Basil Proimos
University of Patras, Greece

Basil Proimos was born in February 1930 and died in June 2011 in Chania, Crete.

He received his degree in Mechanical and Electrical Engineer from the Technical University of Athens in 1953, followed by a Master of Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, USA in 1958. Prof. Proimos completed his PhD thesis and obtained a Doctorate on Electrical Engineering from the Technical University of Athens in 1965.

From 1959 to 1977, he was the Director of the Medical Physics Department of the Greek Anticancer Institute in Athens. In 1977, he became a Professor of Medical Physics and the Director of the Medical Physics Laboratory, School of Medicine, at the University of Patras, Greece, a position he kept until 1997, when he became an Emeritus Professor. In the period 1986-1988, he was the Rector of the University of Patras.

Prof. Proimos’ research interests were mainly focused on the Physics of Radiotherapy and the development of Conformal Radiotherapy Techniques using protection of vital organs by absorbers rotating synchronously with the patient (1957-1960) and by gravity oriented devices (1960-2002), known internationally as “Proimos Devices”. From 1994 to 1997 he was coordinator of the DYNARAD (DYNAmic RADiotherapy) “concerted action”, involving 30 radiotherapy centers within the European Union. He has published numerous articles on Physics of Radiotherapy in international refereed journals, seven technical and scientific books and he holds two patents for an original radiotherapy unit (UK, Japan).

For many years, Professor Proimos was the driving force, as organizer, coordinator and teacher of the European MSc programs in Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering that are still offered at the University of Patras, for more than 25 years now in collaboration with many other EU Universities. More than 1000 students, from Greece and abroad have followed these two postgraduate programs. In addition, he was the Coordinator of the TEMPERE “Thematic Network” and the Curriculum Development of an Advanced (CDA) Course on Training and Education for Medical Physics and Engineering Reform in Europe involving 38 EU Universities and 10 Scientific/ Professional Organizations.

Prof. Proimos was a member of many Greek and International Societies and obtained many prices and distinctions, among which it is worth mentioning: the Prize of the “Empiricos Foundation”, Athens, Greece in 1975, the ERASMUS Prize, Brussels, Belgium in 1991, the “Otto Schmitt” Award for Exceptional Contribution to the Advancement of the Field of Medical and Biological Engineering by the International Federation for Medical and Biological Engineering (IFMBE), Sydney, Australia in 2003.

In 2002, he returned to his homeland Crete and became a predominant hotelier. However, he still continued to make presentations on Medical and Bioengineering fields or on subjects of interest to the local society. He was a natural orator, full of vitality, strength and humor. His original ideas, intelligence and vision inspired a lot of people. There are generations of students who followed his advice and continued his work all around the world and will continue to do so. His contribution to Science and Society will not be forgotten!