Kostas Tourlas: 10 May 1972 to 12 Jun 2010
Kostas Tourlas was born and raised in Athens as part of a close–knit family, who found early on that he excelled at school and university, and liked setting himself new goals. Kostas originally discovered Edinburgh on an Erasmus exchange programme. In 1993, he did his Masters in Computing and then embarked on a PhD under Stuart Anderson at the University of Edinburgh, looking at how specialist programming languages are developed. Although having a natural aptitude for formal mathematical concepts, his inclination was always geared towards the practical applications of his work, and to communicate with others. For example, he valued the development of his lecturing skills as highly as his formal research contributions.
While Kostas came across as 'down–to–earth' and saw his achievements as normal, his family knew him as a person who was determined to lead a successful life, and they were always very proud of him.
Although originally from Greece, Kostas quickly became a naturalised Scot, and eventually adopted a dual Greek/British citizenship. He was proud of his Greek roots, and equally proud of his new Scottish roots. On meeting him you would recognise a Greek looking man with dark skin and appearance, but when he spoke a broad Glaswegian accent would often baffle his new acquaintances. Although from a technical background, he recently developed a fascination with the History of the Enlightenment, and his friends would gently tease him for being the only person they knew who would read David Hume or Dr Johnson for pleasure.
Dr Kostas Tourlas was a Senior Consultant with the specialist consultancy Adelard. He undertook a wide range of highly skilled and sensitive safety work in the defence and nuclear sectors. He was charismatic and immensely popular with all his colleagues and clients who will sadly miss his positive energy and his generosity.
Over the last couple of years, he had found deep happiness and love for his partner Kate, with whom he could share, in particular, his passion for the outdoors and exploration of Scottish history and culture.
Kostas had a vast range of interests, but his love of the outdoors came through the strongest. He was never happier than out with Kate or good friends, exploring the many byways and paths Scotland has to offer. Most of the snapshots his many friends have will be of Kostas halfway up a hill with windswept hair or relaxing in the pub afterwards. He liked being physically fit, and had always been a keen bicycle rider. Kostas recently bought a lightweight bicycle and was looking forward to getting out on it at weekends.
His friends talk particularly of his generosity. Anyone who ever tried to buy him dinner would agree with that. He believed in people. He brought out the best in them and made them believe in themselves. He embraced life and immersed himself in the things he enjoyed—culture, travel, music, walking, cycling and cooking—and shared his interests with those who loved him. He was professional, hard working and dedicated firstly to his academic career and laterally to his job scrutinising safety products and systems. The loss is immeasurable. There are countless people who will miss him. His personality could fill a room and his absence will be felt forever.