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Nicolaas (Nico) M.M.Nibbering, 1938 – 2014
22 September 2014

Nicolaas (Nico) M.M.Nibbering, 1938 – 2014
Friends and colleagues will have heard with great sadness that Nico Nibbering died on 25th August, 2014.   His career in mass spectrometry and gas-phase ion chemistry spanned almost exactly fifty years during which he established one of the world’s leading research groups in these subjects.

He was born in Zaandam in the Netherlands in 1938 and studied chemistry at the University of Amsterdam, obtaining his Ph.D.cum laude under the supervision of Professor Th. De Boer in 1968.   Unusually, because of his exceptional ability, he had been appointed to the permanent staff of the University in the previous year and he became a full professor in 1980.   He published over 400 articles on a wide variety of topics including the structures of both positive and negative organic ions and their fragmentation mechanisms, field ionisation kinetics, Fourier-transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry and a number of instrumental developments.  He was much in demand as a plenary lecturer in the vast majority of countries in which mass spectrometry is practised. 

In addition to his many research contributions, he was very active in promoting mass spectrometry in a variety of other ways.   He was a member of the editorial boards of many mass spectrometry journals and was editor of the Journal of Mass Spectrometry and of Mass Spectrometry Reviews for a number of years in addition to editing Volume 4, “Organic Applications” of the Encyclopaedia of Mass Spectrometry.   Together with Dom Desiderio, he co-edited the Wiley series of books on mass spectrometry from 1996 until his death. 

Nico was also frequently on the organising committee of major international meetings, serving as chairman of the 12th International Congress on Mass Spectrometry in Amsterdam in 1991 and on the organising committees of a series of NATO schools on Gas-Phase Ion Chemistry between 1974 and 1995 .  He was instrumental in the formation of the Dutch Mass Spectrometry Society and served as chairman during its early years.  More recently, he was appointed Chairman and President of the European Mass Spectrometry Society and the International Mass Spectrometry Society.

Nico was honoured in a number of ways for his many and varied contributions to mass spectrometry, receiving the Thomson Medal of the International Mass Spectrometry Society in 1991 and the Johannes Marcus Marci Award of the Czech Spectroscopic Society in 1992. He was elected to membership of the Dutch Academy of Sciences and a number of societies appointed him to Honorary Life Membership including the British Mass Spectrometry Society and those of the Netherlands, India and Japan.

Although Nico will be admired for his many achievements, those who were fortunate to work with him, either as a student or as a colleague, will remember him for his warm and generous personality, his great enthusiasm for his subject and for his infectious sense of humour.   Over the years, many young people have learnt their mass spectroscopy in his laboratory and have gone on to successful careers and have continued to receive his support long after his retirement.   He was never happier than when discussing gas-phase ion chemistry with a student or colleague, bending arrows and fishhooks at high speed to explain the most complicated of fragmentation mechanisms.  Nico was always ready to give freely of his time to encourage young mass spectroscopists throughout the world and many will have had the benefit of his valuable advice.   His enthusiasm for his research work may be judged from his article “Four decades of joy in mass spectrometry” (Mass Spectrom. Rev. 25, 962-1017, 2006) in which he reminisces about his work over the previous forty years.   Even as his health was failing, he found the time and energy to write an article “Highlights of 50 Years of ionic reaction mechanistic studies” which will appear shortly in the International Journal of Mass Spectrometry.   He was a staunch supporter of BMSS and he will be missed at our meetings.

Keith Jennings,

September, 2014

Nicolaas (Nico) M.M.Nibbering, 1938 – 2014

BMSS is 50!  In celebration of this the BMSS lecturer, Mike Morris, has given this presentation to honour our amazing history
23 July 2104

ASMS poster - BMSS: The First Fifty Years
23 July 2104

BMSS Aston medallist Carol Robinson speaks on her remarkable journey of discovery on BBC's Radio Four the Today programme
22 July 2014

Click here to listen - external link

35th BMSS annual meeting 2014
02 July 2014

Click here to download a report on the 35th BMSS annual meeting, 2014. 

BMSS organised workshop on Careers in Mass Spectrometry at IMSC 2014
10 June 2014

 Click here for more details.

BMSS organised workshop on Careers in Mass Spectrometry at IMSC 2014
06 June 2014

HOT OFF THE PRESS’ See what papers BMSS members have published recently
10 May 2014

Click here.

Obituary: Colin Pillinger. 1943-2014
08 May 2014

Colin Pillinger

Colin was awarded the Aston Medal in 2003 for outstanding contributions to mass spectrometry.  He has been called one of the 100 most influential people (Sunday Times), the 50 most important scientists and the 10 best known geologists, as well as one of the “Makers of the 20th Century”.

Colin’s biography can be read here, and further information can be viewed at

Mass spectrometry in space: the Rosetta comet chaser
09 April 2014

In January of this year the Rosetta ‘comet chaser’ woke up after 10 years of travelling through space. In celebration of this event, Wiley publishing house have released the publishing rights to chapter 9 from the book ‘Quadrupole Ion Trap Mass Spectrometry’ by Ray E. March and John F. J. Todd. The chapter entitled 'An ion trap too far? The Rosetta mission to characterise a comet’ can be down loaded here and look out for the next edition of Mass Matters for more insight into this amazing project. 

Professor Frank Pullen awarded the BMSS Medal
09 April 2014

Congratulations! Professor Frank Pullen was awarded the BMSS Medal at the 35th BMSS annual meeting.  Read the up and coming Mass Matters for more information on all the events of the meeting and click here for more information about the Society’s medals. 

Frank Pullen accepting the BMSS medal

Professor Frank Pullen (rhs) receiving the BMSS medal form the BMSS Chair, Dr Tony Bristow (lhs)

BMSS workshop at the ASMS conference in Baltimore 2014
12 March 2014

The BMSS are holding a workshop at the ASMS conference in Baltimore 2014 from 5 - 7 pm on 17th June 2014.
Please click here for more information

09 March 2014

The BMSS Committee hereby gives formal notice that a Special General Meeting is to be held during the BMSS Annual Meeting at the Astra Zeneca Conference Facility, Alderley Park, Cheshire on Wednesday 2nd April 2014 from 13:00, in the Main Lecture Theatre.

Please refer to the SGM notice for further details.

Please follow the links to view the Current BMSS Constitution and the Proposed New BMSS Constitution

Please be advised that the special general meeting is open to all members of the BMSS and not just those attending the scientific meeting.

For security reasons, we would be grateful if you could inform us if you only plan on attending the SGM by emailing your contact details and ETA to BMSS Admin. This will help speed your access to the AZ site to attend the meeting

If you are unable to attend the SGM and you would like me to raise any issues concerning the BMSS constitution and its proposed amendment, I would be happy to do so in your absence. Please feel free to email me.

Hopefully we will see many of you next week,

Best regards,

Gavin O'Connor

BMSS General Secretary



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