Chuck Serritella retires after 31 years at Fermilab

Chuck Serritella

There will be a farewell gathering for Chuck Serritella today, at 3 p.m. in Lab 6 in the Village.

Chuck Serritella’s neighbor needed a helping hand for a job at Fermilab in 1980. Serritella volunteered, and it wasn’t long before Serritella was working at the laboratory full time. He retires on Oct. 5.

One of the earliest projects Serritella worked on was installing the double magnets in the Tevatron.

“The Tevatron was a milestone,” he said. “It helped make the laboratory what it is.”

With the recent Tevatron shut down, Serritella opted to begin his retirement.

“It’s been a good ride,” said Serritella, who lives in Batavia. “I’m just going to stop working.”

Serritella would just as soon head off into the sunset with little fanfare, but his colleagues are insisting on a celebration.

“I tried to talk them out of it,” he said.

After 31 years, Serritella, who works in the technical centers of the scintillation detector development for the Particle Physics Division, deserves a bit of recognition for all the different projects he has worked on for the past three decades.

“I’ve worked on just about every project over the years,” he said, noting that there have always been new things to learn and do at Fermilab. “It’s always exciting, always something new. It’s never the same grind.”

Leonard Spiegel, Serritella’s colleague, said Serritella has a wide array of skills that have been an asset to the lab.

“For one of my first projects as a postdoc on the experiment, Chuck helped me deaden the central regions of all of the HIL wire chambers by an electroplating process,” Spiegel said. “He was most at home operating power tools and heavy equipment, although he also had a soft touch and careful eye when it came to handling delicate items such as wire chamber planes.”

Spiegel also described Serritella as laid back.

“Although there was a fair amount of stress at the time due to the tight schedules for the HIL experiments, Chuck always managed to take everything in stride,” he said, recalling their earlier days at the laboratory. “Somehow I think that the transition to life in retirement will be relatively easy for Chuck!”

Victoria Pierce