If you ask Jim Wilson about his upcoming retirement, he will actually talk about how much he has enjoyed working at Fermilab to this day. In fact, he will start to talk about all of the people he has worked with through the years.
Jim says, “One of the great things about working at the lab is working with so many types of people — different occupations, different backgrounds. You can always find someone to help you.”
Jim’s last day at the laboratory is Sept. 30.
Jim started in Fermilab’s Village Machine Shop in 1978 as an instrument machinist. He then became the foreman of the Wilson Hall Machine Shop. For the past eight years, Jim has worked as an Accelerator Division fabrication and processing specialist. Because of his extensive knowledge of machine shops and machining practices, he is frequently called upon to advise engineers about the best way to fabricate a part. Often the discussions lead to a redesign of the device for easier machining, better and more efficient assembly, and cost savings. Jim has a wide knowledge of welding techniques, particularly electron beam welding, used in the fabrication of radio-frequency, or RF, cavities and vacuum windows for beamlines.
Jim’s hobby is the restoration of antique and classic cars, including Corvettes. He is also a recognized expert on early Corvettes. He is currently building a 1956 Chevy extended-cab truck and turning it into a car hauler.
As much as Jim will miss working at Fermilab, he looks forward to his move to Tennessee with his wife. His technical expertise and friendly demeanor will be missed by his Fermilab colleagues.