Clever Hans

Physicist John Killeen was director of the National Magnetic Fusion Energy Computer Center (NMFECC) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, but deputy director Hans Bruijnes was our day-to-day boss.

The morning would almost always start with a Hans-led all-hands meeting. It usually felt like a waste of time. But he believed in it. We should come together every day as a team, and all know what everyone was working on and what the key issues were.

Hans was a great practitioner of management by walking around, long before it became popular. He’d randomly stop by your office, ask what you were up to. Occasionally confusing matters by telling you to do X when your group leader had told you to do Y. Eminently mockable, but always with affection and respect.

I wish I’d known all the backstory in his obit when I’d see him every day. Find a long lunch at the Concannon winery to hear his version.

A good man, who will be missed by anyone who knew him.