Juan Antonio Rubio Rodriguez (1944 – 2010)

It was with deep sorrow and great sadness that we learnt that Juan Antonio Rubio Rodriguez had passed away on 16th January 2010.

Juan Antonio was born in Madrid on 4th June 1944, and received his Ph. D. in Physics in 1971 from“Universidad Complutense de Madrid”. He was a CERN Fellow (1968 – 1971) and subsequently worked at JEN (currently CIEMAT) as a researcher (1971 – 1976). He was leader of the HEP group (1977 – 1981), leader of the Nuclear and Particle Physics Division (1981 – 1983), Director for Basic Research (1983 – 1987) and Scientific Director (1984 – 1987).

He was instrumental in the Spanish accession to CERN approved by the Spanish Government at the end of 1982 and ratified by the Spanish Parliament in June 1983.
He served at CERN (1987 – 2004) as Group Leader (1987 – 1990), Scientific Advisor to the Director-General (1990 – 2000) and as Division Leader of the Education and Technology Transfer (ETT) Division (2001 – 2004).

Throughout this period he was also Coordinator for Latin America and a protagonist in the elaboration of the HELEN network which was instrumental in re-establishing ties with the Latin American HEP community and to attracting to Europe and CERN the new generation of experimental physicists.


In Summer 2004 he was appointed by the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science as the Director-General of the Research Centre for Energy, Environment and Technology (CIEMAT).

His research work in experimental particle physics was carried out, initially, in the 80 cm and 2 meter Bubble Chambers and, later using the European Hybrid Spectrometer (EHS), the Mark J and L3 experiments. Juan Antonio was particularly interested in technology transfer of HEP developments and education, communication and outreach. He is the author or co-author of more than 360 scientific publications and 40 articles on outreach and popularisation of physics.

At CIEMAT he was the pioneer of an in-depth re-organization decentralizing the institution and promoting projects for the production of alternative energies.

In 2009 he was awarded the “Rey Jaime I” New Technologies Prize in recognition of his development work and pioneering research in relation with renewable energies such as thermo-solar, accelerator-controlled fission, fusion by magnetic confinement and recycling of nuclear waste.

In Juan Antonio we lose a dynamic member of our community well known beyond CERN, a tireless person capable of undertaking responsibilities and projects at unbelievable levels and, over all, an excellent friend.

His colleagues end friends

Juan Antonio Rubio (fifth from the right), Director-General of CIEMAT (Madrid) in a group photo of the Spanish LHC commissioning team in 2008

by His colleagues and friends