Leonard “Lenny” Spiegel came to Fermilab in 1980 as a graduate student with Carnegie-Mellon University. He returned in 1984 to work as a postdoc for Northwestern University. Finally, he became a lab employee in 1988 and never looked back. Spiegel transitions to Scientist Emeritus on Jan. 4, 2022.
Currently a senior scientist, Spiegel started with Fermilab as an associate scientist. Most of his work these days is on the upgrade of the CMS Outer Tracker for the High Luminosity phase of the LHC program. About 16 years ago, Spiegel led the effort to construct silicon sensor modules for the Outer Barrel of the current CMS Tracker. Like other scientists at the lab, he analyzes data, works with students, serves on committees, reviews papers, writes letters and attends meetings. Having been elected last February, Spiegel is also currently on the US CMS Advisory Board, and he has just been appointed to the CMS Tracker Editorial Board.
When Spiegel was a postdoc on one of the Fixed Target experiments in the ’80s, a liquid hydrogen target exploded. No one was hurt, and the damage was mostly confined to the target, although central swaths of wires were destroyed in every single one of the wire chambers. In the morning following the explosion, Leon Lederman, then the director of the lab, came out to the experiment to console the dejected experimenters and to state emphatically that they would be running again in three months’ time. The next morning, a rigging crew arrived and did not stop working until every single one of the wire chambers had been transported to Lab 6 in the Village, where a crew waited to start the rebuilding process. Although he has been part of some key discoveries during his tenure at the lab, Spiegel said that it is the intense periods where whole sections of the lab came together as one cohesive unit he will remember best.
Spiegel said his immediate retirement plans are, “To help his successors with the Outer Tracker project and to help with an upcoming review of the upgrade.” Eventually, he will return to his East Coast roots, but he expects to retain connections with the field. He would like to teach at a community college, having done so at the College of DuPage many years ago. Spiegel said that retirement will give him more time to play tennis and chess and, pandemic allowing, to travel.
Please join us in wishing Lenny all the best in his future endeavors.