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Karl Ley entered CERN in 1957 and, after working for some time in the Central Workshop, joined Professor Antonino Zichichi’s Group in the NP (Nuclear Physics) Division as a mechanical technician. He had specialised in fine mechanics as a watchmaker from a technical school in Schwarzwald.
Towards 1968 he became a member of the Technical Assistance Group of the NP Division where he stayed until the age of retirement.
Karl was highly respected by all on account of his outstanding professional competence and of an open and friendly personality. Always ready to accept a new and challenging project he would put into it all his intelligence, knowledge and experience, studying and finding new and original solutions. He pioneered the construction of very large thin foil spark chambers for the Omega spectrometer and introduced the first remotely controlled gas supply systems for large arrays of multiwire proportional counters as used in the main experiments at the ISR and extended later to other areas.
On the personal side Karl was always ready to volunteer his help and was available also when unusual difficulties in the field of human relations or an element of personal risk were present.
All of us will remember him as a loyal and charming colleague of exceptional human warmth as well as one of the finest members of our group.
We deeply regret his premature passing away and wish to express to Gerhild and to the family all our sympathy and condolences in this time of bereavement and sorrow.
His former colleagues and friends.