Madeleine Berthaud

It is with great regret that we announce the death of Madame Madeleine Berthaud on 16th October 2001. After she graduated as an engineer from the Institut Radiotechnique de Grenoble (Radiotechnology Institute of Grenoble) in France, she spent six months at the MIT (USA). In 1948, she joined the Laboratory of Physical Measurements at “La Radiotechnique”, where she has been strongly involved in the development of vacuum tubes. Besides her skills in electrical engineering, she was also very competent in the field of ionising radiations. In the early sixties, she took in charge the patent department, hence her familiarity with legal matters.

Being convinced of the need to develop training in the field of vacuum science and technology, Madeleine Berthaud early joined the Société Française des Ingénieurs et Techniciens du Vide (SFITV, the French Society for Vacuum Engineers and Technicians), which later changed its name to Société Française du Vide (SFV, French Vacuum Society). She served in many capacities, including her time as President in 1960-1961. She also chaired the Vacuum Committee of the Association Nationale pour la Recherche Technique (ANRT, National Association for Technological Research) and helped in promoting the application of vacuum techniques in many fields such as high and ultrahigh vacuum in scientific and space research, vacuum at an industrial scale in food industry…

She was acknowledged as a Honorary Member and a Founder Member of the International Union of Vacuum Science, Technique and Applications (IUVSTA), in recognition to the pre-eminent role she played, together with Prof. Emile Thomas, in drafting the original Statutes and By-Laws of the Union. She also served the IUVSTA as Councillor for France (1962-1971) and Scientific Secretary (1965-1974).