From Chief Operating Officer Tim Meyer: the OCOO’s top five

Tim Meyer

The Office of the Chief Operating Officer held an all-hands meeting on Thursday, June 7. Our theme was “vision without execution is hallucination,” and we discussed the areas and ways where we need to up our game in execution to successfully build (and eventually operate) LBNF/DUNE and PIP-II. We also heard the latest highlights from areas within the Office of the COO including the Office of Partnerships and Technology Transfer, IARC and FESS. Here are the top five takeaways from the meeting:

Work well, work safely. Fermilab is gearing up for a pretty intense summer. With so much going on, we may all be rushing, pressing, and trying to get one more thing done before we go home. We need to take a measured approach: stay focused, stay alert, think things through and talk it over.  It is also often helpful to consider “what must go right?” along with “what can go wrong?” when planning work.

We all are hosting LBNF/DUNE/PIP-II. The entire laboratory, including each and every one of you, is hosting three interrelated, mammoth efforts: LBNF, DUNE and PIP-II. We are also hosting LBNF/DUNE at two laboratories in two states: Illinois and South Dakota. The success of these projects affects us all, and we all must push for them to succeed. The chiefs have been asked by Nigel, and you should ask yourself: how are you helping to successfully host LBNF/DUNE/PIP-II?

Let’s be warm and welcoming to all contributors. To succeed with our flagship program, Fermilab needs the efforts of many people who all bring different experiences, expertise and backgrounds. We’ve been focused on diversity, especially in hiring, and now we are adding inclusion into the mix to ensure that everyone is supported to make their best contributions to our shared goals and priorities. The new statement of community standards, meeting etiquette posters, pipeline programs, and lab resource groups are all part of this key initiative.

We are embarking on a modernization initiative, and first we need a plan. We are now 50 years old, and we need to be in the best possible shape to make it to 100. Part of modernization is looking ahead to forecast the future staffing and facilities we will need. Mike Lindgren is chairing a steering committee to oversee this initiative. Another part is getting rid of equipment that is no longer in use. A risk-based plan is being created to identify “legacy property” prioritized for elimination: both small items and large facilities such as the Central Helium Liquefier. 

DOE is our sponsor — and our partner. We are interacting with more parts of DOE than ever before, which is a challenge for the different parts of Fermilab. The Fermi Site Office is a critical partner – their role is both to evaluate whether Fermilab is “worth the money” to the tax payer, and they also help us prove that we are. We’re all on the same team and a strong, healthy relationship continues to be important.