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Bye Fred (subtext: Fermilab is a little less human) May 6, 2008

Posted by gordonwatts in Fermilab, physics life.

I noticed in a Fermilab Today issue (the May 3rd issue) that Fred Ullrich retired. He ran Visual Media Services forever (well, as long as I can remember). I’ve interacted with him on and off for years. Sometimes begging him to prepare a poster for a conference that I’d waited until the last minute to finish off. I wanted to send him a congrats email. But I can’t find his email address!

So, as usual, I’m going to take this one little anecdote and extrapolate it way beyond reasonable limits (this is a blog, after all). The normal place to look for this sort of thing is the Fermilab white pages – an online directory. But the problem is Fermilab has taken computer and employee security to the level that pretty much the day you leave Fermilab all trace of you ever existing is removed from their databases. I realize this is how all of corporate America (and perhaps the rest of the world) works, but the problem is Fermilab feels like a “home” to me – and so this seems like fairly harsh treatment. Not something you’d do to your friend – especially as they are leaving on good terms. Queue the refrain “Ah, it was better in the old days…”

Bummer. At any rate – Fred – thanks for all your help over the years, and have fun starting the second half of your life!

Visual Media Service has a great collection of pictures taken over the years at Fermilab (ha! the page still says to contact Fred — he isn’t gone yet!!). Well worth looking through!



1. AJ - June 21, 2008

I just saw Fred retired too, I interned for him several years… He was great at what he did. He always aimed for top quality products and it shows – I was always impressed by that. And you’re correct about the Fermilab family, the VMS team especially, was and is very tight – something Fred helped foster. Sad to see him go, but I’m sure he more than earned his retirement.

You can get to him via his website I bet…



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