Matthieu Cattin (1982 - 2015) - Hervé Milcent (1965 - 2015)

Hervé Milcent and Matthieu Cattin lost their lives in an avalanche in the Becs de Bosson area of Valais, Switzerland, on Sunday, 12 April. These two mountain sport enthusiasts were clearly very dear to many people, including all those who came to say a final farewell at their funerals, in Thoiry (the Ain) and Breuleux (Jura) respectively.



Hervé Milcent.

Hervé arrived at CERN in 1988 under the coopérant scheme (professional work in lieu of French military service) to work on data acquisition systems for the LEP detectors, and was recruited as a staff member in 1996 in the Controls (ECP) group, which later became IT-CO, to work on the control systems for ALICE. Then he joined the LHC-IAS group and was awarded an indefinite contract. Many of the LHC’s monitoring systems owe much of their success to Hervé, who worked assiduously to test and check everything to ensure that all the systems worked from the moment they were put into action. Around the same time, Hervé joined the ski touring section of the CERN Ski Club and soon became its leader. Shortly afterwards, he was elected President of the Ski Club, a role he held for six years. He led the Club with rigour and commitment, working tirelessly for the safety of its members and volunteer instructors.

In his work as a project leader and section leader, as well as through his involvement in the Ski Club, his leadership talents came to the fore; he was able to create bonds and motivate the people he worked with. He was always supportive but knew when to let people take the initiative. He never hogged the limelight and, despite his many responsibilities, always seemed surprised when he was credited with the success of his projects. Whenever we think of Hervé, his friendly and warm smile will always be there.

Matthieu Cattin.

Generous and modest Matthieu worked in the BE department on electronic designs for the accelerator control system. He was the controls coordinator for the AD and ELENA. All those who knew Matthieu speak of him with affection and often with admiration.  He was a supportive colleague and a true friend to all those he had worked with since his arrival at CERN in 2005. He was welcoming and always ready to help. Matthieu was very sporty, coming to work every day by bike, in the rain, wind or snow, sometimes arriving soaked to the bone: nothing could stop him. Just like Hervé, Matthieu was a big fan of mountain sports. After joining the Ski Club in February 2015, he quickly began to enjoy the ski touring outings. From time to time he liked to slip away from the group to find his own routes through the trees.

Both men loved life and valued friendship, and their friends have many unforgettable memories of them.

At this time, our thoughts are first and foremost with their families and loved ones: Hervé’s wife Isabel and their two daughters, Elisa and Sofia, and Matthieu’s parents and Julia. Our community works as a team; we come together at difficult moments like this and show solidarity in the face of tragedy.

Their colleagues and friends