In Memoriam: Dennis Theriot
|Dennis Theriot, center, works with Bruce Chrisman and former deputy director Ken Stanfield on designing the One West conference room in 1993.
Dennis Theriot, a laboratory leader during the '80s and early '90s, died on July 5. He was 72.
Theriot retired from Fermilab in 1993 as associate director of technology. During his 24 years at the laboratory, he also served as head of the neutrino department and as the deputy project manager for CDF, which he was instrumental in designing and building.
Former Fermilab deputy director Ken Stanfield, who worked with Theriot during most of his career, remembers how Theriot brought his talent for managing very large enterprises to each assignment.
Theriot had oversight of conventional construction when John Peoples was laboratory director. Peoples credits Theriot's vision for the design of One West and the ground floor entrances to Wilson Hall, and the conversion of experimental facilities into an engineering center and the Silicon Detector Facility (SiDet).
"I fondly remember many heated and productive discussions on how to build the laboratory," Peoples said. "Dennis brought a passion and good humor to his work that few others had. He was one of the people who helped to build the Fermilab we love."
Theriot provided structure to both CDF's detector and to CDF's diverse and complicated international collaboration, said former Fermilab employee Roy Schwitters, who worked with Theriot on CDF and the Superconducting Super Collider.
"He well understood the physics we wanted to do with CDF, including assembling multi-hundred-ton objects into a precision instrument, and the foibles of physicists in trying to do so," Schwitters said.
Fermilab Chief Operating Officer Bruce Chrisman, who worked alongside Theriot as the associate director for administration, remembers Theriot as enthusiastic.
"Dennis was a great guy. He always brought well thought-out ideas to the table," Chrisman said.