One minute with Linda Valerio, mechanical engineer

Linda Valerio is a mechanical engineer by day, orchestral musician by night. Photo: Rashmi Shivni

Linda Valerio is a mechanical engineer by day, orchestral musician by night. Photo: Rashmi Shivni

What do you do as a mechanical engineer for the lab?
On the technical side, I plan all the details for specific accelerator designs. It starts with identifying what is needed, then developing the design, doing calculations, taking measurements and preparing for fabrication and installation. I also do some project planning, or managerial tasks, so then I am more involved with coordinating people, managing our funds and estimating time and labor. It really depends on the project and the production stage it’s in.

How long have you been at Fermilab?
It will be 16 years this summer, plus the additional three years I spent here as part of the cooperative education program when I was a student at Marquette University. I actually visited the lab in high school, and I thought it was a great place. When I later saw the posting in the co-op office in college, I remembered how nice it was when I first visited, and that encouraged me to apply.

What did you do as a cooperative education student here?
I was here when they were constructing the Main Injector, so that was really great to see. Everybody was very busy constructing the ring, and the lab needed help from students on tracking the progress and with final design tasks. Later in the co-op, when the Main Injector neared completion, I got to re-design a beam instrumentation device called an ion profile monitor, which was a small project perfect for a co-op student.

What projects are you working on right now?
After completing installation of the NOvA transfer lines in the Main Injector, I joined the primary beamline team for LBNF/DUNE. That portion of the project is currently on hiatus, so I began working on PXIE before starting a new role as project engineer for hollow electron lens beam collimators proposed for CERN through the US-HiLumi program. I also occasionally support maintenance and upgrade activities in the Main Injector and Recycler, particularly related to the vacuum systems. I’m also a member of the Employee Advisory Group and volunteer for the lab’s education outreach program.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I have a young daughter, who keeps me very busy. I love spending time with her and my husband. I go bicycling as much as possible, and I enjoy photography. Aside from that, I also play violin in the DuPage Symphony Orchestra. There are actually a lot of Fermilab people tied to the DSO. Some are musicians, some are members on the board, and some are family of musicians. Over the years it’s been great to see friendly, familiar Fermilab faces at the DSO!