Maciej Nalecz
Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland

Professor Maciej Nalecz (1922-2009), full Member of the Polish Academy of Sciences was a prominent Polish scientist, pioneer in the field of biomedical engineering. He was first director of the Institute of Biocybernetics and Biomedical Engineering of the Polish Academy of Sciences (1975 to 1993), which was later renamed after his name to the Nalecz Institute of Biocybernetics and Biomedical Engineering PAS.

He received the M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from the Electrical Engineering Department of the Warsaw University of Technology in 1949 and 1954, respectively. In 1961 he obtained one year postdoctoral fellowship at the Case Institute of Technology in Cleveland, Ohio, and in 1967-1968 he was appointed as a Visiting Professor at the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, N.Y., USA. In 1962-1972 he was director of the Institute of Automatic Control of the Polish Academy of Sciences. In 1972 he was nominated for the Professor and Secretary of Technical Sciences Division at the Polish Academy of Sciences. In 1979/80 he worked as a Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Biomedical Engineering Center at the Ohio State University in Columbus and in 1991 he was awarded one year position of Scholar-in-Residence at the Fogarty International Center of the NIH.

His research interests include magnetic measurements, Hall-effect application in measurement technique, automatic control systems and finally bionics and biomedical engineering. His personal research in the field of biomedical engineering concerned mainly biotransducers and artificial organs, especially control and optimization of the hemodialysis process in artificial kidney and control and monitoring of insulin delivery in artificial pancreas. He is author or co-author of over 300 publications including books, articles in scientific journals and conference proceedings.

In 1972-2007 prof. Nalecz served as Chairman of the Committee of Biocybernetics and Biomedical Engineering PAS and since 1988 he was director of the International Centre of Biocybernetics PAS – a multi-national association of the Academies of Science. In 1985-1989 he was a member of the Polish Parliament, belonging to the Non-Party Members Club.

Prof. Nalecz was involved in many international organizations. From 1962 till 1987 he took an active part in the works of the International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC) serving as Chairman of the Instrumentation and the Biomedical Engineering Committees. In 1962-1976 he was engaged in the activities of the International Measurement Cooperation (IMECO) as well as in the Committee on Data for Science and Technology (CODATA-ICSU). In 1988- 1993 prof. Nalecz was a Member of the Administrative Council of the International Federation for Medical and Biological Engineering (IFMBE). He was founding member of the International Academy of Biomedical Engineering and elected to the Academy Executive Committee for the period 1997-2000. In 2000 he was elected to the “life time honorary member of IFMBE”. Prof. Nalecz was founder of the European Society for Engineering and Medicine and in 1993 he was elected Vice President of ESEM. Since 1972 prof Nalecz was Chairman of the Polish PUGWASH Committee and from 1974 till 1997 the chairman of the PUGWASH Council. Professor Nalecz was awarded by several Polish and international distinctions. Among them: Commander Cross with Star of “Polonia Restituta”, Polish Prime Minister Award for “Outstanding scientific achievements”, “Copernicus Medal” the only award given for scientific achievements by the Polish Academy of Sciences, “Med tack fur verteful insatz” given by Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences, “Krizik Medal” for engineering achievements given by the Chechoslovak Academy of Sciences, “John E. Fogarty Medal” given by the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, USA.