One minute with Sandra Biedron, electrical engineer

Fermilab user Sandra Biedron cooks up a storm for work friends and colleagues in her historical home in Chicago's Beverly Hills neighborhood. She claims that dinner tables are where work gets done. Photo courtesy of Sandra Biedron

Fermilab user Sandra Biedron cooks up a storm for work friends and colleagues in her historical home in Chicago’s Beverly Hills neighborhood. She claims that dinner tables are where work gets done. Photo courtesy of Sandra Biedron

How long have you been at Fermilab?
I got my original Fermilab badge in 1997 and have been a user here for 18 years. I’m a Chicago native and long-time collaborator with Fermilab and Argonne. I worked at Argonne from 1993 to 2011.

What does your typical day at Fermilab look like?
It’s totally crazy because I have so much to do when visiting. I do a lot of different things, from attending meetings to writing proposals. I participate in technical meetings and technical planning. I was an elected member of the Users Executive Committee from 2013 to 2015, adding to my daily routine at Fermilab. I’m also a professor of electrical engineering at Colorado State University, so I mentor my students stationed at Fermilab.

What kind of projects do you work on here?
I worked on a previous Fermilab experiment called HyperCP. Since starting at Colorado State, I have been working on controls, accelerator designs, PXIE and most recently on the horns — all with my students.

What do you love about working at Fermilab?
The camaraderie. I’ve had so many wonderful moments with the people here I can’t even think of just one. Every day is special here. This is my science and engineering family.

You own a house on a home tour in Chicago. How’d that happen?
I’m a really task-oriented person. In national laboratories, and in science in general, we usually do things on the longer term, and it’s nice to have shorter-term projects outside the lab and the university. It keeps me centered. I really like preservation of old houses. I had the opportunity to buy the home of a famous artist in Chicago who recently passed away, the Ingersoll-Blackwelder House. I’m in the process of rehabbing it right now. It was part of the Beverly Hills-Morgan Park Home Tour in May.

What is something people might not know about you?
There are a couple of things. I love to cook for family and friends. Also, I might seem really outgoing, but it’s actually hard for me to let people in. Being at a place like Fermilab makes that easier though. It’s a place where you can rely on the people and they know what you are thinking. We are somehow all of (almost) the same mold. Somebody couldn’t ask for better friends.