Bunclark Peter Stephen - Gaia
Gaia was proposed in 1993 and since then, many people have been involved in the Gaia mission, whether at ESA, at industry side or at one of the institutes involved in the Gaia data processing. The Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium (DPAC) is a collaboration which consists of around 450 scientists and engineers.
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Institute of Astronomy
Peter Bunclark worked at the IoA/RGO at Cambridge since 1979, apart from a 3 year tour-of-duty as support astronomer on La Palma. Over the years he worked on many projects including the APM measuring machine, the INT Wide Field Camera and more recently the VISTA and Gaia data flow systems. For the Gaia project he was manager of DU02 within CU5 and responsible for the hardware of the Cambridge DPC where the photometric processing will be carried out.
The benefits of his wide range of experience and firmly held views were always delivered in a spirit of good humour and no matter how difficult the problem, or how heavy the workload, he was always great fun to work with. Many people will remember him discussing his forthright views on Java with Wil O'Mullane late at night after the banquet at the London ADASS. He got so animated that he fell off his chair backward because he thought Java so bad! This was typical of Pete. He was always adamant about doing things properly.
In spite of his ill health he was determined to continue working for the Gaia and VISTA projects and did so until the end. His jolly sense of humour and camaraderie will be greatly missed.
Peter passed away on 10 December 2008. He was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in May and his deterioration since then was rapid. He was 54 and is survived by his wife, 4 children and 1 grandchild.
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