by Polly Bennett. Published: 20 January 2012

Two prominent ALICE collaborators from the CERN team, Lennart Jirden and Diego Perini, have recently moved on to other responsibilities. Diego Perini acted as the project engineer of ALICE during the last 10 years, and in addition to following the detector construction he built the major parts of the ALICE infrastructure with the help of the Point 2 workshop. We wish him all the best for his new activities! – Werner Riegler

After some years making magnets I had the chance to take part in the design and integration of a big experiment. To be honest I have never understood why Chris and Lars trusted me: I had never worked with large structures or detectors before landing in ALICE.

Diego Perini

Diego Perini (top right) and co-workers at the end of the construction of the Space Frame

As an engineer I was lucky to arrive at the right time. In 2001 ALICE was well developed in terms of physics and simulations and it was the moment to build all the support structures and the Absorbers. The main job was to optimize production techniques and tolerances, and to keep parts at a reasonable cost while still maintaining acceptable performance. Other important issues were how to install all the components and to respect the planning. That was a very interesting job. Computing the structures, following the production of the drawings, writing the specifications, obtaining good offers and checking the construction and installation was extremely interesting for me. Professionally I have learnt a lot.

Another nice thing I want to mention is life at point 2 during the construction and installation. The workshop was equipped with old machines, some of them almost obsolete. Despite this we could put together the Absorbers and produce an enormous amount of parts and installation tools. This was due to the good will and professionalism of the Chinese, Pakistani, Russian and Armenian friends working there together with our CERN technicians.

Finally I want to thank everybody for the pleasant working environment and the fruitful collaboration during all these years. Now it is so nice to see the plots of particles flying around in the detector knowing that they are not simulations but real particles! I am very proud to have given a little contribution to all this.