It’s been a blur of long days and fast weeks since I joined the Fermilab team … and that was only two weeks ago! I greatly appreciate the warm welcome extended by everyone I’ve met and your patience with my (seemingly) endless questions, all of which have helped me get a much better appreciation of the experiments and initiatives underway at the lab. Having the opportunity to observe the LBNF/DUNE CD-1R review and meet so many members of the Fermilab and DOE international team was also invaluable.
I’ve been having a lot of fun explaining to my family what my new role at Fermilab will be. They quickly understand that I’ll be involved in a large project, which I further explain will provide a platform for the next couple of decades for an international collaboration of scientists to extend our understanding of neutrinos. Their eyebrows generally go straight up at this point. Then I segue into my hopefully improving explanation of what neutrinos are: one of the most abundant and ubiquitous particles in the universe … billions passing through their body every second … poorly understood, etc. Their eyebrows get a bit furrowed at this point, until I assure them that my job will be to support the physicists that are doing the actual science. My role will be to work to establish and maintain connections between our international partners, coordinate and manage the construction project, and ensure that safety, quality, and budget objectives are met on schedule.
The next few months will be busy, obtaining final approval of the CD-1R review from DOE while simultaneously preparing for the CD-3A review and seeking the approval that will allow us to start construction for the conventional facilities of the LBNF far detector site at the Sanford Underground Research Facility in South Dakota. I feel extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to work with an extraordinary team assembled by Jim Strait and Elaine McCluskey and their international colleagues at CERN and around the world who, along with many others, have worked tirelessly to advance the overall project to this point.
Thanks to everyone, again, for making me feel so welcome. I’m excited about the work we have ahead and looking forward to many fast weeks!
Chris Mossey is the deputy director for LBNF.