One minute with Farah Fahim, Electrical Engineer

How long have you worked at Fermilab?

I’ve been here seven and a half years. I started in July 2009.

What do you do here at Fermilab?

I design application specific integrated circuits. Basically, I create electronics for detectors. You can’t just buy those electronics off the shelf. Most detector electronics need to survive in harsh environments. There could be radiation or extreme temperatures, and that means the electronics have to be tough enough to withstand it and still perform admirably often for the whole lifespan of an experiment. So we make them by harnessing technology being developed at a rapid pace for the consumer goods market – mainly mobile phones – and adapting them to our purpose.

“I wanted to develop and design analog integrated circuits.”

How did you get into this kind of work?

I did my basic degree in telecommunication and my master’s in analog circuit design. At that point it seemed natural to go into the mobile phone industry, but most of the positions I interviewed for were mainly focused on setting up networks and using existing technology instead of developing it.

I wanted to develop and design analog integrated circuits. I got into that when I started as a graduate engineer at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in the UK.

Click here for the full interview.