It is with great sadness and regret that we must announce the death of our friend and colleague, Kevin Tester, the Institute’s Senior Technical Advisor. Following a short battle with cancer, Kevin passed away peacefully on Friday 9 April with his family by his side.
Many will be familiar with his writing, both in the Marine Professional and in other publications. He was an incredibly skilled maritime journalist whose intelligence and deep understanding of a broad range of topics garnered respect from professionals across the industry.
Kevin joined the IMarEST in 2005 as the deputy editor of Marine Engineers Review. He went on to become editor of Riviera’s Marine Electronics & Communications magazine for a period of time before returning to the IMarEST in 2010 to take the helm of Maritime IT & Electronics until 2014, when the Institute distilled its five separate magazines into one, the Marine Professional.
Kevin was instrumental in shaping the publication, which is so greatly valued by the IMarEST membership. He drove ideas for stories and angles on new developments in the sector until the end.
“Kevin was an integral part not only of the Marine Professional team, but also of the wider maritime community,” said Namrata Nadkarni, CEO at Intent Communications and ex-editor of The Marine Professional. “He was truly in his element when finding the best way to make a technical story interesting to a wide audience. You could always trust him to ask insightful questions at press conferences and have a snappy headline for his articles.”
With a remarkably sharp mind and a great deal of knowledge, Kevin was expert at reshaping complex technical ideas so that they could be easily understood.
“Kevin had a gift for translating what could seem dry into something truly enlightening.” said Dr Bev Mackenzie, representative to IMO and manager marine environment, BIMCO, “He considered how to make a highly technical topic accessible, from contextualising quantities of ballast water using Olympic-sized swimming pools to elegantly visualising the blue economy as a living, breathing ecosystem.”
He was especially known for his work around satellite and cyber communications and how they form the foundation for autonomous transport. Kevin was also passionate about the environment and was a fount of knowledge on polar navigation and emissions in the Arctic. And it is a testament to his warm and giving nature that he always took the time and effort to share all that he learnt.
“Kevin was one of the most intelligent and talented maritime writers I've ever met, but he wore it lightly, never any ego or showboating. That just wasn't Kevin. A kind and generous soul, he would rather use what he knew to help others build their understanding of something. I don't think there's any better measure of a person than that,” said Holly Birkett, London Correspondent, TradeWinds.
“Alongside his expertise in technology and willingness to share it with others, from which I greatly benefited, Kevin was possessed of a great sense of humour and delighted anyone in his company with a joke or a clever play on words. Those who have met him will recognise his voice behind the Marine Professional's final page – Scuttlebutt – a series of tongue-in-cheek observations tagged as ‘gossip dredged from the watercooler of the industry’,” said Ines Nastali, editor of Ports & Harbors and former Marine Professional reporter.
His love of language was not limited to his mastery of English, he was also fluent in Japanese, beginning his maritime career in public relations at the Japan External Trade Organisation in London, and spoke German socially.
This is a great loss to us, his friends and colleagues, and to the maritime community. Kevin’s warmth and generosity of spirit brightened the days and lives of so many.
Exceptional and irreplaceable, the world is left a little less lustrous in his wake, but we remain forever grateful for the learning and the laughter.
For those wishing to share their memories of Kevin, please post on his memorial board here: www.kudoboard.com/boards/bWDkAQ9Y