Bruce Worthel retires after 30 years at Fermilab

Bruce Worthel

A writer, actor and 3rd dan in kyuki-do, Bruce Worthel is known around Fermilab as a man of many talents. Now Worthel, who has served Fermilab as an electronic technician, operator, crew chief and documentation specialist, will devote more time nurturing his talents outside the laboratory. He retires on July 31 after 30 years at Fermilab.

Worthel began at the laboratory in 1983 as a day worker for a stint that was originally to last only three months. But when the three months were up, he was hired as a day worker again, then rehired as a temporary electronic technician and finally hired for the long haul in the Research Division Operations Department.

As a day worker and an electronic technician, Worthel wired, installed and repaired accelerator instrumentation and equipment and helped bring the Momentum Slit back into operation after years of disuse. As an operator in the Research Division, he helped deliver particle beams to experiments. And as crew chief, he led the team that operated the beamlines.

During that time Worthel began documenting the Operations Department training and procedures, rewriting existing manual text and writing new instructions. Soon after assuming these responsibilities, he returned to school, earning a Bachelor of Arts in writing and language at Aurora University. In 1997, Worthel was promoted to training and documentation specialist, writing and editing documentation for multiple Accelerator Division departments. He also contributed to Fermilab Today, writing articles and the Accelerator Update column, which first ran in 2000.

After retiring, Worthel will devote more time to writing fiction and plays. One of his plays recently won a competition at the Stage Coach Theatre in Dekalb and may end up on the stage next year. He’ll continue acting in theaters in and around Chicago and acting as factotum at home.

“I have lots of projects around my house that I want to start—and even finish,” Worthel said. “I love to play in the garden. My wife Barbara and I will take a few more trips to see places we haven’t seen and to visit with friends and family.”

The Accelerator Division will host a retirement party for Worthel on Friday, July 26, at 11:30 a.m. To attend, please RSVP to Dan Johnson, x2074, or to Duane Newhart, x6378, by Thursday afternoon.