From PIP-II Project Director Lia Merminga: PIP-II’s top five

Lia Merminga

We at PIP-II held our first all-hands meeting on Friday, May 11, and I had the privilege of presenting an overview of this exciting accelerator project at this meeting. Now I’d like to share with you — whether you are actively involved in PIP-II or are generally interested in PIP-II’s progress — the top five takeaways from this meeting.

1. PIP-II is the first accelerator project in the United States built with substantial international contributions. This is a point of pride for PIP-II. Our international partners are key to PIP-II’s progress, and we are actively pursuing opportunities where partners in India, Italy, UK and France can make in-kind contributions to PIP-II. I like to say that collaboration is a contact sport — we have to go to our partners, and they must come to us, for the collaboration to be fruitful. It is not enough to send ideas and email over the international fence, so to speak. When we say “international contributions,” we are talking about partnerships that are mutually beneficial and bear fruit.

2. PIP-II is the heart and soul of Fermilab, critical to the success of the U.S. neutrino program. The PIP-II goals are twofold: to provide powerful and reliable neutrino beams to LBNF/DUNE, which will enhance our understanding of the universe, and to revamp our accelerator complex with state-of-the-art accelerator technology. PIP-II will be an exquisite, modern and flexible accelerator that will supply a powerful and reliable proton beam for neutrino physics and other experiments for many years to come.

3. Priority 1 for PIP-II is to get ready for the CD2/3-a review. This review will get a preliminary evaluation in December by the Directorate before DOE conducts its evaluation in February 2019. In preparation for this, we have to prepare our resource-loaded schedule, advance our design work and complete engineering documentation. We have many tasks ahead of us! And fortunately for the lab, we also have an outstanding team that can deliver what we set out to do.

4. PIP-II is now a division in the Fermilab organization. You might have heard that PIP-II is a project — and this is true. But as of March 1, Fermilab has established the PIP-II Division, which reports to the Directorate and hosts the PIP-II project. Creating this organizational unit side-by-side with LBNF indicates the tight synergy between the two projects, as well as DUNE, and the common vision for strong international engagement. The division includes two new departments headed by capable, proven leaders. In addition, we have proposed an international governance plan for all PIP-II partners that take into account the various governmental and institutional organizations involved with PIP-II.

5. You can check us out on the web and keep up with us through posted weekly highlights. Communication is key! We have made over our website, and you can see it at PIP-II followers and fans can keep up with us through our weekly highlights, which are posted on the site.

Lia Merminga is the PIP-II project director.