Two take on new leadership roles on U.S. CMS program

Lothar Bauerdick
Vivian O’Dell

In March, the Large Hadron Collider will start up again, colliding particles at unprecedented high energies and opening up new worlds of discovery.

In preparation for the LHC’s restart, the U.S. CMS group (consisting of the roughly 1,000 U.S. scientists working on the CMS experiment) has announced a new leadership team, including one new position.

Patricia McBride, recent U.S. CMS operations program manager, moved to become the head of Fermilab’s Particle Physics Division last year. Lothar Bauerdick, who was deputy head of Fermilab’s Scientific Computing Division and in charge of U.S. CMS Software and Computing, replaced McBride as the new U.S. CMS operations program manager. Vivian O’Dell, who was earlier in charge of U.S. CMS Detector Operations, has assumed the newly created position of U.S. CMS Phase II upgrade project manager. Both Bauerdick and O’Dell assumed their new positions the first week in January.

As operations program manager, Bauerdick oversees approximately 50 Fermilab employees, more than 100 university personnel involved directly with the U.S. CMS program, and many others who participate in some way in U.S. CMS.

“It is a very exciting time for me, working with the nearly 1,000 people involved in U.S. CMS across some 50 U.S. institutions,” Bauerdick said.

In her new position, O’Dell will lead the U.S. contributions to the Phase II upgrade for CMS, to ready the CMS detector for high-luminosity collisions beginning in 2025. The LHC is expected to collect the bulk of its data, about 3,000 inverse femtobarns, in about 10 years.

Of the newly created position, O’Dell said, “It was a decision by the director that this was an important enough project that we need someone to be paying attention now. And he is absolutely right.”

O’Dell says that she expects to be heavily involved with consulting partners, especially university colleagues.

“I will be traveling to the universities and listening to my university colleagues’ thoughts about contributing to the Phase II upgrade and what kind of expertise they want to develop,” O’Dell said.

Bauerdick‘s immediate priority is readying the whole team for the restart of LHC operations in the spring.

“Both Fermilab’s Computing and Particle Physics divisions are contributing vital resources to the CMS experiment,” he said.

“This year the LHC is going to collide protons at 13 TeV, which is the new energy frontier after the previous 8 TeV LHC run, and a huge discovery opportunity,” Bauerdick said. “We found the Higgs boson in the last run, and we think there must be some new physics around the corner. We get a glimpse around that corner this year.”

Rich Blaustein