In Memory of Dr. Bernard Bigot

May 16, 2022 | By ZHOU Shu

It is with deep regret to hear about passing of Dr. Bernard Bigot, Director-General of the ITER Organization, 2015 to 2022.

Dr. Bigot was thought of by ITER and fusion family an inspirational leader for more than four decades across multiple fields of science and energy, a strong facilitator of ITER over the past seven years shaping every aspect of the project, a tireless fighter forging ahead to human's dream of carbonless energy, a true friend of many colleagues in fusion community.

For HFIPS, Dr. Bigot was a sincere, supportive and inspiring global fusion scientist. Every milestone of ASIPP’s collaboration with CEA and ITER, he was showing his support. He was always generous for praise and encouragement with his humility ITER China member as “leading partner”.

As stated by Prof. SONG Yuntao,Vice president of HFIPS and Director of ASIPP, in his condolence message to ITER family, Dr. Bigot's passing is not only "a huge loss to ITER, but to all fusion community". Dr. Bigot will always be missed and long remembered by us all.

About Dr. Bernard Bigot (Excerpted from ITER Organization's news release for Passing of ITER Director-General Bernard Bigot)

Dr Bigot assumed office as Director-General in March 2015 at a critical point in ITER’s history. The project was experiencing significant difficulties, reflecting the managerial challenges inherent in both its complex, First-of-a-Kind engineering and its multinational approach to design, manufacturing, and construction. Multiple ITER Members were expressing their skepticism about the project’s viability, with some openly questioning their continued participation. Dr Bigot accepted these challenges with humility and unwavering resolve, proposing a multifaceted action plan that would execute sweeping reforms in its decision-making, project management and—above all—project culture.

More than seven years later, ITER stands as a monumental example of scientific and engineering prowess, a unique testimony to the merits of international collaboration and a triumph of human aspiration. Dramatic realignment of the ITER project profile has been widely—and correctly—attributed to Dr Bigot's transformational leadership.

Throughout his long and distinguished career, Dr Bigot held senior positions in research, higher education and government, including contributions to ITER and fusion for more than 20 years. Prior to his appointment at ITER, he completed two terms as Chairman and CEO of the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), a government-funded technological research organization with ten research centres across France and a workforce of 16,000 focused broadly on lowcarbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. Still earlier, Dr. Bigot served as France's High commissioner for Atomic Energy, an independent scientific authority that advises the French President and the French government on nuclear and renewable energy policy across many domains.

ITER Organization press release of Dr. Bigot’s passing away
In memory of Dr. Bigot at: https://www.iter.org/bernard-bigot-memorial-page


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