Director's Corner Archive

Every Tuesday, a new Fermilab Director's Corner appears in Fermilab Today, Fermilab's daily email publication for employees, users and subscribers.

Fermilab Director's Corner Archive – 2015

Nov. 19, 2015
A new era for Fermilab international relations

You may have heard LBNF/DUNE described as "the first truly international megascience project hosted by DOE in the United States." And you may have (rightly) wondered: What does this really mean? What makes LBNF/DUNE different?

The key differences are the model and the scale for international partnership. The historic model was for the host laboratory — Fermilab — to make key initial decisions about what type of accelerator and detector to build and then to invite international partners to join in finalizing and executing the vision and doing great science. With LBNF/DUNE, the global community came together to design the project internationally right from the start.

June 30, 2015
Physics Advisory Committee

What do CERN director general designate Fabiola Gianotti, former CMS spokesperson Sir Tejinder Virdee and Berkeley Lab Physics Division head Natalie Roe all have in common? They are all former members of the Fermilab Physics Advisory Committee. Since prehistoric times, the PAC has been the primary mechanism for Fermilab directors to solicit advice on the Fermilab science program from leading experts of the global particle physics community. We are very fortunate that the best and the brightest of our field are willing to travel long distances to devote substantial amounts of time and energy to helping us.

June 16, 2015
Users Meeting 2015

Every June, scientists from around the world come to Fermilab for our annual Users Meeting. Last week almost 500 scientists attended the 48th such meeting, including many students and postdocs who are spending a significant portion of their summer here at Fermilab to do research.

June 2, 2015
Run 2 of the LHC

This week, the eyes of the high-energy physics world are on CERN as the LHC experiments prepare to take their first Run 2 data. After a successful more-than-two-year shutdown for maintenance and upgrades, the first beams recirculated in the LHC on Easter Sunday, and test collisions at a new record energy of 13 TeV took place two weeks ago. The final milestone of the LHC restart will be the start of physics data taking, marking the beginning of another intense period for the LHC experiments' 10,000 collaborators.

May 5, 2015
A new board is on board

As you know, Fermilab is a U.S. Department of Energy laboratory managed under contract by Fermi Research Alliance LLC. FRA combines the strengths of the University of Chicago and the Universities Research Association to provide oversight, guidance and support for Fermilab. The FRA Board of Directors has undergone a recent evolution, and I had the pleasure of participating in their recent meeting in April.

April 14, 2015
NOvA, Pepin Carolan earn Department of Energy recognition

The NOvA project and its leadership have been recognized by the Department of Energy with two prestigious awards: The NOvA project received the Secretary of Energy's Award of Excellence, and Pepin Carolan of the Fermilab Site Office earned the Federal Project Director of the Year award. Both awards were presented by DOE Director of Management and Administration Ingrid Kolb, on behalf of DOE Secretary Moniz, at the annual DOE Project and Acquisition Management Workshop in Washington, D.C., in March.

March 31, 2015
Welcome, DUNE

Significant progress has been made on the new international neutrino collaboration. Last week, scientists from 148 institutions around the world chose DUNE (Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment) as the name of the experiment that will use the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility (LBNF) neutrino beam. And, the group elected André Rubbia, ETH Zurich, and Mark Thomson, University of Cambridge, as the collaboration's spokespeople. Congratulations to both André and Mark.

March 3, 2015
Reviews help our plans for great science

Reviews are a part of our everyday life at Fermilab. We executed over 250 internal and external reviews, assessments and inspections in 2014. That's almost one for every business day of the year. Perhaps this number is not surprising to many of you. Although a significant burden on the lab staff, reviews help us ensure that we are carrying out our science efficiently and safely. Reviews often include outside experts, giving us an opportunity to "learn from the best." And they provide regularly scheduled opportunities for us to hone our strategic planning at all levels, from individual offices to projects to the lab as a whole.

Feb. 3, 2015
Electron neutrinos from supernovae

Neutrino research has the potential to lead to discoveries that rival the observation of the Higgs boson. And just as with the successful search for the Higgs, the question of the nature of neutrinos is being investigated by different teams using different methods.

Here at Fermilab we are very familiar with one method — the study of neutrinos created from high-power particle accelerators. But at last month's ELBNF collaboration meeting, Duke University Professor Kate Scholberg gave a fascinating introduction to the future use of a large, deep underground liquid-argon detector (currently referred to as ELBNF) to study neutrinos from supernovae in our galaxy. In Scholberg's words:

Jan. 20, 2015
Lab-Corps pilot launches today

Fermilab encourages an environment and culture that fosters creativity, innovation and excellence. Together we will continue to produce great science in a global environment and contribute to the economic well-being of our nation, which includes particle physics-based real-world applications.

Later today, the Lab-Corps pilot will launch. Sponsored by the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Lab-Corps is a program that helps develop the entrepreneurial skills of inventors at the laboratory. Based on the successful I-Corps program of the National Science Foundation, Lab-Corps can help highly trained technical experts learn some of the softer skills that are needed to take a great technical idea and transition it into a commercial product or service. We have partnered with Argonne National Laboratory and the Chicago Innovation Exchange to bring this program to Fermilab.

Jan. 6, 2015
A focused (new) year

Happy new year, everyone. Thanks to all those who "enjoyed" working over the holidays to keep lab operations running smoothly, the accelerator complex running, and the experiments taking data. Quiet is good when you are an experimenter. Particular kudos go to the accelerator team, who not only kept the machines up and running but began slip stacking tests in the Recycler that will pave the way toward ever higher beam power, hopefully 400 kilowatts, in 2015. For those who took some time off to rest and recharge, welcome back.

As we begin 2015, this is an opportune time to remind ourselves of our highest priorities, which are based on the 10-year prioritized P5 recommendations that were released in May:

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