Nicola Bacchetta returns to Fermilab to lead SiDet

Nicola Bacchetta in his office at SiDet.

Scientist Nicola Bacchetta has returned after nearly 20 years to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory to lead the Silicon Detector Facility, as well as to work on technical coordination of the CMS detector upgrades. A collaborator on the CDF experiment during Fermilab’s Tevatron era, Bacchetta now will oversee significant aspects of the CMS upgrades on the Si tracker, the high-granularity hadron calorimeter, known as HGCal, and the endcap timing detector.

Fermilab’s Silicon Detector Facility, commonly known as SiDet, contains nearly 5,000 square feet of cleanroom space dedicated to high-precision assembly and testing of the components of silicon detectors. SiDet also supports research, testing and development of other types of detectors, such as those for astrophysics projects.

In his new role with SiDet, Bacchetta will have oversight on the overall organization of the facility’s lab areas, logistics, infrastructure and personnel. His goal is to provide the best possible environment suitable for the development and construction of state-of-the-art scientific instruments.

“SiDet is a facility with a long, distinguished history,” said Kevin Burkett, head of Fermilab’s Particle Physics Division, “and it remains incredibly important to both the lab and PPD. We’re very happy to have Nicola and the expertise he brings at this critical time for our projects and for our detector facilities.”

Brenna Flaugher and Nicola Bacchetta with a “stave” of the SVX2b detector in 2004.

Bacchetta first arrived at Fermilab from University of California-Berkeley in 1991, when he began work on the set-up and commissioning of the first SVX silicon vertex detector for CDF. He then continued at Fermilab with installation and operations. Based at the lab, he participated in the design and construction of the subsequent generations of silicon detectors for CDF until the latest SVX2b in 2004.

Since then, Bacchetta has been working with INFN-Padova in Italy and based his scientific efforts at CERN, where he has been working on the CMS experiment in various leadership roles. Most recently, he served as CMS tracker technical coordinator, supervising the operations of the CMS silicon strip tracker and Pixel detector.

“We feel very lucky to have Nicola join us,” said Anadi Canepa, head of the Fermilab CMS department. “With his extensive knowledge, expertise and experience in instrumentation, Nicola will contribute significantly to the successful completion of the CMS detector upgrade.”

Technical coordination of the CMS detector upgrades involves understanding the challenges associated with the detector design, construction and operation, as well as proposing and implementing technically sound solutions consistent with the scope of the overall project.

“It is now exciting for me to be back here,” said Bacchetta. “I am grateful for the opportunity I was given to work at SiDet and be part of the group looking at the next opportunities for detector upgrades and developments at the lab. There are many things I need to learn and many challenges to face, and I am happy to be part of it.”