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Roberto Lopez (1979 – 2023)

We are deeply saddened to announce that Mr Roberto Lopez died on 7 August 2023.
Roberto Lopez, born 7 July 1979, worked in the TE department and had been at CERN since 1 January 2005.

The Director-General has sent a message of condolence to his family on behalf of the CERN personnel.

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Roberto Lopez joined CERN in 2005 as an electrical engineer in the Magnet group of the Technology department. He played an active role in shaping and implementing standardised procedures for electrical validations and compliance assessments across various categories of CERN magnets, including those used in the PS, SPS, and LHC. The aim of these efforts was to promote a unified quality assurance approach for procedures and traceability. As he honed his expertise in high-voltage insulation tailored to CERN’s needs, Roberto also engaged in collaborative endeavours with ITER Cadarache. This collaboration was driven by shared challenges related to insulation materials for superconducting coils.

Roberto fulfilled his mission with enthusiasm, contributing to a noble cause in an organisation whose philanthropic mission aligned with his own values – an organisation of which he was proud to be a part. His ingenious magnets for the new East Experimental Area enhanced efficiency, and his leadership of our QA team led to an exemplary level of quality management for the normal-conducting magnet systems in our accelerator complex.

His courage and vitality were astonishing; where many would have stopped working, he persisted. He was a man of exceptional calibre, and this gave him the strength to lead a life that was remarkably close to normal. This determination allowed him to fulfil most of his childhood dreams, to explore Earth’s most beautiful places with family and friends, indulge in his passion for fine mechanics – particularly the prancing horse variety – and even pilot a Formula 1 car. All this he achieved with a great sense of responsibility, as a man and as a loving father to his beloved daughter Lyna – his “mini-me,” as he fondly called her – whom he cherished and was immensely proud of.

Our colleague and friend passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family, on Monday 7 August at the age of 44 after battling a serious illness for the past fifteen years. Never complaining – quite the opposite – he embraced this unfortunate circumstance to live his remaining time to the fullest. He even defied his illness by designing iron-cobalt magnets for medical radiotherapy equipment, showcasing his resilience. We extend our gratitude to the medical teams who stood by his side, granting us precious additional time with him, though too brief.

We should remember him through a quote from Jack London, prominently displayed in his office, as it encapsulates his essence: “I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.”

CERN colleagues and friends express their deepest condolences to the family of our cherished colleague Roberto, who left us far too early. In tribute to the privilege we had to walk a part of life's journey with him, let us learn from his experience and embrace every moment that life offers us.

Rest in peace Roberto.

His friends and colleagues