Building the future

Tim Meyer

Tim Meyer

Most people know two things about Fermilab: (1) A lot of really good scientists work here, and (2) the site is really big with buildings scattered everywhere. But two weeks ago, Fermilab achieved a victory that expands that basic story — the lab has a crucial engineering component, and the future of our site will bring more of our staff and our facilities closer together.

While the LBNF and DUNE projects were completing a successful DOE CD-1 review, the Integrated Engineering Research (IER) Center team was quietly receiving CD-0 approval of its own. CD-0 establishes mission need for IER and is the first step in realizing Fermilab’s central campus concept described in the Fermilab Campus Master Plan.

A central campus will be necessary to host, most importantly, the set of neutrino programs recommended by P5. The approval milestone demonstrates the strong commitment of the Office of Science and Office of High Energy Physics to actively prepare for Fermilab’s future and is evidence to our international partners that DOE is serious about moving forward quickly.

The IER will co-locate selected engineering and technical staff from across the Fermilab site in a new building adjacent to the east side of Wilson Hall. The new center will complement ongoing and planned renovations of Wilson Hall by establishing a central campus that will anchor the lab. Groups working on key projects will be in close proximity to one another, improving operational efficiency and collaboration. This IER will also offer technical and engineering staff an environment for interdisciplinary collaboration necessary to establish an international neutrino program and support other HEP science opportunities detailed in the P5 report. On the east side of Wilson Hall and along the old Tevatron ring, the IER will play a role in bringing together the central campus with the adjacent technical campus.

The future Integrated Engineering Research Center, scheduled to break ground in 2018, will be built just east of Wilson Hall.

The future Integrated Engineering Research Center, scheduled to break ground in 2018, will be built just east of Wilson Hall.

The laboratory has been under way with preconceptual design and space programming for IER to identify the requirements for and parameters of the building, including which specific functions can be relocated. Based on a target for CD-1 in FY16, the laboratory will then proceed with conceptual design. If all goes as planned, we could be breaking ground on the $85 million project in FY18 with funding through the DOE Science Laboratory Infrastructure program.

Many thanks are in order for achieving IER’s CD-0 approval, most notably to the DOE Office of Science (Patricia Dehmer, Stephanie Short, Jim Siegrist, Mike Weis and their teams) and the Fermilab team, including Randy Ortgiesen, head of Fermilab’s Office of Campus Strategy and Readiness; Erik Gottschalk, chair of the IER task force; the entire IER task force; Gary Van Zandbergen, Fermilab campus architect; Kate Sienkiewicz, IER project manager; Mike Lindgren, Fermilab’s chief project officer; and the FESS architectural and engineering team.

Stay tuned as we continue to work toward transforming the Fermilab campus!