Upton, NY - The Board of Trustees of Associated Universities, Inc., (AUI) announced today that Lyle H. Schwartz, President of AUI, will become the Interim Director for Brookhaven National Laboratory, effective May 1. He will oversee the affairs of the Laboratory until a replacement for the current Director, Nicholas P. Samios, can be found. Last month, Dr. Samios announced his retirement, effective April 30.
AUI is the nonprofit research management organization that operates Brookhaven National Laboratory under contract with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). It also operates the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Charlottesville, Virginia, under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation. Dr. Schwartz became AUI President in March, and he will remain in that position, while also assuming the duties of Interim Director of Brookhaven.
Additionally, Peter D. Bond, Chair of Brookhaven's Physics Department, and Michael J. Bebon, Brookhaven's Assistant Director for Management and Physical Plant, have been appointed Interim Deputy Directors. They will work as an integrated team to manage the Laboratory with a new emphasis on environmental, safety and health programs (ES&H). Dr. Bond will focus primarily on the scientific programs at Brookhaven, while Mr. Bebon will be charged with the responsibility of managing Laboratory operations, including ES&H programs.
While the AUI Board announced these interim appointments, they continue to search aggressively to identify candidates for the Laboratory's directorship. The search is focusing on candidates with demonstrated leadership in scientific affairs, an awareness of and concern for environmental issues and public understanding of science, and the ability to work constructively and effectively with federal agencies and local governments.
Dr. Schwartz said, "The Laboratory has an outstanding record of scientific accomplishment, but needs to be more aggressive in addressing environmental, safety and health issues. Although improvements in ES&H management have been made in recent years, Brookhaven has not done enough to win the public's trust. A complete change in culture is required to achieve fully integrated ES&H management, and I am deeply committed to starting this process."
One of Dr. Schwartz's first tasks as Brookhaven's Interim Director will be to bring in an external ES&H management improvement team, which will provide guidance on strengthening organizational and management structures required to achieve a change in culture at Brookhaven. The task force will include representatives from DOE, other national laboratories and industry. To ensure that the Laboratory can incorporate recommendations promptly, Mr. Bebon will be a member of the team.
Mr. Bebon commented, "Environment, safety and health must be a principal focus for the Laboratory. We are committed to making the necessary changes to operate the Laboratory with utmost regard for the environment. We will seek increased participation of Laboratory staff, outside experts, regulatory agencies, and the community in our planning for ES&H actions to be certain we have all concerns and proposed solutions on the table. We want to continue an ongoing dialogue with our neighbors and regain their trust. We're proud to be a part of Long Island and look forward to continuing our positive contributions to the Long Island community."
Echoing his sentiment, Dr. Bond said, " BNL has a proud history of doing forefront science, and that will remain our mission, but the public has lost confidence in our ability to handle environmental, safety and health issues. The only way to regain the public trust is to perform as well in these areas as we do in science."
Born in Chicago, Lyle H. Schwartz received a B.S. in science engineering and a Ph.D. in materials science from Northwestern University, in 1959 and 1964, respectively. Following a one-year postdoctoral appointment at the University of Paris, Orsay, and CEN, Saclay, France, Dr. Schwartz joined the staff of Northwestern University, becoming a professor of materials science & engineering and the Director of its Materials Research Center. In 1984, he became the Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology's Materials Science and Engineering Laboratory, the position he left to join AUI.
After earning a B.A. in physics from Harvard University in 1962, Peter D. Bond received an M.A. in education in 1963, and a Ph.D. in physics from Case Western Reserve University in 1969. He taught high school mathematics from 1963-64, and, after receiving his doctoral degree, he then spent three years as a research associate at Stanford University, before joining Brookhaven in 1972 as an assistant physicist, concentrating on basic research in nuclear physics. He became a senior physicist in 1986 and Physics Department Chair in 1987, with managerial responsibility for about 245 employees.
Michael J. Bebon earned a bachelor of engineering from New York University in 1972, and, while serving in the U.S. Air Force, he earned an MBA from the University of Utah in 1975. He is a licensed professional engineer in New York State. Before joining Brookhaven, he worked as an engineer for the Brooklyn Union Gas Company, the Long Island Lighting Company and the Plum Island Animal Disease Center of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Since coming to the Brookhaven site in 1980 as a project engineer with DOE, Mr. Bebon has held several positions in DOE and Brookhaven, including Brookhaven's Manager of Plant Engineering from 1989 to 1991. Mr. Bebon has been the Laboratory's Assistant Director for Management and Physical Plant since 1994, overseeing approximately 500 employees.
Founded in 1947, Brookhaven National Laboratory carries out basic and applied research in physical, biomedical and environmental sciences and in selected energy technologies.