Matt Crawford helps Fermilab put its best foot forward

Matt Crawford is Fermilab’s new Contractor Assurance Systems Project Manager. Photo: Joseph Piergrossi

Having worked at Fermilab for 20 years in various roles, Matt Crawford recently became the laboratory’s Contractor Assurance System Project Manager. Crawford’s new job is to develop better methods of assuring that Fermilab’s performance is up to DOE standard and managing risk in all parts of the laboratory.

In 2010, the U.S. Department of Energy mandated the creation of the Contractor Assurance System (CAS) as a way to improve oversight of the national laboratories. The plan involves each laboratory instituting a system for ongoing self-evaluation processes, such as issues management and worker feedback. These enable each laboratory to see how well it is performing. The idea is that, over time, fewer resources will have to be invested in assessments.

“My role is to mature this system and make it give us a better account of ourselves,” Crawford said.

This involves a two-pronged approach. First, Crawford is helping Fermilab come up with methods for identifying and managing risks at all levels. These assessments and assurance systems help the laboratory allocate resources more efficiently. Second, Crawford is looking at how departments assess their performance.

“Just as the safety program affects all levels of the laboratory, part of CAS is to ensure the integration of the assurance process in all levels of management,” Crawford said.

Previously, Crawford worked on a number of laboratory-wide projects. After coming to Fermilab from the University of Chicago, he worked in networking, cybersecurity, network research and storage of scientific data. Recently he developed a fallback network connectivity plan so that, in the event of a major security breach, the laboratory could maintain an Internet presence during investigation and recovery.

In his current assignment, Crawford is taking aim at a new goal.

“I want to find ways to bring the whole assurance process to a greater level of maturity so that DOE can see quite clearly that we’re running this lab in a top-notch way,” he said.

—Joseph Piergrossi