Fermilab Today Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Ed Temple retires

Ed Temple

Whenever you saw Ed Temple, chances were that within a short time he'd grab a note card out of his shirt pocket and scribble furiously.

He was always looking for little details that could make or break an experiment.

That meticulous nature could try the nerves of scientists who had to endure a review system he initiated in 1980 that dogged a project from inception to start-up. Yet it also made for solid projects that more often than not were completed successfully.

"These reviews and what they emphasize are the reason science has been so successful in the DOE," said Dan Lehman, director of project assessment for the Department of Energy Office of Science. "It is a process that is now being emulated throughout DOE at the request of U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu."

Temple has offered advice on every Fermilab project since the installation of the Main Injector during his early career at DOE and through his 11 years at Fermilab.

He recently retired as director of the Office of Project Management Oversight at Fermilab. He will take a post at Argonne National Laboratory as senior project advisor to the director to finish out his career closer to his home.

The review process Temple initiated has been credited with helping not only individual experiments but the field as a whole by facilitating a transfer of technical and management know-how among peer reviewers from other laboratories.

When Temple joined DOE as director of project assessment for the Office of Energy Research in 1980, project reviews existed but without a hard and fast schedule. Projects were over budget and Congressional faith in the bottom-line of science was waning.

He implemented a systematic review process that has become the high energy physics community standard and resulted in more efficient, on-budget, creative and transparent projects and experiments, peers said. When he moved to Fermilab to prepare project managers for these reviews, he also initiated an intermediate step of a director's review.

"He was very methodical," said Steve Holmes, Fermilab associate laboratory director for accelerators. "During his time at Fermilab, I don't think we ever went into a DOE review that we weren't ready for. If we weren't ready, he told us, and we fixed it. But it was never adversarial. There was always this 'we're in this together' attitude."

Temple is enamored with the idea of creating amazing, large-scale science from the ground up. He counts serving as project leader for U.S. CMS at Fermilab and working on the Advanced Photo Source at Argonne and the Spallation Neutron Source at Oak Ridge as his proudest work at national laboratories.

He also served as executive director of the site selection task force for the Superconducting Super Collider, picking a location in a record-breaking two years.

"He just has a way of focusing quickly on the issues and communicating them to people. He has been very important in mentoring project managers at Fermilab," said Ken Stanfield, former Fermilab deputy director. "He has very good judgment. He's no-nonsense, that's for sure. He doesn't want to bring more bureaucracy to projects than they need to manage well. I think he's really driven by wanting to get projects done for their science."

A farewell reception will be held at 2 p.m. April 29 on the second-floor crossover. RSVP to Terry Erickson at terickson@fnal.gov.

-- Tona Kunz

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