some of the friends have endured the sorrow of closely taking care of Bimo until his passing and organizing the housekeeping matters afterwards.
The fear of losing Bimo when the disease was known, the desperation that we felt after the doctors had given up hope, and the immense emptiness brought by his passing. We all had to endure all this. What is left is then a search into the past, for times spent together with Bimo, to try to fill the emptiness with memories, to make us complete again.
Many gatherings are invaluable sources of evidence of our friendship. Not only in times of happiness, but also in times of sadness. As our age advances, so do our parents become more susceptible to illness. Every time a parent passed away, we always gathered together to comfort the friend losing his/her parent. In times of happiness, birthday parties of our children, summer barbeques, trekking through the dunes, and other gatherings, planned in advance or not, are pages to be opened and looked for joyful moments together with Bimo.
I myself have had the privilege of knowing Bimo, perhaps more closely than most other friends. First in 1991, I lived in an apartment in Delft for several months together with Bimo and two other friends from ITB: Yongki and Setyo. At that time, I had already started my PhD program at NLR, while Bimo, Yongki and Setyo had a one-year training program in the framework of Indonesia-Netherlands cooperation. We parted each morning and returned together in the evening. We took turns cooking and dish washing, and in between was the dinner… always a special one, because we made every dinner almost like a party, full of jokes and laughter. Once the land lady told me, “you are happy folks”, “jullie zijn altijd vrolijk”. I don’t remember the jokes, but I still remember vividly the sound of laughter and the smiling faces.
Secondly, in December 1998 when I moved from Indonesia to work at NLR in Amsterdam. At that time, Bimo and I had both received an offer to work at NLR. Bimo generously invited me to stay with him at his apartment, which I accepted, while I looked for an apartment for my family who waited in Indonesia. At that time Lala was in Indonesia, expecting their second child. During this stay, I encountered a quality in him that I had never seen before in a person, in terms of discipline and consistency. Bimo always started his day early and sharp at the same time, making him one of the earliest birds at NLR, for more than 17 years long, day-in day-out. In the evening, while most people try to get sleepy by reading a few pages from a novel, Bimo concluded his days by reading a few pages from scientific articles. Also fixing malfunctions of any kind, from computer to washing machine, be it mechanical or electronic, seemed to be his passion, alongside watching Star Trek movies, Star Wars movies, and formula-1.
My friendship with Bimo has broken the barrier of age and culture. In Indonesia, age determines how one calls another. At the start of our friendship, Bimo used to call me “mas Bambang”, where mas means big brother, just because I was born two years earlier. In the course of time, first the word “mas” dropped, and gradually another term emerged. Now when we praise each other at work for good results, or when we criticize each other for something that we don’t agree on, we call each other by the word “nak”, which means “son” or “boy”, “Nak Bambang”, “Nak Bimo”, which means “Bimo son” and “Bambang son”. I don’t remember how it emerged. There is no logic in it. But I believe it originated from Bimo, who loved hilarious innovation in almost all aspects of life.
It is incredibly sad that Bimo’s life ended so soon and I cannot put into words how much I will miss him. Bimo was a positive person and would not want us to be sad today. If he were here he would tell us to cheer up, smile and remember all of the great memories we all shared. Even though Bimo may be gone, his memory will live on in all of us forever. Bimo, I appreciate your friendship and will never forget you.
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