Moving to Fermilab

This post is being written about a week after the actual events, but I was unfortunately caught up with being sick (details to unfold).

In an unexpected turn of events, a few weeks ago, I moved to Fermilab! I am back in Ann Arbor now, but I was sent there to help build the tracker in our Mu2e experiment, which consists of a lot of very thin metal tubes. I was responsible for mass producing parts that would be used for handling the electronics on the tracker. Some faculty at University of Michigan involved with particle physics at Fermilab rent out a house at the Fermilab campus for people in their lab to stay in while working on their respective experiments. I stayed there, and was surprised by how nice and fully furnished it was. I got my own room, but the house was currently occupied by another student who just graduated and will be working as a post-bac for an MIT professor this fall.

I worked in a lab that looked like it was in a warehouse that housed most of the electronics for the tracker. I learned how to solder and handle different tools that are used to manipulate metal, which was very cool. After a while, the tasks got tedious since it was doing the same thing 100 or more times, but I got close to the post-doc who was overseeing the building of the tracker, and it was fun to talk to him. One of the most rewarding parts of my internship has been meeting and interacting with such interesting and passionate people. I also met another summer intern, Cat (and the “only other girl who works in electronics” apparently) with whom I became fast friends with. On my second day there she drove me to get lunch and offered to take me to get groceries anytime. I quickly began to feel at home.

A great thing about the Fermilab campus is how big and pedestrian/bike friendly it is. I would go running in the evening and it was great to run by remnants of experiments or machines that revolutionized particle physics. Cat told me about a time she walked all 4 miles around one of the accelerator rings, which sounded awesome.

Unfortunately, at around my 4th day there, I began to feel an ache in my throat that by the next day had evolved into a full fledged ordeal with body aches and a fever. I toughed it out until the weekend, when I finally broke down and called my mom and mentor in Ann Arbor. It didn’t appear to be too serious, but both recommended I return to Ann Arbor to get medical attention. I did, and quickly recovered, but it put an end to my Fermilab adventure. I am not sad, though, because while I was there, my boss mentioned that I would be doing a lot of traveling back and forth, which really makes me feel involved with the Mu2e experiment.

One thought on “Moving to Fermilab

  • August 14, 2018 at 3:45 pm

    Hi Julie,

    I’m so excited to hear you were able to travel to Fermilab for your internship project! That is so amazing! However, I am sad to hear you were sick which cut your trip short. I’m glad you called home and returned to Ann Arbor for medical attention. That is important! If there is anything we can do at the Opportunity Hub, please let me know. Furthermore, I’m glad you’re enjoying your time at Mu2e and that you feel like a valued member of the team. I recommend continuing maximizing the moment and avail each opportunity!



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