Mervyn Paterson

I write of memories of the friendship between my husband, Luigi Burlini (deceased 2009), and Mervyn Paterson. Luigi was the lucky director of the Experimental Deformation Laboratory in Zurich from 1998 to 2009, in the Structural Geology Group of Professor Burg. The laboratory was (and is) equipped with two Paterson rigs, affectionately known as Patti9 and Patti6. In those years Mervyn visited the laboratory several times. Each visit was an opportunity for Luigi to both work hard and taste good wine with Mervyn. I still remember evenings where the dinner table was filled with both wine glasses and drawings of new machine designs. The most cherished memory I have of the two men is of one of these visits during my husband’s convalescence after a very invasive surgery. Mervyn visited Luigi in the rehabilitation clinic in the mountains. Luigi was struggling to breathe, but they spent a couple of hours bent over complicated drawings. Luigi was thrilled: it was the best message of friendship he could receive at that moment. I don’t have to repeat here how Mervyn was an exceptional scientist. From my perspective he was also an exceptional human being.

 

Figure caption:

Happy users of the Paterson machines 6&9, from right to left: Luigi Burlini, Marina Armann, Claudio Delle Piane

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Alba, wife of Luigi Burlini

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