Grahame Hughes Rees OBE: 1931-2023

We are sorry to announce that Grahame Hughes Rees OBE has passed away. The following obituary is courtesy of his family and work colleague Chris Prior.

Grahame Rees (m.1953), who passed away on 11 October 2023 aged 92, spent most of his career at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Harwell, where he specialised in accelerator physics. He was part of the design team whose work culminated in the highly successful ISIS Spallation Neutron and Muon Source, officially opened in 1985, that for a time featured in the Guinness Book of Records. He made significant contributions to the Kaon Factory studies at TRIUMF in Canada, the RF system designs for proton synchrotrons at the DESY Laboratory in Hamburg, and early studies for a European Hadron Facility. From 1993-200, while continuing to develop ISIS to higher intensities, he played a major role in designs for a European spallation neutron source (ESS), a project that is finally coming to fruition with construction in Lund, Sweden, due to complete in 2025. His wide experience led to membership of advisory and review committees for major projects in high energy physics in China and Japan, across Europe, and in Canada and the USA, and he was in demand as a lecturer at several universities and accelerator training schools.

He official retired in 1996 with the award of an OBE for services to Particle Physics but continued to take part in international studies for future large-scale projects including a Neutrino Factory and a Muon Collider, a possible successor to CERN’s LHC. Well known for his love of all things Welsh, especially the Welsh rugby team, he took delight in recounting the part he played in the special effects in the James Bond film `Goldfinger’, including the iconic laser scene. He leaves a wife, three sons and six grandchildren of whom he was intensely proud.