In Memoriam – Tribute to Prof. Mitchell M. Tseng as Teacher, Mentor and Friend (HKUST International Students)
To Jennifer, Sophia, Angie, Family, his Friends, Colleagues and Students
On the 24th of October 2019 we received a message that stemmed its way right into our hearts – it was the news that Prof. Mitchell M. Tseng, our teacher, mentor and, more than this, our friend, has passed away. Even though we were aware of his health condition and the many battles he had to fight in past years, whenever we met or talked to him he was strong at heart, optimistic and even enthusiastic about all the things to come, implicitly assuring all of us he is and will be here for us – no worries. But now everything changed! Of course, it is not unusual in the stage of our lives to witness friends and colleagues loosing teachers and mentors but we felt it would never happen to us. Yet it did. What a loss, what a tragedy!
Eternal Memory and Everlasting Gift: In memory of Prof. Mitchell M. Tseng
Mitchell M. Tseng's students andDu Xuehong
Back from morning jogging, I glanced at my phone messages. It was from Janet: "Sister, our professor passed away, did you know that?" No! I texted you immediately: "You are still around, right? Anxious for your reply!" Right away another message to Mrs. Tseng, Jennifer: "Two minutes ago I heard that Prof. Tseng passed away. Would you please confirm with me that it was not true at all!" Can’t wait further, I dialed your cell in Taiwan. "Hello!", replied by a female voice, my heart was beating fast, it was Jennifer. She said “I just saw your message. It's true!" – the words I never want to hear about!
I would like to send you my deepest condolences. I still cannot believe that Mitch has passed away. His vision and passion will definitely live on. Mitch was such an incredible inspiration to me: I will never forget the early conference with Frank and Ralf at HKUST, but even more the recent work with FCU. His vision, passion and the incredible commitment to make his visions come true were incredible.
I won’t forget when he first came to Nuremberg and told about the early plans of the new school and programme, the visits with his president, colleagues and students, the influence he had on my latest „Habilitand“ and early career scholar Albrecht Fritzsche – who just finished his habilitation last week which he dedicated to Mitch. The school and programme are in impressive shape. His students are passionate and will continue to further his vision.
In was the beginning of the 90’s, and I was visiting Digital Equipment Corporation in the Boston area. I was told then that a key senior manager at DEC, Dr. Mitchell Tseng, was leaving DEC to become the first inaugural Department Head of the Department of Industrial Engineering at HKUST. Mitch was someone whom I have known for years, when he was a representative from DEC visiting Stanford’s Institute of Manufacturing and Automation on several occasions, and who had hosted me to give a workshop on service parts management a year earlier. Being from Hong Kong myself, I sought to meet with Mitch to tell him how happy I was that he was heading to HK. The two of us met at the cafeteria at one of the DEC buildings, and we exchanged preliminary ideas of mutual collaboration in the future. This cafeteria conversation, as it turns out, has formed the root of our long-term relationship.