Frank Blythe (1924-2010)

Frank Blythe, one of the very first engineers engaged in the CERN adventure, passed away on October 22. Born and educated in Salford (England), after a time spent at Metropolitan-Vickers in Manchester, in January 1954 he joined the group at the Nuclear Physics Research Laboratory in Liverpool that was working on the first CERN accelerator, the Synchrocyclotron (SC). At that time CERN had not yet officially been constituted, yet had a well defined work programme, the design and construction work being carried out in various European laboratories. In Liverpool the work included the SC vacuum and cooling system, radiation shielding, experimental areas and beams.

By the end of 1954, Frank reached the CERN premises in Geneva, and contributed significantly to the successful construction work of the Synchrocyclotron. He later became responsible for the drawing office and the mechanical workshop (Engineering Group) attached to the MSC Division, and also serving the NP/EP Division. He kept this position until his retirement for serious health problems in 1980.

For more than twenty years Frank and his team were thus involved in the design and construction of a large part of the equipment needed for research. The technical standard was always high, and went together with a mark of simplicity and without undue bureaucracy.

Frank was highly appreciated for his competence, common sense, and helpfulness, but also for his generosity and humour and for the climate of friendship he created among his collaborators and the many users of the service.

We express our deep feelings of sadness to his wife Patricia and his daughters Susan and Katherine.

His friends