Eric Forsyth grew up in Bolton, England. After obtaining a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering at Manchester University, he served as an RAF fighter pilot in the 1950s. He obtained a master's degree at Toronto University in 1960 and then worked until his retirement in 1995 at Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island, New York. He led the development at Brookhaven of superconducting cables suitable for very high capacity underground AC transmission systems. In 1986 he was appointed chair of the Accelerator Development Department, which was responsible for the construction and design of several particle accelerators, including preconstruction design and planning of the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, now the largest nuclear physics research tool in the U.S. Forsyth is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineering (IEEE), and in 2007 he was presented with the Herman Halperin Award for Power Transmission and Distribution development. This is the highest distinction awarded annually by the IEEE for research in this field. Since retirement he has twice taken his sailboat around the world and sailed to both polar regions several times, including a transit of the Northwest Passage. In 2000, he was awarded the Blue Water Medal by the Cruising Club of America, an honor given annually to one amateur sailor worldwide. Eric married Edith, a physician, in 1958, and they had two children, a son, Colin, and a daughter, Brenda.