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Mike Dacombe: 25 years of service

[Mike Dacombe]Mike Dacombe, the Executive Secretary of the IUCr since 1993, has completed 25 years of service with the Union. Mike joined the IUCr as an Editorial Assistant in 1975, having been recruited by the late Jim King, then Executive Secretary, at the time of the World Congress and General Assembly in Amsterdam.

Mike's undergraduate training was in Chemistry and Earth Sciences at the U. of Leeds, from where he joined the Information Dept of BNFL's Metals and Technology Centre. He arrived at the IUCr when Acta Crystallographica consisted of just sections A and B, and the Journal of Applied Crystallography was only seven years old. The technical editing staff comprised three people, including Mike. Over the years, the activities of the journals, as well as International Tables, steadily expanded and Acta Crystallographica Section C was integrated in 1983. During this time, Mike worked on Acta Crystallographica Sections A and B, eventually taking over responsibility for C. In 1986 he was appointed overall Technical Editor. Whilst Technical Editor, Mike oversaw the Union's first steps into the world of computerised typesetting, indexing and manuscript tracking.

In 1993 Mike was appointed Executive Secretary, succeeding Jim King, who died suddenly at the age of 55. The 1990’s were eventful under Mike's charge with notable events being the launch of Acta Crystallographica Section D in 1993, the launch of Journal of Synchrotron Radiation in 1994 and, of course, the 50th Anniversary of the IUCr in 1998. Many crystallographers around the globe will know the name of Mike Dacombe but the members of the Executive Committee, the Journals Commission, and all the Commissions and Committees of the Union know Mike personally as the steady hand and contact for all the IUCr organisational work. Moreover, Mike's diplomatic touch in solving problems is notable.

We congratulate Mike on his achievement of 25 years service with the IUCr; we also send our best wishes for the continued smooth running of the Union's business with not too many problems for the future!

John R. Helliwell
1 December 2008