Celebrating 50 years of the CERN Computing Operations group

Last week, former and current computing operations staff, managers and system engineers were reunited at CERN. They came together to celebrate a milestone not only for the IT Department but also for CERN: the 50th anniversary of the CERN Operations group and the 40th birthday of the Computer Centre.


The reunion was organised by former chief operator, Pierre Bénassi, and took place from 26 to 27 April. Among the 44 attendees were Neil Spoonley and Charles Symons, who together created the Operations group back in 1963. “At that time, working in the Operations group was a very physical job,” recalls former Operations Group Leader, David Underhill. “For that reason, many of the first operators were former firemen.”

A few of the participants enjoyed a tour of CERN landmarks during their visit (see photo). The group toured the CERN Computing Centre (accompanied by IT Department Head, Frédéric Hemmer), as well as the ATLAS cavern and the AMS POCC.

by Katarina Anthony