Robert E. Shafer

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  • "Dear Ann:"
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Robert E. Shafer died suddenly at his home November 11, 2012. Born in Berkeley, Cali. June 2, 1936, he was 76 years old.
He is survived by his wife Ann Shafer, sister Gretchen Simpkins, and his beloved Scottish terrier Rosie. He was preceded in death by his brother Paul and by 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 PhD in physics in 1966 at the University of California, Berkeley. He spent 2 years at MIT and then joined the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Ill. (1969-1986).
He 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. He had a large number of scientific publications in both physics and engineering journals.
Shafer 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. He 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 11 am on Nov. 30. In lieu of flowers please send a donation to the Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy Society (FSH Society), 64 Grove Street, Watertown, Mass. 02472.
Published in Los Alamos Monitor from Nov. 18 to Nov. 20, 2012
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