On the splendid sunny day of Sept. 14, The Target Systems Department (TSD) at Fermilab hosted a cookout social at MI-8.
There had been many recent achievements by the TSD community that warranted a celebration. To name a few, the completion of NuMI 1MW upgrade, operation of NuMI, BNB, and AP0 target stations, progress on LBNF, PIP-II, Mu2e and High Power Targetry R&D, summer shutdown activities, target station devices spare fabrications and many new ideas on the science front were major accomplishments. In addition, TSD has welcomed 15 new employees since Jan. 2020, which makes up one-third of the team. The cookout social was hosted to celebrate all these achievements, welcome new employees, provide a venue for everyone to catch up with each other and thank the affiliates who have provided support in their roles.
The social started with an informal open house/TSD community fair at MI-8 where people could see the impressive physical work occurring, thanks to Chris Kelly and James Zahurones who prepared the space for the tour. There were nine manned stations with posters and demonstrations, including Horn CNC Precision Welding by Meredith Lee and Kris Anderson, Mu2e Target Remote Handling machine by Mike Campbell, NuMI Horn 1 on Test Stand by Katsuya Yonehara, LBNF Decay Pipe Window Changeout Machine by Quinn Peterson, Robotics and Education by George Lolov, Go Green Initiative by Frederique Pellemoine, the TSD Working Committee by Yun He, Mu2e-II Pion Production Target by Vitaly Pronskikh and High Power Targetry Material Studies equipment by Sujit Bidhar. An estimated 50 people, including guests from LBNF, PIP-II, FESS, ND, ESH, Drafting and other groups in the Accelerator Division enjoyed the tour and interactions with the TSD scientists, engineers and technicians. Accelerator Division Head Mike Lindgren spent some time inspecting the posters and the stations at MI-8. TSD engineer Meredith Lee was seen explaining how the crown and underbead of a weld are formed in just one pass, while an initial design of a prototype novel conveyor target for Mu2e-II was shown by Vitaly Pronskikh. “I was frankly invigorated by having us all together,” said Bob Zwaska, department head of TSD.
Outside, the picnic planning team was busy with setting up canopies and tables, preparing food and hanging festive decorations. TSD technician George Maniatis exerted a significant amount of effort over several days to prepare an elaborate and delicious selection of pulled pork sandwiches, chicken kabobs, brats, vegetable sausages, vegetable kabobs, coleslaw, and potato salad. George got quite a few helping hands from TSD employees Neal Bogart, Meredith Lee, Zunping Liu, Julio Ortega, Frederique Pellemoine, Henry Schram and Nandhini Dhanaraj. All the interactions and fun moments were very diligently and skillfully captured by Kevin Lynch from TSD science group. Thanks to FESS and Dispatch for getting 10 picnic tables/benches delivered to the event site.
“We were fully impressed by the enthusiasm and a sense of community that our members have demonstrated in the event preparation and participation,” said Yun He, the group leader of the TSD operations group. Zwaska pointed out that He was instrumental in taking on the challenge and putting together the team to make the social happen and deserves a big applause. “Everyone was thoughtful in every detail and worked harmoniously with the event planning, food prep, site setup and cooking,” added He.
A fun TSD trivia game, hosted by Sudeshna Ganguly and Athula Wickremasinghe from the TSD science group, followed the picnic. In addition to the target system quizzes, the naming of the six teams were also meticulously created to be related to the work that the team routinely handles: Torrid Target, Honking Horns, Bent Beam, Regal Robots, Priceless Projects and Magical Mars. After fighting tooth and nail with each other over two rounds, Bent Beam came out victorious, with Torrid Target following closely behind. The trivia generated friendly competition and a lot of laughter among the teams. All teams got chocolates to share, and the first two highest scoring teams were awarded paper crowns.
“This was also an opportunity to realize and appreciate the benefit of a diverse team that we are,” emphasized He. Dali Georgobiani, who joined the team during the pandemic, said, “As a relative newcomer, I would like to thank you all for this wonderful opportunity to finally meet more of our community members in person, and to see the physical work. The planning (thank you, Yun!), the food (thank you, George!) and the conversation was wonderful, not to mention the tour, the game, the decorations, everything.”
“Having a successful event like this one helps our department work together and makes us more effective. Thanks everyone for attending and I appreciate all the effort from the event planning team,” concluded Zwaska.