From Neutrino Division Head Steve Brice: Neutrino Division’s top five

Steve Brice

The Neutrino Division held an all-hands meeting on Tuesday, May 29. In addition to hearing updates on all of our major construction projects, including LBNF/DUNE, ProtoDUNE, ICARUS and SBND, we discussed the impending move to the 13th floor of Wilson Hall, reviewed the lab’s Statement of Community Standards and walked through some of our latest results, which will be presented at the Neutrino 2018 conference in Heidelberg next week.

1. Safety is paramount. As we embark on the extraordinarily complex construction of LBNF/DUNE in South Dakota and continue our work on the ICARUS building and vessel, there will be a significant amount of attention going into making sure everyone stays safe. These are high-profile undertakings, meaning they will have cost and schedule pressures, but we do not compromise safety for anything.

2. LBNF/DUNE is the Neutrino Division’s top priority. Hosting this massive international project is a labwide effort, but for us, it will be virtually all we are doing by the mid-2020s. Most of our new initiatives, like the Integrated Engineering and Research Center, will key off of LBNF/DUNE and support it. That means that when we get requests for work on LBNF/DUNE, we satisfy those requests first.

3. Our many construction projects are moving along nicely. By the end of June, the single-phase ProtoDUNE detector will be sealed up and ready for commissioning. By the same time, the ICARUS cold vessels will be ready to be moved into the building, and the building will be ready to receive them. Components for SBND will be assembled later this year. The Integrated Engineering and Research Center is going ahead, and the neutrino piece of this facility will be where parts for the DUNE near detector are constructed, brought together and integrated before going underground.

4. Our focus should be on the international nature of the laboratory. I believe we will look back on FY18 as the year when LBNF/DUNE really launched, with no turning back, thanks to the broad support the project has received. While Fermilab has always been an international lab, it’s about to become international on a scale and with a scope that we haven’t seen before, so we should be paying attention to how well we are fulfilling the role of international hosts. Are we behaving in any way that is inadvertently not helping the international presence we want to provide? We need to repeatedly ask ourselves this question.

5. The Fermilab neutrino experiments are about to make a strong showing at Neutrino 2018. NOvA, MicroBooNE, MiniBooNE, MINOS+ and MINERvA will all present new results in Heidelberg, and DUNE and Fermilab’s short-baseline neutrino program will give presentations. This is the culmination of years of hard work from everyone in this division and everyone at the lab, and with all of the great projects on the horizon, the present is bright, but the future is even brighter.