June 29 marks the 50th anniversary of Curtis Danner joining Fermilab. Congratulations, Curtis! (June 29 is also Curtis’s birthday, so a double congratulations!)
Curtis joined Fermilab on June 29, 1970, two days after graduating from high school, with an employee number of 922. He started out in the bubble chamber Film Analysis Facility where he built many of the film scanning machines needed to digitize the neutrino event tracks on the photos. From there he moved on to making electronics for the fixed-target experiments at Fermilab. He later played a major role in the manufacture of the CMS muon detectors, which were built in the Fermilab Village. He designed and built electronics control systems for the large NC routing machines that were used in this construction. He took the responsibility of keeping the machines operational. He is now a technical supervisor, in charge of three different facilities and providing electronics support for the experiments.
Curtis is a jack-of-all-trades. A member of the Particle Physics Division, he is in charge of the electronics machine shop in the basement of Wilson Hall. He also maintains the exhibits in the Lederman Science Center. Additionally, he is always busy designing, building and repairing a variety of electronics. From his cluttered office on the 14th floor of the high-rise, he has helped a great many Fermilab and visitor physicists through electronics crises. He has inspired many summer students to continue in his footsteps.
To quote Curtis on his attitude for success at Fermilab: “Pick a career, do something you love, and it won’t be like work … I’ve never had to do the same thing every day. Don’t be satisfied doing one thing. Try to learn as much as you can.”
As Terri Shaw, Electronic Engineering Department head, says “Curtis is always a pleasure to work with. He is eager to take on and solve new challenges and has always been patient and helpful to any physicists looking for his help and advice.”
Jim Freeman is a Fermilab scientist in the Particle Physics Division.