The whole professional life of Zdeněk Šimša was connected with the Institute of Physics (formerly Institute of Technical Physics of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences), where he started working after the graduation from the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics of Charles University. In the then Department of Ferrites he was involved in experimental research on the structural, electrical and magnetic properties of magnetic oxides. In this way, he contributed significantly to a better understanding of the properties of magnetic materials, especially ferrites and garnets. He also developed a methodology for studying the optical and magneto-optical properties of films suitable for magneto-optical recording of information.
The main results of his work have been presented as invited papers at a number of international conferences and described in 121 original scientific publications, which have achieved more than 1600 citations.
In the framework of the Czech-French Barrande Programme, he organized a fruitful collaboration with the Laboratoire CIRIMAT UMR-CNRS at the University P. Sabatier in Toulouse to prepare and study the magneto-optical properties of ferrite films.
Since the 1970s he had successfully led the Group for the Preparation and Physical Study of Thin Ferrite and Garnet Films. In 1990, he was appointed Head of the Department of Magnetics and Superconductors and until 2002 he was Deputy Director of the Institute of Physics and Head of the Division of Solid State Physics at the Cukrovarnická facility. Under his leadership, the division underwent a major reconstruction of the departments and significant modernization of instruments.
As head, he was known for his sensitive approach to all colleagues and his willingness to discuss any problem, provide advice and help. He was one of those who could set a personal example and thus positively influence his colleagues.
We, his younger colleagues, were always impressed not only by his brilliant judgement in the natural sciences, but also by the way he managed to find time for sport and fun while working full time. He spent many years doing his beloved yachting on the Slapy Dam. He also took full advantage of the leisure-time opportunities offered by the Institute of Physics. Every winter, he skied with his family in Rokytnice nad Jizerou and actively helped with the work at the local holiday cottages. In summer he participated in tennis tournaments on the premises of the Institute of Physics in Cukrovarnická. He strongly supported the preparation of Children's Day for the children of the employees. He saw great benefit in these activities as he felt they created good relationships and fond memories.
RNDr. Zdeněk Šimša, CSc. died peacefully in his sleep on May 5, 2023, at the age 86.