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August 17, 2010

Love the job you do...


... and be proud of your past.
Back in 2005 I posted something here about my happiness for having decided to come back to CERN and help to make those two bloody beams run inside the LHC.
2010 will finish soon and I am not working for the LHC anymore. However, the two beams run now at the speed of light along those 27 kilometers that I know so well. Very few things make me happier than remembering from time to time that I had something to do with that.
ITER is the most ambitious, risky and complex scientific project ever envisaged by the human being. Even the Apollo looks simple next to this huge tokamak. More than half of the population on this planet is contributing with their taxes to make the dream of unlimited and clean energy possible. We are a team with more than 30 different nationalities working together from eight different sites in the world. And we know we will manage. It's the most exciting project in which a nuclear engineer like me can be involved. I am the responsible of a beautiful system, I learn, I decide, I spend money and I get to travel a lot. I meet every day people much more experienced and wiser than me who are willing to teach me everything they know. I have a nice salary, a nice flat and a nice life...


I discover myself thinking on those 27 kilometers, and the people who made it possible. All of them great professionals, some of them amazing colleagues, a bouch of them very good friends. And I miss them.
I miss the dicussions, the fights, the long morning shifts, the long evening shifts, the long (and exciting) night shifts. The redundant meetings, the disapointments, the fears, the alarms, the patrols, the twenty phone calls per hour, the wake up calls at 4 am with a woman voice asking you about hotness with your girlfriend waking up next to you, the 24/7, the pride, the sadness, the worries, the familiar stress, the long walks, the boring rides, the patrols again...
and, above all, the dream team. Those friends who shared it with you, the commissioning guys.
We were the best.
I just put a picture of us next to my desk at ITER. When the hard times come (we had some already this year and more are about to come) it helps to remind me that we are doing this for a reason. Not only for solving the energy problem once forever but also to prove to ourselves that there is hope.
Because if mankind is able to do things like the LHC, things like ITER... if we manage to show to the world that the hardest technical barriers can be broken and the most complex intercultural problems between Men can be solved, everything is possible.
If we manage to success in these endeavours, we dont need to worry about our future, if we can do them we can do everything.

It started one morning in September 2008, I was there, and I did it with my friends.
I miss you guys.

Posted by antonio at 10:56 PM | Comments (0)