Joseph Kant Retires after 38 years in Berkeley Physics

Friday, June 29, 2018

Joseph Kant, Principal Lab Mechanic for the Physics Student Machine Shop has retired after a remarkable 38 years. 

Joseph first started machining at the age of 15 as a student in Kiev, Russia, where he graduated from a machinist engineering program before moving to Italy.  A short time later he relocated to the United States and began working with various tool and die shops in the Bay Area before joining Berkeley Physics in the main Physics R&D Machine Shop in 1980, at the age of 27. There he built the equipment for various research groups. He recalls one Project in particular, for Professor Buford Price, which was memorable: 

“…it was a large tube, filled with equipment that was supposed go on a NASA flight to discover and collect anti-matter particles - it was overwhelming to be part of a group on the front lines of discoveries.”

In 1990 Joseph took over the Student Shop and found that it was the most enjoyable work he had ever done. Over the years he has taken every opportunity to upgrade the equipment for the students, and notes that special efforts have been made on behalf of the Shop recently.

“I have to thank Warner (Carlisle) for his efforts in assisting me”, he says. “In the last two years we have two brand new lathes and many other machines have been replaced. We also have a new edition 3D Printer, which is becoming more popular and useful by the day, and we have 20 fully trained students who can use the Printer on their own.”

Students, faculty and staff who have worked directly with Joseph have known his kind nature and willingness to help. We are truly grateful to him for his many years of outstanding service to Berkeley Physics, and we wish him a wonderful retirement.