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SPIRou / Infrared SpectroPolarimeter

2017 January: Tribute to Leslie Saddlemyer

Our friend Les Saddlemyer passed away

Tribute to Les

Les Saddlemyer at IRAP/OMP for
the SPIRou project

With 2017 just starting, we have very sad news to share. Our NRC-H colleague Les Saddlemyer passed away on 2017 Jan 09 following a heart attack, at too young an age of only 57.

Les has been a key actor in SPIRou since the very beginning, and was currently Local Project Manager for NRC-H in Victoria (Canada), handling one of the most complex work packages of the whole instrument, the SPIRou cryogenic dewar with all attendant mechanics including the optical bench / mounts and thermal control. Les had been staying in Toulouse for the last 6 months to handle the arrival and integration of the cryomechanic package in the IRAP / OMP clean room. By sharing his overwhelming professional experience with the whole integration team and thanks to the endless generosity that he was well known for, Les contributed in no small way in turning this tricky step into a major success.

Given his outstanding contributions to countless projects in astronomy, Les was undoubtedly a giant. And a very special kind of giant, whose unfailing optimism and exceptional human qualities were so inspiring that they earned him immediate friendship with everybody he had been in contact with, in particular within the whole SPIRou team. We will remember him in our hearts as our Big Friendly Giant. Deepest thoughts to Les’s family, his wife Theodora and his two sons Justin and Aleks, and to all his friends and colleagues at NRC-H and worldwide.
Good bye Les, and may we meet again at some point on another planet!

Tribute to Les

@IRAP/OMP during the SPIRou cryostat delivery
(©S.Chastanet - CNRS/OMP)