Welcoming community leaders

Fermilab Director
Nigel Lockyer

Fermilab has long enjoyed a strong and positive relationship with the local community. Nevertheless, we are always looking for new ways to strengthen that relationship.

Last Tuesday night, we invited about a hundred leaders from our local community to the laboratory for an event called the Future of Fermilab Address and Reception. Attendees included the mayors of Warrenville and Batavia, aldermen, other elected officials from many of the lab’s neighboring towns and counties, school board members, educators from local schools and universities, and representatives from companies throughout Chicagoland.

We discussed the exciting times ahead for the lab. We told them about our NOvA experiment, which is now taking data, and about our plans for hosting a fully international long-baseline neutrino facility that will send neutrinos to Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead, South Dakota. We highlighted our muon experiments, Muon g-2 and Mu2e; our work with dark energy and dark matter; and our plans for the Illinois Accelerator Research Center, opening summer 2015. We gave them every reason that we are optimistic and excited about the future of Fermilab.

We shared information about the Lederman Science Center, our educational outreach programs, and our work with teachers and students across our local area. We introduced them to our ecological efforts, our Arts and Lecture Series, and our wildly popular herd of bison.

The community was extremely engaged during the lecture portion of the night and asked insightful questions — so many that we did not have time to answer all of them. During the reception that followed, connections were forged with the scientists and staff members in attendance. The new ROC West control room was open, and the shifters taking data on their experiments made the most of the opportunity to explain the physics of neutrinos and muons. The people I talked with were all inquisitive and eager to hear more about what Fermilab does and how they can be a part of it.

Our guests left Tuesday night better informed about the lab, its research and our plans for the future. The Fermilab staff once again learned of the great relationship with our local community and their appreciation for Fermilab. Thank you to everyone who made the evening successful, and a special thanks to Michael Weis, our Fermi Site Office manager, for his introductory remarks and to Mark Bollinger, deputy site manager, for explaining the role of the site office to the guests. It was a most enjoyable evening. Let’s do it again next year.

Fermilab Director Nigel Lockyer takes a question from a guest during the Future of Fermilab address. Photo: Cindy Arnold
Representatives from Fermilab’s neighboring communities mingle with Fermilab staff in ROC West to learn about the laboratory’s scientific programs. Photo: Cindy Arnold
Bruce Mueller of Motorola Solutions, left, discusses the Fermilab neutrino program with scientists Marianette Wospakrik (second from left), Rob Fine (second from right) and Anne Norrick (far right). Photo: Cindy Arnold