Tribute to former physics HoD

16 January 2015 | Story by Newsroom

UCT's Department of Physics will hold a memorial (date to be decided) for Sandro Perez, an emeritus professor in the department, who passed away on the morning of 8 January.

Perez started at UCT in 1970 and retired in 2005, a career that included two stints as head of department, said Professor Andy Buffler, the current head of physics.

Buffler noted that many of those present at Perez's funeral on 15 January had "some or other" connection with UCT.

"What is that about? UCT somehow generates long-lasting friendships. Colleagues become friends, and their friends become friends. UCT is a lifestyle which Sandy both loved and enjoyed."

Perez grew a reputation as a theoretical nuclear physicist, focusing significantly on clustering within nuclei, said Buffler.

"He maintained a very productive collaboration with colleagues at the University of Oxford, where he visited each year, and provided theory support to many projects at iThemba Labs," he added.

Perez remained active throughout his retirement and even published a number of papers last year.

"Friends and colleagues will remember his style on the cricket field, his red MG GBT, his love of physics, generous nature, and ruthless tactics at bridge," said Buffler.

"Sandy was one of the great silverbacks of UCT Physics. When a silverback dies, then the entire ecosystem is disrupted. But Sandy knew this, and had quietly and graciously extracted himself from mainstream university affairs in a way that only enhanced his reputation."

Story by staff reporter. Image supplied.

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