Yesterday morning, staff who work in the Chief Operating Officer organization gathered in Ramsey Auditorium for our periodic “what’s happening at the lab” meeting. Over a whirlwind 60 minutes we covered the lab’s priorities and the great work happening across our organization. Since I gave the guest speakers a limit of five slides and 60 seconds each to present them, here are my five “top takeaways,” each presented in less than 60 seconds or 100 words.
- The President released his FY2017 budget request to Congress on Feb. 9. While this is a request and not the lab’s final funding, it certainly sets a positive tone. In the second year of executing the P5 plan, the Office of Science High Energy Physics and Fermilab continue to be well supported. In fact, the requested HEP funding compared to last year’s request is the third-highest percentage increase in the Office of Science. And the request for Fermilab project funding is up 9.5 percent over last year, thanks to the great progress demonstrated by LBNF/DUNE.
- As Nigel stated in his Feb. 1 all-hands message, “…Fermilab must tap into more and more diverse communities to find the best people to join our team.” While we are in the early days of analysis and data examination, it’s clear that we fail to select diverse candidates despite, in some cases, having diverse applicant pools. So we (and we means everyone at the lab) need to figure out how to improve. With WDRS, we’re looking at new and better ways to recruit and retain, leverage our outreach and education programs, and further the diversity and inclusion conversation.
- What is a patent? Aaron Sauers from the Office of Partnerships and Technology Transfer explained that a patent is similar to a publication and that it teaches others about your invention. A patent ensures that your great idea is available for future generations and makes certain that you are credited for that idea. If you happen to see Aaron and would like more information about the importance of patents, ask him to tell you the story about Richard Feynman and nuclear power!
- The Facilities Engineering Services Section is busy modernizing the lab’s infrastructure in preparation for the next 50 years. The Integrated Engineering Research Center continues to progress, with a CD-1 review planned for this fall. With $9 million in Science Laboratory Infrastructure funding, Wilson Hall renovation work will begin this summer, starting with the 13th floor. Replacement of the Master Substation is under way, and the industrial cooling water work is progressing well. Many other projects throughout the site continue to keep our FESS team on the go.
- And last but certainly not least, Nigel’s recipe for success at Fermilab is “everything must shine and everything must align.” This means that all projects must stay on schedule and within budget, we must continue to deliver top quality science, excellent operations and administration are necessities, we must stay focused on safety, and we must foster a diverse workforce. It also means that we all must align with the lab priorities and strategy; DOE, the Office of Science, OHEP and Fermilab must stay aligned; the Fermilab senior team must keep alignment; and Fermilab and CERN must remain aligned.
That’s the quick version. If you’d like a copy of the full presentation, please contact Deb Sebastian in the Office of Communication.