Lynn Garren retires from Fermilab after 30 years

Lynn Garren

At the close of Jan. 31, 2020, Fermilab scientist Lynn Garren will have worked at Fermilab for exactly 30 years. On that day, after an illustrious three-decade career as a particle physicist, she is retiring.

Garren started at the lab as a scientist working with the Computing Division under scientist Joel Butler. She was involved with the E687, FOCUS and BTeV experiments. Since the close of the BTeV experiment, her work has been to provide software needed by Fermilab experiments.

One of her outstanding contributions to Fermilab and the field of particle physics relates to a program called StdHep. Early on she noticed that the experiments used a variety of Monte Carlo simulation generators that each had its own particle ID definitions. She put together a Fortran-based program, StdHep, to translate everything back and forth from a common set of particle ID numbers. The scientific users liked and appreciated StdHep, and the software was picked up across the high-energy physics community. The effort evolved into a Monte Carlo standard numbering scheme that is now part of the Particle Data Group. There are now only a few differences in numbering schemes across the various Monte Carlo generators.

Garren wears multiple hats in the Scientific Computing Division. She supports the Class Library for High Energy Physics, or CLHEP, and has been the go-to expert for fixing CLHEP bugs. She is also involved in a new effort to use Spack, a package management system, at Fermilab. She is part of the SciSoft team, which supports art for Mu2e, Muon g-2, NoVa and LArSoft. The team supports the art framework and coordinates the releases and distributions for packages such as Geant that are needed for each collaboration. In addition, she is the LArSoft release manager.

Although Garren is retiring, she’ll remain an active part of the Fermilab community as a guest scientist. And she’ll stay busy outside the lab, too: playing music, sorting the house, sewing, and digitizing music, old photos, and family archives. She also plan travel to visit friends and family.

If you see Garren, wish her well — and know that you’ll still get to see her around the lab as she continues to advance Fermilab science. You’ll even see her at the Fermilab barn dances!