Dr. Thorsteinn Ingi Sigfusson passed away

Dr. Thorsteinn Ingi Sigfusson, professor and general director of the Innovation Center Iceland, age 65, unexpectedly passed away on the eve of Monday 15. July 2019. 

Thorsteinn Ingi was born in the Westman Islands 4thJune 1954, son of Sigfus J. Johnesn, teacher and director of social affairs and Kristin S Thorsteinsdottir, homemaker and bank employee.  

After finishing graduation from Menntaskolinn at Hamrahlid in 1973, Thorsteinn studied physics and mathematics at the university of Copenhagen between 1973-1978. In 1982 Thorsteinn completed a doctorate from the University of Cambridge England, where he was awarded the Clerk Maxwell grant and elected research fellow at Darwin College in 1981. 

Thorsteinn Ingi became a scholar at the Science Institute of the University of Iceland in 1983 and was a professor of physics at the University from 1989. He was chairman of the Science Institute from 1986 to 1990, chairman of the research council in the years 1996-1999, and chairman of the technology council at the Icelandic centre for Research 2008-2013. Thorsteinn worked enthusiastically on connecting academy with industry and participated in founding several start-ups, among others Valka fish processing, Al aluminium processing and Icelandic new energy. He was also chairman of the International Partnership for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells in the Economy (IPHE). Thorsteinn Ingi was appointed general director of Innovation Center Iceland when it was established in 2007. 

In 2004 the president of Iceland awarded Thorsteinn Ingi with the Icelandic Order of Knighthood, and in 2007 he won the Russian Global Energy Prize for his contribution to hydrogen energy. Following the Global Energy Prize, Thorsteinn led a large research project at the Tomsk University in Russia. 

Thorsteinn Ingi wrote several Peer-reviewed scientific articles as well as other writing. In 2014 the anniversary publication “Þekkingin beisluð - Nýsköpunarbók” [Capturing the knowledge – Innovation book] was published in honour of Thorstein’s 60thbirthday. 

Thorsteinn Ingi is survived by his wife, Bergthora Karen Ketilsdottir, director, their three children and three grandchildren. Thorstein’s children are David Thor, Medical doctor, born 1980, Dagrun Inga, doctor, born 1988 and Thorkell Viktor, computer scientist born 1992.