Denny "Inspector" Gaw retires on Friday
Denny Gaw wears his nickname, Inspector Gaw, like a badge of honor. Although given to him a few decades ago, the name calls attention to the skills of a 33-year employee whose work has helped to keep the laboratory up and running. Gaw will retire Friday.
"Denny is just an excellent inspector," said Bob Jensen, group leader of the Technical Division's process engineering group. "He is very thorough. Some people will walk up to equipment and just say, 'Yep, its broke,' but Denny will also try to figure out why."
Always a tinkerer, Gaw demonstrated mechanical skills as a child when he took apart abandoned, broken appliances and clocks to see if he could make them work.
He began working at Fermilab in November of 1977 and has worked on nearly every fabrication project through the Technical Division, including the Tevatron, P-bar source, Recycler, LHC, NuMI and magnets for the Superconducting Super Collider.
Quality and Materials Department Head Jamie Blowers said that Gaw is an invaluable resource who will be missed.
"Denny was in on the ground floor when everything was put together," Jensen said. "He knows the Tevatron magnets inside and out because he was there when they were built."
Gaw is the process engineering group's lead inspector. He does the majority of the quality control checks on equipment under construction and before items are shipped. He often tests mechanical and electrical components, water flow and hydrostatics and conducts vacuum checks.
"What I like is seeing it all come together," Gaw said. "I like knowing that this is a product good enough for technicians. They know when they put it in the tunnel that it will work."
Gaw plans to fish, visit relatives and relax during his retirement. He said he will miss the laboratory because of the camaraderie he's experienced here and the ability to contribute to science.
"I always thought it was neat to see the joy on the faces of the scientists and to think that I had something to do with that," Gaw said.
Bid Gaw farewell with cake at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 26, at Industrial Building 4.
-- Rhianna Wisniewski