Aligning our campus strategy and scientific mission

Randy Ortgiesen

In one form or another, most lab personnel have heard of the Fermilab Campus Master Plan. It proposes to consolidate similar functions, centralize geographically disperse facilities and modernize buildings and infrastructure to operate more efficiently. The original master plan was completed in July 2013 to prepare for the laboratory’s long-term future as America’s particle physics laboratory.

Not known at the time of the master plan’s development was that the DOE Laboratory Operations Board would soon assess the campus infrastructure of all Office of Science laboratories. That process is currently under way and, for the first time, requests condition assessments that consider obsolescence and geographic proximity of lab buildings as part of mission readiness. This was a welcome request, and it served to strengthen and validate the Fermilab Campus Master Plan. Also for the first time, DOE has requested separate campus strategy briefings as part of the annual planning process for all laboratories. During the Fermilab briefing, plans for mitigating gaps in laboratory facilities and infrastructure, satisfying the science core capabilities, will be presented.

Additionally, the recent Particle Physics Project Prioritization Panel has recommended both the continuation of several projects already in progress at Fermilab and the addition of several new projects. This is welcome news and helps us relate the development of the campus strategy directly to the facilities and infrastructure requirements necessary to bring all of this to fruition over the next decade.

I’ll soon have the privilege to meet at DOE headquarters with Fermilab management, the DOE Fermi Site Office and the Office of High Energy Physics to present this exciting plan for the future. At this meeting we will have the opportunity to discuss in detail how the concepts proposed under the Fermilab Campus Master Plan, in combination with the P5 plan for Fermilab’s future, leads to a campus strategy. A strategy for developing the Central and Technical campuses, which will bring all the lab’s resources together, will be critical to our success not only in continuing operations of the existing scientific complex, but also to prepare for the new projects.

This is certainly an exciting time and one that will demand strong leadership, disciplined execution and effective communication.