Jacques Spalter (1929 - 2014)

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Jacques Spalter on 1 April. His funeral took place in the presence of family and close friends.


A graduate of the ESPCI in Paris and then of Stanford where he completed his PhD, Jacques Spalter started work at CERN in 1968. He spent his entire career in the DD Division (which later became the IT Department) and retired in 1994. Throughout this period, he was held in high esteem by successive heads of the Division, who entrusted him with administration, planning and budget management responsibilities, as well as with the task of representing the Division on personnel recruitment committees.

He lived through the days when IT and computers were still in their formative years, and went on to participate in the extraordinary advances in this field, which changed the way in which physics experiments were performed and in which data was automatically analysed. All of the computing power was centralised, and the CDC and IBM supercomputers and their systems became more and more complex. It was therefore necessary to construct the huge Computing Centre, at the instigation of the Director, Mervyn Hine. But in the 1960s and 70s, mini and microcomputers took the experiment halls by storm and, connected together in networks, revolutionised the methods used for both physics and administration. In the 1980s, CERN played an important role in the digital revolution, which underpins today’s information society, and the DD Division was the stage for creations such as the WWW and PET, after having been a pioneer in networks and the processing of "big data".

Jacques provided the essential administrative support our Division needed to succeed in these endeavours. We remember that he approached his work with passion, precision and rigour. He fiercely defended these values, sometimes showing a degree of impatience, but always remaining courteous. For his closest colleagues, Jacques became a friend and we will miss him greatly.

To his wife, children and grandchildren, we address our sincere condolences.

His colleagues and friends