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Bob Hopgood

Bob Hopgood joined the Atlas Computer Laboratory from Harwell in 1963 with many others.

He was a member of Bob Churchhouse's Programming Group working initially with Alex Bell on the Atlas Algol Pre-processor that allowed Algol programs from other European computers to run on Atlas. The major ones were the KDF9 and Ellioot 803 computers that were widely available in UK universities.

He spent 1966/67 on sabbatical at Carnegie Institute of Technology where he ported the Brooker Morris Compiler Compiler to the Bendix G21 and generated the graphical output routines for the G21's Philco displays for the Formula Algol Compiler.

On his return to Atlas, the SC4020 was due for delivery and he produced a graphics system called GROATS for Algol users of the SC4020 with routines aimed specifically at generating computer animated films and this was later made available on the 1906A.

When Bob Churchhouse left in 1971, he became Head of System Software at Atlas with responsibility for the software developments on the 1906A.

When the Atlas Computer Laboratory was merged with the Rutherford Laboratory in 1975, he was in charge of the system software developments on the Interactive Computing Facility eventually becoming Head of the Atlas Computing Division and later the Rutherford Computing Division when the two computer divisions merged.

Due to the growth in the size of the combined computer divisions, a split took place in 1994 and Bob ran the Informatics Department responsible for Engineering Board activities from 1984 to 1994.

From 1992 he became more involved in RAL's involvement with the European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics (ERCIM) and chaired the ERCIM Executive Committee. from 1992-1995. Through that involvement, he became involved in a variety of activities that ERCIM conducted with the newly formed World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to foster the spread of the Web in Europe.

Bob retired in 2000 and spent a year working for the World Wide Web Consortium responsible for setting up and helping to run W3C Offices worldwide.

From 1968 until 2000 he was also a Professor Associate at Brunel University teaching courses in Compiling Techniques, Computer Graphics and the World Wide Web.

After his retirement, he became a Visiting Professor at Oxford Brookes University helping Professor David Duce set up the Master's Programme in Web Technologies.

Throughout his career, Bob was interested in computer animation and graphics standards. Several sets of animations are available on his animation website: or as a local snapshot taken 22 December 2017.