From the Office of the COO: top five takeaways

Kate Gregory

On Jan. 23, Fermilab Chief Operating Officer Kate Gregory and other OCOO office and section heads presented at their all-hands meeting. Their top takeaways are:

  1. We are responding to last year’s climate survey. There is a big, labwide push to implement the recommendations resulting from last year’s climate survey, in which over 70% of the lab participated. A high-level team has given their recommendations to the Directorate, who will communicate later this year how we’ll act on the survey results.
  2. Operational excellence is key. The lab has organized a Committee of Champions and a steering group to ensure we continue work on the existing Operational Excellence Actions and come up with the next set of OEAs to be completed in the first half of this year. The lab’s Operational Excellence plan is not a separate, standalone action plan for explicitly operational personnel but rather something that will be woven into the culture of the lab.
  3. We’ve got a great budget from the Office of Science, and we are responsible for being transparent about how we spend them money, the bulk of which will go to projects, especially LBNF and PIP-II. Although the funding given to us from the Office of Science is record-breaking, we need to continue to be smart and careful with our resources.  We have a lot of things we want to accomplish and there will be pressure on the research and operations sections to spend resources judiciously.
  4. We’re improving our infrastructure, where changes are marching along. The utilities project received CD-0 approval. An HEP line item that covers improvements in the Accelerator and Controls Project, Wilson Hall and the Technical Campus is expected to receive CD-0 approval in February.
  5. Federal regulations are changing, and we are adjusting accordingly. These regulations are security-related, touching on matters such as access to federal property, intellectual property, international technology development. The federal government guidance comes to us through DOE, and we will be required to follow their orders and adhere to policy, as well as develop our own policies. We’ll communicate these strategies with the lab.

Kate Gregory is the Fermilab chief operating officer.