Obituary: Dr Jeroen Ensink

It is with great sadness that we share the news that Dr Jeroen Ensink, Senior Lecturer in Public Health Engineering at the School, died on Tuesday 29 December 2015. At the request of Jeroen’s family and colleagues, we have established the Jeroen Ensink Memorial Fund to support MSc Scholarships for students from sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia to become future leaders in public health.

Jeroen was an internationally renowned water engineer and dedicated humanitarian. He was passionately committed to a simple cause: improving access to water and sanitation in countries where children continue to die needlessly due to the lack of these basic services.

As a researcher and educator, Jeroen’s career crossed many continents. He lived and worked in countries including Pakistan, India, Vietnam, Tanzania and Malawi, and collaborated with numerous universities and international agencies. He devoted particular effort to building local research capacity in developing countries. His own research was rigorous but always practical. He published over 50 scientific papers and, at the time of his death, was leading a large study in the Democratic Republic of Congo to understand how improvements in water supply and other measures could control and prevent cholera outbreaks.

Jeroen was a natural teacher, and immensely popular with students in whom he invested much time and energy. He was Course Director on the School’s Master’s degree in Public Health in Developing Countries. He provided support and inspiration in equal measure and many of his students are now successful researchers and public health professionals in their own right.

The School’s Director Professor Peter Piot said: “This is a terrible tragedy, and our deepest condolences go to his family and friends. Jeroen was a highly valued member of the School community and all of us who knew him will remember him as a warm and committed friend and colleague. He will be hugely missed by all the staff and students who had the opportunity to know and work with him, and it is now up to all of us to ensure that the legacy of his work will continue.”

We have received tributes from his many collaborators, including the Department for International Development, WaterAid, Catholic Relief Services and others. As a further testimony to Jeroen’s scientific contribution, WaterLines, a major journal in this field, will publish a collection of dedicated papers in April and announce an annual prize in his memory.

The School has established the Jeroen Ensink Memorial Fund, which will be used to support MSc scholarships for students from sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Those who would like to make a gift can do so here (US tax payers may contribute to the fund through the American Friends of the School). Alternatively you can make a donation by cheque; cheques should be made payable to the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (please be sure to write “Jeroen Ensink Memorial Fund” in the memo line) and sent to the Development Office, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London WC1E 7HT. If you have any questions about making a gift to the fund, please contact Alumni:  or on (+44) 20 7299 4772.

Photo courtesy of Nadja Ensink-Teich


  1. Shamim Ahmed

    Jeroen will be fondly missed. I was an applicant of SHARE PhD fund couple of years back and had communicated several times with him in this regard. Although I was not selected, I am well aware of his dedication towards research regarding WASH services in the developing countries like Bangladesh. May Allah rest his departed soul in peace. Ameen.

  2. Zoya

    Jeroen will surely be missed by many. He was one of the lecturers of our batch of 2010-11 at the London School. A very helpful and giving person , full of ideas and energy. May God rest his soul in peace and give strength to his dear ones to live life without him.

  3. Admire

    Oh this is hard for people who benefited from the soft spoken man’s contribution to Public Health in Developing Countries. My heart goes out to his family and colleagues, wishing you all the comfort you need from God. RIP dear friend……


    I am shocked to know the sudden departure of one of my best Gurus (teacher). He was not only a great teacher; he was a kind of friend who could be approached easily at times of difficulties for people like me living miles away from the family. My condolence to his family members and dear one. May his soul rest in peace.


    When Jeroen came to Uganda, he visited Mbarara University of Science and Technology and there his big heart never tempered with by his great success else where in the world, he gave us direction and to him our minds have remained focused on the resultant research teams constantly working towards safe water access with dignity! Such is the man we grieve for but we are strengthened to remain lights in his struggle for safe water in Africa……..farewell our safe water mentor! Africa cries for you!

  6. Mounika Parimi

    As a prospective student, I e-mailed Dr. Ensink and requested a meeting with him. He cleared out his schedule and found time to meet with me for ample time to give me advice about my interests and my potential career in public health. He went out of his way to consider my concerns and ideas. I was greatly looking forward to working with him next year. I have been shaken by this news and wish him and his family comfort and solace during this deeply disturbing time.

  7. Mkhokheli Ngwenya

    MHSRIP. He was one of the best teachers!!

  8. Ted Modell

    I recently met this kind and gentle giant at a wedding in Southern France last August. What a shock to learn of his tragic death. A real loss to everyone who knew him. My condolences to his beloved wife, Nadya and his family.

  9. Mwelwa Sata

    He was my lecturer in the Tropical Environmental Health Course in the 2013 – 2014 intake. He was a good lecturer and very passionate about water, sanitation and hygiene issues. It warms my heart to know that a memorial fund has been set up in his memory, but more so that its targeted at developing nations that he really wanted to make a change/difference in. He will be greatly missed, MHSRIP

  10. Nason Maani

    I only met him last semester at a lecture on water and sanitation, and he really opened our eyes to the important issues and the massive impact caused both by inadequate infrastructure in developing countries, and the waste that occurs in developed countries. What an amazing life of service he chose to live, he was a great example and teacher. Our thoughts are with him and his family.