In Memoriam: Professor Emeritus Gareth Thomas


by Materials Science and Engineering

February 11, 2014

Professor Emeritus of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering Gareth Thomas (1932-2014) passed away on the 6th of February, 2014 in Oegstgeest, the Netherlands, at the age of 81.

Professor Thomas was born in Maesteg, Wales, UK.  He earned his PhD in metallurgy from Cambridge University, and joined the UC Berkeley faculty in 1960.  He became Professor of Metallurgy at Berkeley, and a faculty scientist at Lawrence Berkeley Lab (LBL), in 1966.

Professor Thomas was a pioneer in the field of electron microscopy, and amongst his many achievements was the establishment of the National Center for Electron Microscopy at LBL, which was officially dedicated in 1983.  Professor Thomas served as the NCEM director until 1991.

Professor Thomas published over 550 manuscripts related to the application of electron microscopy in the field of materials science and engineering.  A major focus of his research was understanding of processing-structure-properties relationships in metals, ceramics, semiconductors, magnetic materials and other inorganic materials. As an educator, Professor Thomas authored three textbooks and trained scores of microscopists.  Through his research, teaching and administrative work he had a major impact on the field of electron microscopy and materials science and engineering more broadly.  His contributions have been recognized by numerous awards, including election into both the National Academy of Science and National Academy of Engineering.

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