The 2016 winner of the Harry Leck Memorial Medal is Dr Ron Reid. Ron has been involved in vacuum throughout this career making a significant contribution that is well recognised in the UK, and throughout the world. In semi-retirement, Ron continues to use his knowledge and expertise, and Vacuum Symposium is very fortunate to have him as one of our Vacuum Training Course tutors.
Born and educated in Glasgow, Ron gained a B.Sc. (Hons) in Pure Science in Natural Philosophy before moving on to the University of Warwick to carry out research in Low Energy Electron Diffraction (LEED) from crystal surfaces, which led to the award of a Ph.D.
Thereafter he took up post-doctoral positions at the New University of Ulster at Coleraine, and later at the Department of Metallurgy, University of Oxford designing instrumentation to observe the low energy scattering and diffraction of electrons – surface science applications that demanded ultra-high vacuum conditions.
In 1976 Ron was appointed to the vacuum section at the Daresbury Laboratory of the Science Research Council (subsequently the Science and Engineering Research Council, CCLRC and STFC) to assist in design and development work on the Ultra High Vacuum system of the Synchrotron Radiation Source which came into operation in 1980.
In 1987 he became Head of the SRS Vacuum Section with responsibility for vacuum system design and operational vacuum support. He led the development and transition of the Group into what is now the Vacuum Science Group of the Accelerator Science and Technology Centre (ASTeC), laying the foundations for what is recognised as a world centre of expertise in vacuum design and instrumentation, in NEG coatings and photocathode preparation. ASTeC is part of a partnership with the Universities of Liverpool, Manchester and Lancaster to form the Cockcroft Institute, a major player in the international accelerator scene.
He retired from full time work in 2006, but continued as a consultant to ASTeC for several years, and carried out work as an External Expert for the ITER project at Caderache in France.
Ron has published a number of papers, articles and reports and prepared electronic teaching modules in aspects of vacuum science. He has been involved in the organisation and programme committees of several international conferences, schools and workshops, and was the Deputy Programme Chair for IVC-14 in Birmingham in 1998. He has been a lecturer for the CERN Accelerator School and the Cockcroft Institute and continues to teach short courses in vacuum technology at national and international level.
Ron has been active for many years in the UK Institute of Physics, particularly its Vacuum Group, where he has been Chairman and Secretary, and is currently serving as Chair. He was Secretary of the Surface Science and Technology Division for a number of years. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics and a Chartered Engineer. He is currently Treasurer of the British Vacuum Council and has been a member of AVS (formerly American Vacuum Society) since 1977.
In IUVSTA (the International Union for Vacuum Science, Technique and Applications), he has been Councillor and Alternate Councillor for Great Britain and Vice Chairman and Chairman of the Vacuum Science Division. He was Recording Secretary for two Triennia and held the position of Secretary General between 2004 and 2013.