John Urban retires after 26 years at Fermilab

John Urban

John Urban and the Tevatron started at Fermilab right around the same time. Urban was in the air force for seven years before he joined Argonne National Laboratory. He spent 17 years there before he joined Fermilab in 1985, as a high-level RF tech specialist. He retired from the laboratory on Oct. 7.

“I spent 26 years here,” Urban said, smiling. “Evidently, I liked it.”

Urban recently completed building two bias supplies for the NOvA experiment. The supplies will help reduce the Main Injector cycle time to 1.33 seconds from 2.2 seconds. According to Joe Dey, Urban’s supervisor, Urban’s impending retirement put a crunch on construction.

“I knew Urban was going to retire on me one of these days,” Dey said.

Dey said that the cavities were the first part of the project approved, so that Urban could get to work on the two supplies. And the work was excellent.

“John has always taken great pride in his work,” Dey said.

While Urban will miss his work, he’s excited to sleep in.

“I didn’t mind getting up in the morning for work,” Urban said. “But I’m happy to turn off the alarm clock.”

He plans to spend more time bowling. Urban’s friend owns a professional bowling shop, and Urban will do some work there.

“That’ll be nice. I can work on my average, while tinkering with the equipment,” Urban said. He has bowled three perfect games so far.

Urban also wants to spend more time with his three great-grandchildren, but he’ll still stop by Fermilab to play softball.

“Fermilab’s a great place to work,” Urban said. “I don’t have any regrets, and I’m glad to have the time to visit.”

—Ashley WennersHerron