In memoriam: Jo van Nunen (1945-2010)

Shortly after attending a congress in Vancouver, Jo van Nunen passed away unexpectedly.  Van Nunen had been involved with the Erasmus University in Rotterdam for more than thirty years, and was a very popular person in the logistics and supply chain world. He was a member of the Van Laarhoven Commission and one of the founders of Dinalog, the leading scientific institute, in Breda, The Netherlands. In the autumn of 2009, he became chairman of the vLm (the Dutch Association of Logistics Management – or ‘the association of nice people’, as he always preferred to call it).

Van Nunen was able to bridge the gap between scientific theory and everyday practice better than most, as demonstrated, for example, by his book, ‘Managing Closed-Loop Supply Chains’, in which he brought the science  of reverse logistics to a broader audience with the help of a large number of practical case studies. He was also an inspiring and captivating speaker: whenever he shared his insights with an audience, presented with a liberal dose of humour, he managed to make supply chain management seem simple.

Retirement was still far from 64-year-old Van Nunen’s mind. He regarded his planned farewell from the Erasmus University on 3rd September as a ‘change of direction’, which just serves to underline how full of energy and ideas he still was. He will be sorely missed by the Dutch logistics sector. An online book of condolence has been set up: