Rodrigo Simões Obituary

Dr. Rodrigo Simões passed away on August, 19th in Rio de Janeiro. He was aged 50.

Rodrigo Simões was one of the most inspirational regional economists in Brazil. Born in Belo Horizonte, he was, at the time of his passing, deputy director of Cedeplar, the Centre for Regional Planning and Development at Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG), and also the president of the Brazilian National Association of Graduate Courses in Urban and Regional Planning.
He was Visiting Scholar at the Land Economy Department – University of Cambridge in 1999-2000 and 2007-2008. He was also Associate Researcher at the Department of Geography and Environment – London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) in 2007-2008.

Rodrigo Simões had a very important role in the foundation of the Regional Studies Association – Latin America Division in 2015 and was also founding member of the Brazilian section of the Regional Science Association International. On his office’s wall, he proudly displayed a frame of the award for authoring the Best International Paper of RSA’s Global Conference 2014. He would say he was very happy with the award, but truly loved how it was framed.

A man of a unique sense of humour, extremely talented lecturer, Rodrigo Simões was often elected as patron for graduation ceremonies. An unparalleled supervisor, six of his students have been awarded national prizes only in the last five years. Despite his short academic career, he published over 50 papers and dozens book chapters.

Rodrigo was also a sports enthusiast. He’s served as national first league professional handball referee and could list by heart the lineups of many national and international football teams, dating back many decades. A music lover, he was co-founder of the Working Group – Population and Piano within the Brazilian Population Association (ABEP). During ABEP conferences, he always performed with his work group fellows singing with his characteristic hoarse tenor voice.

He was married to Tereza Bruzzi, deputy director of UFMG’s University Theather, and father of Inácio, aged 7.

“It’s with great sadness that I inform members of the untimely passing of Rodrigo Simoes, CEDEPLAR, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais. Rodrigo was a strong friend and supporter of the RSA and of me personally. He had a sharp mind, wonderful smile and a terrific “can do” attitude. The RSA’s growing strength in Latin America is in part due to Rodrigo’s willingness to work with us and for us, and to encourage his colleagues to follow suit. I both liked and respected him and it is tragic that he is taken from us and from his wife and young son.” Sally Hardy, Chief Executive