One minute with Paul Gentry, mechanical support technician

Paul Gentry goes on his daily round at the machine shop. Photo: Rashmi Shivni

Paul Gentry goes on his daily round at the machine shop. Photo: Rashmi Shivni

How long have you been here?
I’m going on 36 years this October 13.

What brought you to Fermilab?
It was a different, scientific opportunity in a field I was doing previously, and I wanted to see what the lab does. I had worked with mechanical tools and assembly, but I wanted something different. I wanted to grow my expertise and see how far I could go with what I know.

What does a typical day at work look like for you?
Right now it’s pretty easy-going because we’re in a transition. Back in the day, in the mid-1990s, I used to drive the magnet mover in the Main Ring tunnel, and we would replace magnets. It was a 17-hour job, and we would stay all day, all night. Now everything is nice and easy and being updated at a good pace. It’s totally different from what it was years ago.

What are some projects you’re working on now?
We’re trying to build the Muon Campus for the new muon experiments. We’ve updated what used to be the Main Ring tunnel, and we’re building the new magnets for the muon projects. I was here when we first started building the old magnets for the tunnel, and now I’m seeing them come out. It’s kind of like a love-hate relationship. I loved it while it was being built and used, but I hate to see it go.

Recently the Sagitta Table was dismantled, for which you built magnets in 1983. How did it feel to see that part of your work come to an end?
I was constantly working on building the magnets for the Sagitta Table, which was used to bend magnets to be installed in the Main Ring. It was fun working with everyone on my team. Everyone seemed like one big family when we worked on this together. We would build the magnets, and then when we saw our magnets go to another building to get aligned and installed in the tunnel, it was a great feeling. I wish we could to it all over again.

You seem to really enjoy your work here at the lab. I heard you like to let people know how much you like your job.
When I was about 26 or 27, I shaved the Fermilab logo into my hair to show my appreciation and loyalty to the lab. I just wanted to show the world that you can have fun at work and be serious at the same time. Adding some play to your work makes the day go smoothly.

Apparently, you’re well-known around the lab as “G” the DJ.
Yes, I deejay because I’m a music lover. I love music of all kinds, it doesn’t matter what. It’s just one of my passions.