Over the holidays in December, I learned of the tragic passing of Michael Hamelin in an automobile accident in Texas. Although Michael left IBM last November to pursue the next step in his career, he touched many IBMers with his generosity and insight during his time as the lead X-Force security architect in the chief technology officer’s office.
Michael joined IBM in March 2013, bringing with him nearly 20 years of security domain experience. Prior to IBM, he worked as a security engineer, intrusion analyst, network and security architect and chief security architect. He was a passionate security evangelist and practitioner and ran capture the flag hacking contests at events such as DEF CON.
Michael had the soul of a teacher and the intellect of a genius. It was a staggering combination, and Michael was in his element whether he was in front of clients, developers or IBM executives. He was one of our go-to “faces of X-Force,” and my only complaint from working with Michael is that he shaved his goatee after Black Hat last year before I could capture it on video. At conferences, Michael seemed to be known by all and was highly respected for his insight and input. Fortunately, he had gravitas in the security industry regardless of whether he had a goatee.
Michael spoke to innumerable customers on behalf of IBM, and every time I heard him speak, I learned something new. A conversation with him was never short of anecdotes or insights on the security industry, or even life in general. Whether training for a triathlon or protecting a customer network, he always had a smile and a bit of knowledge to share in the most patient way possible.
Michael’s friend and colleague Gil Brice, the director of sales at Tufin, said so much of this better than I ever could. Funeral services were held on Jan. 3. If you would like to honor his memory, the Hamelin family has requested you consider making a donation to the charity of your choice in his name.
Rest well, Michael Hamelin. You will be sorely missed.
Image Source: Eddie Mize