The Experimental Elementary Particle Physics (EEPP) group within The University of Arizona Physics Department is pursuing ground-breaking research into properties of the fundamental building blocks of matter.
On the experimental side, we are strategically positioned to impact current experiments at Fermilab (where we led the design of the DØ muon trigger systems) as well as new experiments at CERN, near Geneva, Switzerland (where we pioneered a radical new design for the ATLAS Forward Calorimeter). We played key roles in experiments that studied properties of the top quark and discovered new forms of matter/antimatter asymmetries. Together, these efforts have helped to develop and exploit the most powerful microscopes ever constructed for exploring the subatomic world.
My involvement with this diverse group began in 2000 as a student worker helping to assemble portions of the ATLAS detector located at CERN. In 2004, I joined the group as an engineering aide. My responsibilities were centered on keeping several small experiments running at the University of Arizona. In early 2005, my experience with TurboCAD began with the purchase of TurboCAD Deluxe. Knowing future jobs may require CAD experience, I quickly trained myself in the program. I immediately saw the potential for its use in my day to day work activities where the quality of the drawings created in TurboCAD vastly surpassed those made using the generic drawing programs I’d been using prior. In early 2006, my responsibilities quickly expanded with a new project that was to be carried out in Protvino, Russia. The project, dubbed FCalchik (Russian diminutive for FCal or Forward Calorimeter) focused on testing design changes needed for upgrading the ATLAS detector. During the design phase of this project it fell on me to provide the conceptual drawings for this prototype detector. It quickly became apparent that the Deluxe version of TurboCAD did not provide enough tools for what I was hoping to accomplish, so I upgraded to the Professional version. Armed with these new tools, I quickly amazed my coworkers with the realistic renderings I created. As the months passed, I provided three dimensional concept drawings used in collaboration meetings as well as engineering drawings used by shops in both Arizona and Russia for the machining of the parts needed to construct and support the FCalchik.
As the project grew in complexity from a few rough sketches and ideas to a complex multinational collaboration, the need for detailed schematics also grew. Circuit diagrams, plumbing systems, along with spatial layouts changed almost daily. TurboCAD provided the backbone for keeping up with these constant changes. Today the experiment continues to collect data, however physical changes are no longer being made, but many of the drawings produced in TurboCAD are referenced on a regular basis. More recently, an experiment at the University of Arizona grew to the point that it required a complete overhaul. Like the FCalchik project, we started with a few rough ideas, and from that I used TurboCAD to produce conceptual drawings, eventually these grew to become mechanical drawings and a finished product. By drawing a complete 3D mockup of this experiment, it was easy to estimate the materials needed, know what parts would fit where, as well as provide a visual aid to those wanting to know what the new system would look like.
Whether it is a simple mechanical drawing needed for the construction of a part, or keeping track of the many complex systems within an experiment, the TurboCAD program has and will continue to play an important role as the responsibilities of my job grow more and more complex. I want to thank the people at IMSI/Design for creating a program that has made my work that much easier.
Engineering Aide/Lab Manager
University of Arizona Physics Department