Fermilab Today Monday, December 17, 2007

AD head Roger Dixon honored with APS Fellowship

AD head Roger Dixon was elected an APS Fellow in late November.

Roger Dixon has long been a leader at Fermilab. Now he has been named a leader in his field.

Late last month, Dixon was elected an American Physical Society Fellow in the Division of Particles & Fields, an honor only bestowed annually to one-half of 1 percent of the APS total membership. Dixon was elected to the honor for his leadership of the Tevatron II Run luminosity upgrade program and his leadership in the construction and initial operation of the Cryogenic Dark Matter Search.

"This really makes it clear to me that I've been extremely fortunate from graduate school on to work with such exceptional people," Dixon said. "On CDMS and Run II, the people I've worked with were incredibly talented and extremely dedicated."

Two groups of those people feel the same way about him. Dixon's efforts to boost the success of the Tevatron have helped to increase the success of both the CDF and DZero detectors.

"I am very pleased to see such a thoughtful physicist recognized with this honor. Roger's leadership of the Accelerator Division has had a tremendous positive impact on the CDF experiment," said CDF co-spokesperson Rob Roser.

Dixon assumed leadership of the Accelerator Division in 2003. Under his leadership, the Tevatron improved from averaging three inverse picobarns of integrated luminosity per week to 35.

"Roger went through many challenging and exciting projects, leading divisions and experiments and the outcome was always scientific success," said DZero co-spokesman Dmitri Denisov. "In early 2000's the Tevatron complex and the laboratory were struggling with getting Tevatron luminosity up to design goals. It was Roger who stepped up to lead the Accelerator Division and push the Tevatron to remarkable performance."

Denisov said he's always respected Dixon's quick, professional manner. As a newly minted postdoc he fondly recalled meeting Dixon. Dixon was DZero Department head, Denisov said, and I was looking for a display. He pointed to the corner of his office and said "take it and get to work."

Steve Holmes, associate director for accelerators, said that Dixon's honor is well-deserved.

"He's provided tremendous leadership in leading the Tevatron Run II, but also throughout his career, making significant contributions to both DZero and CDMS among other accomplishments," Holmes said.

Dixon began his career in the Beam Switchyard Group in 1977. He eventually worked his way up through various departments and divisions, playing an integral role in the construction of both the CDMS experiment and the DZero detector.

Dixon, who has a very behind-the-scenes leadership philosophy, feels that too much attention mitigates his leadership style.

"This works better when I'm not out in front getting all the glory," Dixon said. "I want the people in the trenches getting the credit they deserve."

This is the second time that Dixon was a candidate for nomination. The first time, he kindly asked then-director Mike Witherell to refrain. This time, the nominators did not consult him.

--Rhianna Wisniewski

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