Ed Watson - 1940-2006

Ed Watson passed away suddenly on 1 August in Geneva, he was 66. He leaves his wife and two children.

Ed Watson arrived at CERN in March 1973 to work on digital electronics and CAMAC systems under Bob Dobinson, after many years at Rolls Royce in Scotland. He joined the European Muon Collaboration in 1976, where he played a major role in the design, deployment and running of its data acquisition system (DAQ) with David Botterill, Bob Dobinson, and Vicky White. The CAMAC-ROMULUS system was by far the largest and most advanced of its time, and it became a defining standard for DAQ systems for years to come. Ed was deeply involved in the detailed planning of the control rooms and the experiment cabling, as well as sharing the responsibility for the CAMAC readout system. He had a real talent for trouble shooting and played a vital part in supporting the experiment throughout its lifetime. He offered great moral support to the younger members of the collaboration and helped them a great deal with their work. The EMC had a wonderful social life to which Ed was a major contributor - who can forget its barbecues?

In 1987, Ed joined the CPLEAR experiment. He once again played an important role in getting the experiment up and running and maintaining it until its completion. He worked in particular on the design of custom high-speed digital electronics for the Trigger/DAQ system. Many will remember Vox, Coco and Anis, Ed's large and loveable Old English sheepdogs, who would accompany their master everywhere he went. Ed took early retirement in January 2003.

For many generations of students and postdocs, Ed will also be fondly remembered on skis, or on the other end of a climbing rope. In the mountains too, he was a great teacher, helping many to become proficient in skiing and climbing. In 1988, Ed began a long involvement with handicapped competition skiing, giving freely of his time to assist and train members of the British team for European, World and Paralympic championships. In particular, he became the dedicated coach for one of his colleagues, Chris Bee, who was in the team. Ed's sporting interests also included sailing, being an enthusiastic and active member of the CERN Yachting Club in the 1980s and 1990s.

Ed Watson was a generous, larger than life character who was always ready to help and advise people. He was a great friend, teacher and mentor for many, and he will be sorely missed. We would like to extend our heartfelt sympathy and condolences to his family.

Rest in peace 'Captain'

His friends and colleagues