Fermilab Today Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2010
In Memoriam: Jim Tweed

Jim Tweed remembered as skilled technician

Jim Tweed

If you needed something built and a little levity to make the day pass faster, you wanted Jim Tweed.

The PPD senior mechanical technician, who passed away Dec. 24, had a reputation as a versatile, hard worker who took pride in growing his skills, the laboratory's mission and its sense of community.

"He was really into learning new things in life and in his career," said Ken Schultz, PPD Mechanical Division project manager. "He was meticulous in his work and he brought a lot of fun and enjoyment to the job, even when you called him in at all hours of the night."

Tweed was the first to volunteer to take shifts so co-workers could attend family events and one of the last to brag about his nearly 30 years of work.

Jim Tweed, upper left, works on the Dark Energy Camera.

"Good technicians are an essential part of the on-the-job training for engineers at Fermilab. Jim Tweed taught me many technical things while we worked together on the MIPP experiment, the Meson Test Beam Facility, several liquid nitrogen systems onsite, and liquid argon TPC R&D," said engineer Terry Tope. "Jim was a fantastic technical researcher to whom I could give a few scratches on a sticky note that resembled a specification and receive a link to the product I needed a day later. "

Tweed worked throughout the laboratory during his career, including on the CDF upgrade and as calibration shop head for Dark Energy Survey operations. For the last year, he worked on the Dark Energy Camera, where he excelled at precision fabrication and assembly and cryogenic work.

"He was a fast learner," said Tom Diehl, DeCam collaborator. "He did a lot of different stuff for DeCam."

Tweed left his mark on the cutting-edge astrophysics tool when he retrofitted a steel frame that will be used to mount the camera and painted it University of Delaware gold in honor of his home state.

"We just call it Jim Tweed gold," Diehl said.

-- Tona Kunz

Fermi National Accelerator - Office of Science / U.S. Department of Energy | Managed by Fermi Research Alliance, LLC.