Dr Ralph B Fiorito (1941 – 2021)

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It is with great sadness that I have to report the passing of my colleague and friend, Dr Ralph B Fiorito. Ralph was an internationally recognized expert in beam diagnostics and radiation sources. He has a very long and successful track record of innovation, independent thinking and educational activity. He held several patents for beam diagnostics and was the author or coauthor of over 100 publications in leading journals, conference proceedings and technical reports.

In 1993 he was the co-recipient of the international Faraday Cup Award for the invention and development of Optical Transition Radiation Beam Emittance Diagnostics; in 1995 he received the Navy Civilian Service Award for his work in charged particle beam technologies of interest to the Navy; and In 2003 he was elected Fellow of the American Physical Society (Division of Beams) for his contributions to the fundamental understanding and applications of transition, diffraction and parametric x-radiation from charged particles. In 2014, he was awarded a Marie Curie Senior Fellowship which allowed him to join my QUASAR Group for two years initially. He would stay an active member of the group and work with me on various aspects of beam diagnostics until his passing only two months after his 80th birthday. I was lucky enough that I could speak with him for over an hour just a few days before I received the sad news.

Ralph was a supporter of frank, direct and (sometimes brutally) honest debate. I enjoyed every single discussion we have had over the years and have always appreciated his “no-nonsense” approach. He has successfully collaborated with researchers at many European and international laboratories, including the Paul Scherrer Institute, the Cockcroft Institute, FERMI@Elettra at the Sincrotrone Trieste, the Tomsk Polytechnic University and the Kharkov Institute. In the US, he worked closely with colleagues from Los Alamos, Lawrence Berkeley, Livermore, SLAC, Argonne, Oakridge, Brookhaven National Laboratories and of course the University of Maryland. He has served as a research advisor, graduate school lecturer and expert at the US Particle Accelerator School. He also presented many invited talks and seminars at major accelerator conferences, laboratories and universities. The above photograph was taken when he gave an invited talk at IPAC18 in Vancouver, Canada.

Ralph’s contributions have impacted and continue to influence the development of sources and diagnostics at virtually every accelerator facility in the world. The diagnostics community has lost a real forward-thinker and innovator who has successfully trained students over several decades. I have lost a true friend and mentor and am grateful for the time we spent together.

- Carsten P Welsch