It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our friend and colleague Scott Roland. He died on April 2nd, 2017, surrounded by his family and friends, following complications in battling a recent illness.
Born in the United States, and a graduate of Brown University Computer Science, Scott was an accomplished chip design and verification engineer. By 2007, his work had already taken him to Switzerland from where he then moved to Germany to join the Verilab Munich team in January 2008. As a consultant, Scott was a key contributor to a range of important chip projects across Europe, his work taking him to clients not only in Germany, but also Ireland, Sweden, Scotland, and Austria. A specialist in the complex computing infrastructures that underpin modern chip design efforts, Scott made significant improvements in the use of version control and build automation systems in all of the projects on which he worked, saving his teams many weeks and months of valuable design cycle time.
In addition, Scott brought the ingenuity of the “born engineer” to all aspects of his work be it in rooting out deep design bugs, fixing bugs in the design and verification tools themselves, or even as far as helping decide on the correct font for editing code, a decision of such importance that wars have been started for less. Perhaps the best example of Scott’s combination of attention to detail and MacGyver-like inventiveness was in his design of a standing desk. Clearly having been influenced by German frugality, Scott avoided the expense of buying a ready-made system and instead acquired some cinder blocks and used those to raise his existing desk a few feet.
A Swabian thriftiness was not the only aspect of his adopted home’s culture that Scott and his wife Julie acquired. Keen observers of, and participants in, the cultures of all the countries in which they spent time, Scott and Julie took the German posting as an opportunity to enthusiastically embrace all things Bavarian. He wore his lederhosen with pride —especially at Oktoberfest—with Julie completing the picture resplendent in traditional dirndl. Then shortly after moving to the Verilab Edinburgh office in November 2012, he dived straight into the Scottish scene by attending a Burns Night supper at a colleague’s house. Perhaps it was a little bit too much culture too quickly though, because he was heard to comment, amid the sound of bagpipes, that, “Mercifully Yammer [Verilab's internet messaging tool of choice] doesn’t do audio!”
Scott is survived by Julie, an accomplished artist living in Edinburgh. Julie took this picture of him, commenting, “This photo is one of my favorites. It was taken back in August. Scott was in the middle of receiving his second round of chemo at the hospital in Edinburgh. He felt so well that we passed on hospital lunch and went out to eat at a local pub instead.’‘