Gareth Thomas, founder of Berkeley Lab’s National Center for Electron Microscopy (NCEM) and one of the world’s foremost experts on electron microscopy, passed away on February 7. He was 81.
A native of Wales, Thomas earned his Ph.D. in metallurgy from Cambridge University, and joined the UC Berkeley (UCB) faculty in 1960. He became a UCB professor of metallurgy and a faculty scientist at Berkeley Lab, then known as Lawrence Berkeley Lab (LBL), in 1966. At a workshop on electron microscopy held at the Lab in 1976, Thomas, along with Robert Glaeser and John Cowley, proposed the establishment of a national electron microscopy center that would feature microscopes capable of “seeing” atoms.