Tom Wokas retires Dec. 18

Tom Wokas

Although the job classification “super tech” does not officially exist, TD Technician Tom Wokas could be said to easily meet all of the requirements and perform the essential duties of one. After 33 years of perfecting his craft, Tom is retiring to enjoy family and pursue his many outside-the-lab interests. Tom has been the "go-to guy" for the varied and unique projects in our group that require an inventive, intelligent approach, attention to detail and a high level of craftsmanship.

“I used every opportunity to involve Tom in work I was doing, as he was a person who could generate solutions for solving design problems, propose design and effective fabrication techniques, and make things happen,” said the SRF Department’s Iouri Terechkine.

Tom started his Fermilab career building Tevatron “spool” devices. He managed fabrication of the turn-around box that supplied the Superconducting Super Collider string test with vacuum and cryogenic end components. He then found a long-time home in the ICB engineering lab, contributing to cryogenic devices and materials. In the Magnet Systems Department, Tom hit his stride producing a series of small superconducting magnet prototypes for an expanding list of accelerator projects such as HINS, ILC and ASTA.

“All magnets were successfully tested, and not one had a short,” said Chief Magnet Engineer Vladimir Kashikin. “The quality of his work is outstanding.”

Tom’s expert skills have been crucial to recent development of a new class of magnetic measurement probes and devices.

“Besides being personable and enthusiastic, he has a variety of areas of genuine expertise and is good at applying them in new contexts,” said physicist Joe DiMarco. “He was always good at picking up on the concepts involved and running with them, even if documentation was sketchy, and was always thorough and thoughtful in his work.”

Tom is a self-starter with a broad knowledge base and experience that will be hard to replace. It has been a privilege to work with him.

A farewell celebration for Tom will be held in the IB2 wrapping room today from 2:30-3:30 p.m.

Michael Tartaglia and John Tompkins, Technical Division Magnet Systems Department