MSE Program Remembers Federico Cardenas (1987-2016)

Photo 5“When someone you love becomes a memory the memory becomes a treasure.”

-Author unknown

The MSE Program is heartbroken to announce that our dear friend, student, and stellar teaching assistant, Federico Cardenas of the Ferreira Research Group, has passed away.  In the midst of such tragedy we would like to take a moment to honor someone who took so many people under his wing and is remembered as a gentle soul with a kind heart.

From his supervisor, Dr. Paulo Ferreria:

Federico Cardenas fell into a dreamless sleep last month. He loved science, the quest for knowledge, and the elegance that physics provides to explain the world. His keen intellect, his insight, his joy was, and is, always a source of inspiration for those of us who have worked with him. Not for one short moment would he give up his energy, his excitement, and his dedication to a scientific discussion. Federico was a brilliant, warm, and committed student. I truly enjoyed working with Federico and the time we spent together. It is with great regret and sadness that we see it close. But his work, his vision, and his kindness will remain forever within us. I will miss him.

From his friend and fellow student Sergio Cortes:

I met Federico during my first semester at UT and quickly realized how bright he was. As a TA, a student and friend, he was always helping everyone and did it in the kindest way possible. I think he was one of the best TAs I have ever met and always gave more than what he was asked for. Also, he had a positive impact on many lives when he was with us and we are going to miss him, this world would be a better place with more people like him. It is sad to see someone so bright, hard working and loved, leave so soon.  My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.

From his friend and fellow group member Somaye Rasouli:

I am very shocked and sorry to hear the terrible news. Federico was very warm, smart and open minded and he will be sadly missed. Please let us know if there is any way that we can console his family.

From his friend and fellow TA Yu Ding:

I have been a friend of Federico for more than two years, and it is with great sadness that we learn the loss of him. Federico’s life was taken away from us too soon and it is hard to understand why tragic things like this happen to such a good person. He was hardworking, intelligent, caring, thoughtful and helpful, and he has always been there when anyone needs him. Actually, to me he was more like an older brother, and I can still remember the days we worked together as TA. As a senior TA, Federico would always like to help me get ready for experiments, answer my questions, and help the professor arrange the syllabus. His kindness of heart and his unbounded generosity have been felt by many, and I have no doubt that his memory will always be with us. I will miss my friend dearly, but I am so grateful for having known him.

From his friend and fellow TA Weigu Li:

I am very surprised by Federico’s passing away. Federico is our beloved friend and colleague. He is a very experienced and excellent TA. I learned a lot of teaching skills and experience from him. When I was a beginner to be a TA, I attended all of his classes. He showed his passion for teaching in class and he was very knowledgeable in what he taught to his students. He was also very generous to provide help and advice to young TAs. RIP, Federico.

From his friend and fellow group TA Yue Zhu:

I got to know Federico shortly after I came to UT and he has been helping our group with TEM characterizations even before that. We became familiar with each other when I served as a TA in my second year. There is no doubt that he was one of the best senior TAs and I would say my life would be tougher without his kind help. It is so hard for me to accept the fact that such an enthusiastic person has passed away. I will always remember the wonderful moments that we shared together.

From his friend and fellow group member Carlos Oliveira:

I was in Dr. Ferreira’s group for the past 7 months.  Federico was one of the persons in the group that I connected more. Probably because he was warm, inviting, and also because of cultural affinity.
Especially during the professional group meetings, Federico stood out, because he had a very inquisitive mind, always giving great feedback and incredible insights into all the work discussed at those meetings. This is an amazing gift that he had. He was a very bright person.  He was also enormously knowledgeable. He would discuss virtually any subject with no problems, and I will always fondly remember our weekly long-lunch discussions about science, education, social issues, and so on.  I was sure that I was going to hear about Federico in 20 or 30 years in the future, because I was certain that he was going to make a huge positive contribution to the world.  There is only a few people in the world with such intelligence, knowledge and critical thinking. Federico was one of those persons.

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