May 2017
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Also In This Issue

‘I’ve Lived the Dream’
IST Chilia Retires after
50-year IBEW Career read_more

A Selfless Act
Would you sacrifice an organ for a stranger? read_more

Stayin' Alive
Skill and training of IBEW members save a life read_more

'We Did a Good Job'
Trump bilks IBEW
signatory contractor read_more

Charting History
A local union is born read_more

North of 49°
'We're Not There Yet.'
IBEW Canada Commits
to Gender Parity read_more

Au nord du 49° parallèle
« On n'est pas encore rendu là. » La FIOE s'engage à assurer la parité entre les femmes et les hommes read_more







  Cover Photo

Nuclear Physics Gets a Boost from the IBEW

Scientists from across the globe may soon be uncovering the secrets of the universe, and they'll have hundreds of IBEW members to thank.

That's because IBEW electricians from at least seven local unions in Michigan and half a dozen signatory contractors have spent the last three years building the infrastructure for the world's most advanced rare isotope accelerator, a powerful scientific instrument designed to provide researchers with access to short-lived atomic particles that are no longer found on earth.

Inside wiremen from Lansing, Mich., Local 665 and outside linemen from Grand Rapids, Mich., Local 876 played critical roles in preparing the 227,000-square-foot facility on Michigan State University's campus, which was handed over for installation of the scientific equipment more than two months early at the end of March.

"This was a complete custom job," said Local 665 member and general foreman for Superior Electric, Daren Bebee, who has been on the job at the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams since 2014. "A lot of what we did here had never been done before, or it had been done so infrequently that I like to say we're now masters of a part of our trade that we'll probably never use again."

That's because the FRIB, a $730 million partnership between Michigan State and the U.S. Department of Energy, really is one of a kind. When it's fully functional, expected in 2022, scientists will be able to direct a beam of atomic nuclei at half the speed of light onto a target, where the resulting impact will spawn the types of rare isotopes they hope to study. The resulting research could impact everything from medicine to the next generation of nuclear reactors and the safe disposal of nuclear waste.

To achieve those results, the FRIB needs power, and lots of it. At its peak, the facility will draw 25 megawatts of power, nearly one-third of the total power consumption of Michigan State's 1,000-acre campus. That's where the members of Local 876 came in. Getting that much power into one building required new substations and switchyards and a massive underground effort to run cabling across campus.

Jeremy Dalstra, the general foreman for Kent Power's line-side operation, said his crew of 13 worked for more than three months installing a double circuit of 4-inch diameter 138 kilovolt underground cable from the new substations to the FRIB. Local 876 member Chris Patterson, who served as general foreman for signatory contractor MJ Electric, said his crew worked 12-hour shifts nearly every day for two months installing the switchyard for the new substation. Members at Highdecker Electric were responsible for much of the conduit work on campus. read_more

  Local Lines

Officers Column Stephenson: The IBEW's Giving Spirit read_more
Chilia: See You on the
Next Big One read_more

TransitionsKenneth W. Cooper;
Frank J. Furco;
Brian Malloy;
James L. Hunter;
Donald A. Colston;
Edward Collins Jr.;
Ralph Merriweather;
Donald Woolridge read_more

PoliticsIn Wisconsin, Bill to Limit PLAs is Another Shot
at Labor read_more

CircuitsKansas Members Help Vets, Change a Red State's Mind About Unions;
Boston Local Hosts Second Annual Girls in Trades Conference;
Career Growth Through Higher Education;
Denver Local 111 Float Lights Up St. Patrick's Day Parade read_more

Letters'One of the Boys' Remembered;
Answering the Call;
Extending our Reach read_more

In MemoriamMarch 2017 read_more

Who We AreHouston Electrician Rides Bike to Honor Son,
Help Others read_more


Change of Address