Steve Holmes to focus on Project X, laboratory seeks new associate director
The increasing momentum behind the proposed Project X accelerator facility has swept Steve Holmes into a new position at Fermilab and put in motion the search for a new associate director.
Holmes is beginning the transition out of the post of associate laboratory director for accelerators, which he has held for the past decade, so that he can focus solely on Project X. He has been acting project manager for Project X since August 2008, but could rarely dedicate more than 15 percent of his time to the development effort of the high-intensity proton facility.
“I’ve been here a long time and frankly, the lab could probably benefit from new blood in this office,” Holmes said. “I would like to dedicate myself full time to Project X. I think that is the most important thing I can do for the lab right now.”
To the Project X team he brings project management experience shepherding the Main Injector to completion. He has had a strong role in the evolution of Project X since its 2004 inception and has put together a strong team, including outside collaborators. During the past year, the team has generated two initial configuration options and cost estimates, as well as initial concepts of how Project X would further a future muon collider. He is hopeful the project will receive the first stage of DOE approval, Critical Decision-0, by the end of FY2010.
“I don’t think the US can have a world-leading, sustainable, competitive particle physics program based solely on overseas accelerators,” Holmes said. “When we build Project X, it will form the basis of a world-leading program for 30 years.”
Holmes will handle the day-to-day work of Project X, including guiding it through the DOE requirements for approval and construction.
“Project X would be an extraordinary machine at the intensity frontier for neutrino, kaon, muon and nuclear physics,” said Fermilab Director Pier Oddone. “It would develop the technologies to support a future global facility at the energy frontier. We are fortunate that Steve will lead Project X on the path forward. He has experience in leading large accelerator projects successfully, and he has repeatedly proven his ability to build collaborations and large-scale projects.”
Holmes will work closely with his replacement, who will hold management and oversight responsibilities for all Fermilab accelerator operations, accelerator science and technology R&D, and construction support for new accelerator facilities. In addition his replacement will serve as line manager for the Accelerator Division, Technical Division and Accelerator Physics Center.
The associate director for accelerators plays a central role in developing and implementing the strategy for future development of the accelerator complex at Fermilab and aligning this strategy within an international context.
-- Tona Kunz