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OBITUARY: Robert E. Shafer June 2, 1936–Nov. 11, 2012

on November 16, 2012 - 6:35am

ROBERT E. SHAFER June 2, 1936Nov. 11, 2012

Robert E. Shafer died suddenly at his home Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012.  Born in Berkeley, Calif., June 2, 1936, he was 76 years old. 

He is survived by his wife Ann Shafer, his sister Gretchen Simpkins, and his beloved Scottish terrier Rosie. He was preceded in death by his brother Paul and by his parents Margaret Shafer and Eugene Shafer.

Robert Shafer was a recognized expert in beam instrumentation for charged-particle accelerators. He is best known for his world-class expertise on Beam Position Monitors.  

Following undergraduate study at Stanford (BS ’56), he earned his physics PhD in 1966 at the University of California, Berkeley. He spent two years at MIT and then joined the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois (1969-1986.)

Robert finished his career as a Scientific Staff Member in the Accelerator Technology Division at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. He contributed to the diagnostics of the Tevatron at Fermilab along with the other accelerators at that facility. 

His work at LANL included developing instrumentation for the proton storage ring at the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center (LANSCE.) He also served as a consultant at the CERN, Brookhaven and SLAC accelerator facilities. 

Robert had a large number of scientific publications in both physics and engineering journals.

He found great satisfaction in mentoring younger physicists. Several have gone on to hold important staff positions at various laboratories. Even in his retirement, he continued mentoring younger physicists and students on the online Physics Forum.

Prior to his development of Muscular Dystrophy, he enjoyed hiking, climbing mountains and exploring the southwest. He even played varsity soccer while at Stanford University. 

Robert and his wife Ann spent many weekends camping and hiking and exploring at the National Parks and Monuments throughout the southwest.

A memorial service honoring his life will be held at the Unitarian Church at 11 a.m. Nov. 30. In lieu of flowers, please send a donation to the Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy Society (FSH Society), 64 Grove Street, Watertown, MA 02472


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