In memoriam: Tom Pawlak

Tom PawlakFormer Fermilab employee Tom Pawlak died at home in Lombard on Friday, August 23 at age 84 after a long battle with hydrocephalus and dementia. Tom started working at the laboratory during its inception in the late ’60s, originally working for DUSAF and later transitioning to a full-time Fermi employee in the early ’70s. He continued working at the lab for over 30 years, mainly as a civil-structural engineer in the Facilities Engineering Services Section (FESS). Tom worked on the construction of most of the major elements of the laboratory, many still visible today, including the Main Ring, Wilson Hall, the Meson Lab, the Bubble Chamber, the Proton Pagoda, CDF, D0, the Main Injector, the Lederman Science Center and many others. He was particularly proud of the Broken Symmetry Arch at the West entrance to the lab, which he designed in 1978 based on Dr. Wilson’s concept drawings. He was a long-time member of the Fermilab golf league. In retirement, he occasionally consulted on new projects at the lab. The top of the MiniBooNE experiment resembles the British pre-school television show “Teletubbies Superdome” home because Tom was babysitting his granddaughter Allie just before attending a MiniBooNE design review in 1999. He loved the lab, the people he worked with, and he loved being an engineer. Tom is survived by his wife Roberta, his brother Bob, his four children, three grandchildren and a large extended family.

Tom Pawlak at Fermilab