Today at Berkeley Lab

In Memoriam: Former NCEM Director Kenneth Westmacott (1930-2014)

Westmacott — who passed away on July 30 at the age of 84 — led NCEM from 1986-1992, which he helped establish as “an open and supportive facility with world-class instrumentation and research” as a shared source for the scientific community. More>


  1. I am so sorry to hear of the passing of Ken. He was such a kind man. Ken hired me in 1981 at the NCEM. I have always been grateful for this opportunity that Ken and the NCEM staff gave me. I remember spending time with Ken asking him so many questions about the details of diffraction contrast imaging of defects in materials. Ken was ever so patient with me. My condolences to Ken’s family and the staff at NCEM.

  2. I endorse what Colin Humphreys wrote. I have known Ken since he was at the University of Birmingham and I was at Cambridge, way back when. I remember playing billiards with him and Ray Smallman at a TMS meeting in Buffalo of all places. He was down to earth in the best sense of the phrase.

  3. My condolences to Dr. Ken Westmacott’s family. In 1985, my wife met Dr. Westmacott when he had come for a physical at LBL. She told him that I was an EM student at Delta College and asked if it were possible for me to work with him/staff at NCEM. He told her that he would arrange for me to work as a summer intern. It was a wonderful working and life experience. Ironically, I did not have an opportunity to personally thank him (because Ken had gone on a Sabbatical in the U.K.) until after his return.

    Thank you, Ken… Until we meet again, may you rest-in-peace.

  4. I met Ken several times over the years. I remember him with warmth and affection. And, of course, his work was influential on me as it was on many others. I send my sympathies and condolences to his family.

  5. Sorry to hear the sad news of Ken’s passing.
    He was a great influence in my career in electron microscopy as well as a friend.
    He was the main force in the success of the National Center for Electron microscopy by providing the resources for all researchers as well as assembling a great team.
    Condolences to his family on their loss.

  6. I was greatly shocked and feeling sad when hearing that the respected Dr.Ken Westmacott passed away!
    Invited by him and his colleaque, I three times visited the NCEM from 1990 to 2000, totally for a duration of two and halve years, These visits(academic exchanges) have played an important role in my academic development in China.
    I memorized Dr.Ken Westmacott forever in my mind!

    PhD(Unoversity of Toronto, Toronto, Canada;
    Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, P.R.China

  7. Only met Ken a few times but was as impressed by Ken the person as much as I was impressed by his TEM skills.

  8. I was part of the team that designed and built the HVEM in the UK. Ken Westmacott came over for the acceptance trials. He knew exactly what he wanted and would accept no less for the performance of the 1.5 MeV electron microscope he wanted for NCEM. I was not involved in the installation of the instrument as I was engaged elsewhere. In 1988 I received a phone call from Ken asking if I could come and look after the HVEM. I was more than happy to renew my acquaintance with both Ken and the HVEM. During my time at LBL I learned that Ken had been in the RAF as I was and that we had both been stationed at the same base at the same time. When I retired from LBL and returned to the UK., Ken and I maintained contact via email swopping details and pictures of aircraft for which we shared a passion. It is not often that one works with such person and my memories of him are treasured.

  9. I want to express my condolences for the sad news of Ken’s passed away, I met him in Berkeley in 1993 and I had the honor of working with him there, in Spain and in France. His scientific expertise was only overcome for his fabulous quality as a human being. Many conversations, scientific and non-scientific, with him are now coming to my mind. His memory is one of the dearest moments in my life. One part of me is dying with him. I will pray for him. He will always live in my mind and my heart…

  10. Ken was a great scientist and a wonderful person. I well remember his warmth and his welcoming smile. He was a very effective gentle leader. The world needs more people like Ken.