The strategic plan for U.S. particle physics, captured in the 2014 P5 report, strongly recommended the national pursuit of neutrino physics, calling it one of the five science drivers for particle physics research in the United States.
In recognition of the importance of neutrino science to Fermilab’s mission, Director Nigel Lockyer recently created a new, neutrino-focused directorate-level position: deputy chief research officer overseeing the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment and the Short-Baseline Neutrino Program.
On Jan. 1, scientist Bonnie Fleming stepped into the new role.
Fleming has long been a part of the Fermilab community, having worked on Fermilab experiments since 1997. She is currently co-spokesperson for the MicroBooNE experiment and a professor at Yale University. Previously she served as spokesperson for ArgoNeuT, a neutrino R&D experiment.
“We want people to know that Fermilab is the neutrino capital of the world and that our efforts in neutrino physics are truly international,” Fleming said.
As deputy CRO for the lab’s Short-Baseline Neutrino Program and DUNE, Fleming will work to gather support for Fermilab neutrino experiments from scientists and decision makers around the world, including the neutrino community, Congress, federal agencies and the public.
She takes over part of the previous responsibilities of Greg Bock, who was until last year the laboratory’s sole deputy CRO. With the introduction of Fleming’s position, Bock will be able to focus on other important research areas: LHC, muon experiments and projects, and the cosmic frontier. Both Bock and Fleming work under the supervision of Deputy Director Joe Lykken.
“I am thrilled about Bonnie moving into this new role,” Lykken said. “We worked closely together on the P5 committee, so I am acutely aware of Bonnie’s broad view of particle physics and commitment to the P5 plan.”
Only a few months into the new job, Fleming has already helped establish the Neutrino Physics Center, which she co-coordinates with Fermilab scientists Deborah Harris and Stephen Parke. The NPC will enable researchers from around the world to participate in Fermilab’s expanding neutrino program.
“She is a visionary scientist whose international stature and forward-looking achievements are an inspiration for what we are trying to accomplish more generally with this laboratory,” Lykken said.
Fleming said that carrying out Fermilab’s mission is as much about forming connections as it is about doing excellent science.
“I’m excited to represent neutrino science on behalf of the laboratory,” she said. “It’s a pleasure to be part of making it happen.”