PPD Electrical Engineering Department Head Bob DeMaat passed away unexpectedly on Feb. 13 while on vacation in Colorado.
“It’s hard to capture all the things Bob represented,” Paul Czarapata, DeMaat’s former supervisor and longtime friend, said. “He had an impact on so many different people, yet he was also one of the guys.”
Czarapata, who is a former EE department head, hired DeMaat in January of 1986 and made him the department deputy five years later.
“He had a keen attention to detail. He was always gracious and gave guidance without strong-arming,” Czarapata said. “He was a gentleman’s gentleman.”
DeMaat was amiable, passionate and perceptive – three qualities that carried him far at Fermilab and in life.
“Bob was not striving for perfection because that indicates you are done. Bob was always striving to do the best that could be done,” Czarapata remembered from DeMaat’s eulogy.
During his time at Fermilab, DeMaat held several managerial positions in the Electrical Engineering Department and coordinated with engineers on a variety of experiments.
“At one point, Bob was the Associate Head of EED, Project Electrical Engineer for MINERvA and the Deputy Project Manager for MINERvA, all at the same time,” said Peter Wilson, who is the PPD associate head for Engineering and worked with DeMaat since 1998. “He was very passionate, but never rigid. He had a youthful attitude.”