Fermilab’s Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility and Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment break new ground in many ways. Together, they make up the first international megascience experiment hosted by a U.S. Department of Energy laboratory. Using cutting-edge neutrino detection technology at a scale never before attempted, scientists will send a beam of neutrinos to a detector farther away than any previous experiment. And it represents the largest construction project to date that Fermilab will manage across multiple U.S. states, with infrastructure at Fermilab’s Illinois site and in space leased by Fermilab at the Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead, South Dakota.
To support Fermilab services provided for LBNF, DUNE and other DOE-funded experiments that will operate at Sanford Lab, Fermilab has established a new organizational unit there and hired South Dakota native Patrick Weber to lead it.
Weber, who will take on the role of head of Fermilab’s South Dakota Services Division on June 11, currently serves as policy advisor to South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard. As part of his broad portfolio within the governor’s office, Weber has worked with the South Dakota Science and Technology Authority that operates Sanford Lab.
“Two of the things I’ve loved best about being in the governor’s office are getting to confront a wide range of issues and being involved with SDSTA and DUNE,” Weber said. “Working for Fermilab, I look forward to addressing a different, but still wide, range of issues and focusing on a project that I’m genuinely passionate about.”
Weber has visited Sanford Lab, Fermilab and the CERN laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland, another key partner in LBNF/DUNE.
“The challenges of an international project of this scope are unprecedented in the United States, and I look forward to working with our global partners to support the DUNE experiment that will help us understand neutrinos and the nature of matter in the universe,” Weber said.
As head of Fermilab’s South Dakota Services Division, Weber will work to maintain a strong partnership with Sanford Lab while providing the scientists and engineers working in South Dakota on LBNF/DUNE with the same operational and support services they would enjoy at Fermilab’s main site in Illinois.
“Patrick’s experience in South Dakota government and education and his expertise in navigating challenging issues across a wide range of stakeholders will be a real asset to Fermilab and to LBNF/DUNE in the years ahead,” said Fermilab Deputy Director for LBNF Chris Mossey. “We are excited to have him joining the team, supporting Fermilab activities and the construction project in South Dakota, and strengthening our partnerships with SDSTA, SURF and the state of South Dakota.”
In addition to his work with SDSTA, Weber served as Governor Daugaard’s liaison to the South Dakota Department of Education, Corrections, Housing, and Labor and Regulation. Prior to his time in the governor’s office, Weber served for three years as a member of the South Dakota Board of Regents, which oversees all six of the state’s public universities, serving more than 36,000 students. Weber holds a law degree from the University of South Dakota School of Law and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from South Dakota State University.