Cervando Castro: Steady hands and sharp eyes
Cervando Castro (left) watches the monitors and operates the remote crane control with technicians John Featherstone and Keith Anderson (center) for the NuMI experiment.
In a few weeks, Cervando Castro will use a remote control crane to change a key piece of equipment in Fermilab's neutrino program. He will be located behind several feet of concrete shielding at distances of up to 100 feet from the component. It's a job where steady hands and sharp eyes are essential.
"Cervando's very focused and very calm in high-pressure situations," said Kris Anderson, lead engineer for NuMI target hall operations. "We rely on him a lot."
As part of regular maintenance, Cervando will swap out the NuMI target, the piece of the experiment that helps to create neutrinos from protons. But, because the target sits directly in the beam path and becomes radioactive, Castro will use several video monitors and a remote crane control from behind shielding to do the job.
"Cervando has a lot of experience in the lab, he's our main crane guy," said Mike Andrews, NuMI shutdown coordinator.
Castro, who has a background in welding and auto mechanics, is the senior technician for the NuMI target hall. He assembles, installs and maintains equipment and parts for the experiment, a job he previously did in the mechanical support department for the Tevatron.
While assembly and maintenance are relativelyf commonplace for the 25-year laboratory veteran, Castro was thrilled about his new challenges and his vertical commute when he started at NuMI.
"The first couple of times I was pretty excited to go down 150 feet into the NuMI target hall," Castro said.
Then, the diversity of tasks Castro's job includes--from assembling very delicate pieces of equipments to moving large chunks of concrete--keep him challenged. The largest piece of equipment he has had to move with the crane weighed 50,000 pounds. His schedule keeps him busy too. As a NuMI technician, Castro has to make himself available day or night as his job requires.
"I'm willing to do that because I want help make this place run smoothly," Castro said.